Biomedical Scinece and Research Journals | Parkinson’s Disease and Software: The Applicability Challenge

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative movement disease affecting over 5 million people worldwide. However, there is currently no definitive test for PD by nonspecialist clinicians, especially in the early disease stages where the symptoms may be subtle and poorly characterized. Subsequently, the lack of definitive test for early PD results in a high misdiagnosis rate (up to 25% by non-specialists) and people can have the disease for many years before being diagnosed and managed. Undoubtedly, there is a need for a more accurate, objective means of early detection, ideally one which can be used by individuals in their home setting. 

In addition, objective measurements of motor signs are of vital importance for monitoring and developing disease modifying therapies, particularly for the early stages of the disease when potential neuroprotective treatments could stop neurodegeneration.Digital technologies for objectively quantifying PD motor sign do exist and more new ones are being developed. One of the most frequently used technologies is finger tapping, where patients are asked to intermittently press buttons as fast as possible for a given time.

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