Development of an Instrumented System to Measure Mobility in Parkinson's Disease

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): (30 lines for public) This application addresses the broad Challenge Area (07): Enhancing Clinical Trials and specific Challenge Topic, 07-NS-101: Developing technology to increase efficiency and decrease cost of clinical trials. The long- term objective of this project is to use new technologies to sensitively measure, automatically analyze and efficiently manage clinical trial data for Parkinson's disease (PD) and other neurological disorders. This project will focus on developing objective measures of balance and gait because mobility disability and falls are so critical for quality of life in PD. Clinical movement disorders experts will team up with a local start-up business to develop, produce, and test a novel clinical balance and gait assessment tool, the instrumented Timed Up and Go Test (iTUG) for patients with Parkinson's disease. Balance and gait will be measured with wireless sensors worn on the wrists, ankles and trunk while patients stand up from a chair, walk, turn and return to sit on the chair. Accelerations and angular velocities from the sensors will be automatically transmitted, stored, analyzed, and displayed as Mobility Scores on a remote, centralized computer, along with other patient information important for clinical trials. Specifically, this proposal will 1) create a commercially-available, clinical trial system that includes completely wireless sensor technology, a custom-made, user-friendly, computer interface and efficient data management server;2) develop a mobility score from many potential balance and gait measures and 3) compare the sensitivity of the iTUG compared to traditional clinical tests of balance to changes in PD due to antiparkinson medication. By providing a more sensitive, accurate, and comprehensive method to quickly test and analyze balance and gait, clinical trials to improve mobility in patients with Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders will be significantly more effective and efficient. This will permit clinical trials in Parkinson's disease to be completed with fewer subjects, shorter duration, and less cost. The current project will accelerate the development of new therapies for Parkinson's disease. This project will use new technology to develop objective instruments and centralized monitoring of balance and gait for Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders. These new tools will permit clinical trials aimed at reducing mobility disability to be completed with fewer subjects, shorter duration, and less cost.
Effective start/end date9/30/098/31/11


  • National Institutes of Health: $499,767.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $499,679.00


  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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