Sunday, April 1, 2012

Detecting Movement Disorders

An article posted March 03, 2012 in “Federal Telemedicine News” describes how Great Lakes Neuro Technologies developed a system to monitor movement disorders. The company has just announced that they have begun a clinical study to assess the sensitivity of their Kinesia system to detect subtle motor function changes in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

The study being funded by a Phase 1 SBIR Grant from NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is being conducted in partnership with Dr. Peter LeWitt of the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, and Dr. Alberto Espay of the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.

The current standard used to evaluate PD motor symptoms and progression is to use the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) a subjective scoring system relying on clinician observations to rate symptom severity on a scale of 0-4.

Researchers around the world are investigating new treatments intended to slow the progression of PD. Demonstrating the efficacy of these types of proposed neuroprotective therapies can be challenging since very small changes over long periods of time must be measured. Today, there is a need for a system with high sensitivity motion sensors to measure changes and to combine the system with clinical rating scales.

The Kinesia system includes a finger-worn motion sensor and standardized video guided motor assessments. As part of the study, PD patients will be implanted with deep brain stimulation devices. By slowly adjusting the stimulation settings, researchers will be able to simulate worsening symptoms and the progression of the disease.

Dustin A Heldman, PhD, Principal Investigator for the study reports, “This technology platform should provide a more accurate and efficient method of assessment for pharmaceutical companies conducting clinical trials on drugs aimed at slowing the progression of PD through neuroprotective mechanisms.”

For more information on the Kinesia system, go to Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies at or call 216-361-5410 or contact Amelia Earhart Marketing Manager at