I started my PhD research on quantifying movement symptoms using movement sensors in February 2021. This research was set up because movement symptoms are assessed differently by different caregivers (neurologists, nurse practitioners, etc.). These assessments are subjective, and the outcomes (depending on the time of measurement) may vary. Measurements with a movement sensor can contribute to a more uniform assessment by the involved caregivers during the caretaking process.
The movement symptoms that I focus on for this research are bradykinesia (movement poverty/slowness) and tremor (shaking). The movement sensor that I use for my measurements is called an accelerometer. This sensor is placed on the index fingers to measure the acceleration of the movements made by the hands. These data can be used to calculate outcome measures to objectively quantify the severity of the movement symptom. This can aid caregivers in optimizing treatment for patients suffering from bradykinesia and/or tremor.
This technique can be applied at the outpatient clinic and during neurosurgery, e.g. deep brain stimulation (DBS) and thalamotomy. When determining the DBS settings, this technique can also contribute to optimal symptom reduction of bradykinesia and tremor.