Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Detecting the symptoms of Parkinson's disease with non-standard video.

BACKGROUND: Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease (PD), necessitate frequent clinical visits and monitoring to identify changes in motor symptoms and provide appropriate care. By applying machine learning techniques to video data, automated video analysis has emerged as a promising approach to track and analyze motor symptoms, which could facilitate more timely intervention. However, existing solutions often rely on specialized equipment and recording procedures, which limits their usability in unstructured settings like the home. In this study, we developed a method to detect PD symptoms from unstructured videos of clinical assessments, without the need for specialized equipment or recording procedures.

METHODS: Twenty-eight individuals with Parkinson's disease completed a video-recorded motor examination that included the finger-to-nose and hand pronation-supination tasks. Clinical staff provided ground truth scores for the level of Parkinsonian symptoms present. For each video, we used a pre-existing model called PIXIE to measure the location of several joints on the person's body and quantify how they were moving. Features derived from the joint angles and trajectories, designed to be robust to recording angle, were then used to train two types of machine-learning classifiers (random forests and support vector machines) to detect the presence of PD symptoms.

RESULTS: The support vector machine trained on the finger-to-nose task had an F1 score of 0.93 while the random forest trained on the same task yielded an F1 score of 0.85. The support vector machine and random forest trained on the hand pronation-supination task had F1 scores of 0.20 and 0.33, respectively.

CONCLUSION: These results demonstrate the feasibility of developing video analysis tools to track motor symptoms across variable perspectives. These tools do not work equally well for all tasks, however. This technology has the potential to overcome barriers to access for many individuals with degenerative neurological diseases like PD, providing them with a more convenient and timely method to monitor symptom progression, without requiring a structured video recording procedure. Ultimately, more frequent and objective home assessments of motor function could enable more precise telehealth optimization of interventions to improve clinical outcomes inside and outside of the clinic.

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