The most frequently used method for evaluating tremor in Parkinson’s disease (PD) is currently the internationally standardized Movement Disorder Society—Unified PD Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS). However, the MDS-UPDRS is associated with limitations, such as its inherent subjectivity and reliance on experienced raters. Objective motor measurements using accelerometry may overcome the shortcomings of visually scored scales. Therefore, the current study focuses on translating the MDS-UPDRS tremor tests into an objective scoring method using 3D accelerometry. An algorithm to measure and classify tremor according to MDS-UPDRS criteria is proposed. For this study, 28 PD patients undergoing neurosurgical treatment and 26 healthy control subjects were included. Both groups underwent MDS-UPDRS tests to rate tremor severity, while accelerometric measurements were performed at the index fingers. All measurements were performed in an off-medication state. Quantitative measures were calculated from the 3D acceleration data, such as tremor amplitude and area-under-the-curve of power in the 4–6 Hz range. Agreement between MDS-UPDRS tremor scores and objective accelerometric scores was investigated. The trends were consistent with the logarithmic relationship between tremor amplitude and MDS-UPDRS score reported in previous studies. The accelerometric scores showed a substantial concordance (>69.6%) with the MDS-UPDRS ratings. However, accelerometric kinetic tremor measures poorly associated with the given MDS-UPDRS scores (R2 < 0.3), mainly due to the noise between 4 and 6 Hz found in the healthy controls. This study shows that MDS-UDPRS tremor tests can be translated to objective accelerometric measurements. However, discrepancies were found between accelerometric kinetic tremor measures and MDS-UDPRS ratings. This technology has the potential to reduce rater dependency of MDS-UPDRS measurements and allow more objective intraoperative monitoring of tremor.
- Parkinson’s disease