Wearable sensors in Huntington disease: a pilot study

Kelly L. Andrzejewski, Ariel V. Dowling, David Stamler, Timothy J. Felong, Denzil A. Harris, Cynthia Wong, Hang Cai, Ralf Reilmann, Max A. Little, Joseph T. Gwin, Kevin M. Biglan, E. Ray Dorsey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: The Unified Huntington’s Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) is the principal means of assessing motor impairment in Huntington disease but is subjective and generally limited to in-clinic assessments.
    Objective: To evaluate the feasibility and ability of wearable sensors to measure motor impairment in individuals with Huntington disease in the clinic and at home.
    Methods: Participants with Huntington disease and controls were asked to wear five accelerometer-based sensors attached to the chest and each limb for standardized, in-clinic assessments and for one day at home. A secondchest sensor was worn for six additional days at home. Gait measures were compared between controls, participants with Huntington disease, and participants with Huntington disease grouped by UHDRS total motor score using Cohen’s d values.
    Results: Fifteen individuals with Huntington disease and five controls completed the study. Sensor data were successfully captured from 18 of the 20 participants at home. In the clinic, the standard deviation of step time (timebetween consecutive steps) was increased in Huntington disease (p<0.0001; Cohen’s d=2.61) compared to controls. At home with additional observations, significant differences were observed in seven additional gait measures. The gait of individuals with higher total motor scores (50 or more) differed significantly from those with lower total motor scores (below 50) on multiple measures at home.
    Conclusions: In this pilot study, the use of wearable sensors in clinic and at home was feasible and demonstrated gait differences between controls, participants with Huntington disease, and participants with Huntington diseasegrouped by motor impairment.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)199-206
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Huntington's Disease
    Issue number2
    Early online date18 Jun 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

    Bibliographical note

    The final publication is available at IOS Press through http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JHD-160197


    • Huntington disease
    • remote sensing technology
    • clinical study
    • movement
    • gait
    • chorea
    • ambulatory monitoring


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