Surrogates for rigidity and PIGD MDS-UPDRS subscores using wearable sensors

Delaram Safarpour, Marian L. Dale, Vrutangkumar V. Shah, Lauren Talman, Patricia Carlson-Kuhta, Fay B. Horak, Martina Mancini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Telemedicine has the advantage of expanding access to care for patients with Parkinson's Disease (PD). However, rigidity and postural instability in PD are difficult to measure remotely, and are important measures of functional impairment and fall risk. Research question: Can measures from wearable sensors be used as future surrogates for the MDS-UPDRS rigidity and Postural Instability and Gait Difficulty (PIGD) subscores? Methods: Thirty-one individuals with mild to moderate PD wore 3 inertial sensors at home for one week to measure quantity and quality of gait and turning in daily life. Separately, we performed a clinical assessment and balance characterization of postural sway with the same wearable sensors in the laboratory (On medication). We then first performed a traditional correlation analysis between clinical scores and objective measures of gait and balance followed by multivariable linear regression employing a best subset selection strategy. Results: The number of walking bouts and turns correlated significantly with the rigidity subscore, while the number of turns, foot pitch angle, and sway area while standing correlated significantly with the PIGD subscore (p < 0.05). The multivariable linear regression showed that rigidity subscore was best predicted by the number of walking bouts while the PIGD subscore was best predicted by a combination of number of walking bouts, gait speed, and postural sway. Significance: The correlation between objective sensor data and MDS-UPDRS rigidity and PIGD scores paves the way for future larger studies that evaluate use of objective sensor data to supplement remote MDS-UPDRS assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-191
Number of pages6
JournalGait and Posture
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Parkinson's
  • Postural instability
  • Rigidity
  • Telehealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Surrogates for rigidity and PIGD MDS-UPDRS subscores using wearable sensors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this