Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder resulting in motor disturbances that can impact normal gait. Although PD initially responds well to pharmacological treatment, as the disease progresses efficacy often fluctuates over the course of the day, and clinical management would benefit from long-term objective measures of gait. We have previously described a small device worn on the shank that uses acceleration and angular velocity sensors to calculate stride length and identify freezing of gait in PD patients. In this study we extend validation of the gait monitor to 24-h using simultaneous video observation of PD patients.
A sleep laboratory was adapted to perform 24-hr video monitoring of patients while wearing the device. Continuous video monitoring of a sleep lab, hallway, kitchen and conference room was performed using a 4-camera security system and recorded to hard disk. Subjects (3) wore the gait monitor on the left shank (just above the ankle) for a 24-h period beginning around 5 pm in the evening. Accuracy of stride length measures were assessed at the beginning and end of the 24-h epoch. Two independent observers rated the video logs to identify when subjects were walking or lying down.
The mean error in stride length at the start of recording was 0.05 m (SD 0) and at the conclusion of the 24 h epoch was 0.06 m (SD 0.026). There was full agreement between observer coding of the video logs and the output from the gait monitor software; that is, for every video observation of the subject walking there was a corresponding pulse in the monitor data that indicated gait.
The accuracy of ambulatory stride length measurement was maintained over the 24-h period, and there was 100% agreement between the autonomous detection of locomotion by the gait monitor and video observation.
Keywords: accelerometry, stride length, motor fluctuations, levodopa, Parkinsonian