Current methods for assessing the efficacy of treatments for Parkinson's disease (PD) rely on physician rated scores. These methods pose three major shortcomings: 1) the subjectivity of the assessments, 2) the lack of precision on the rating scale (6 discrete levels), and 3) the inability to assess symptoms except under very specific conditions and/or for very specific tasks. To address these shortcomings, a portable system was developed to continuously monitor Parkinsonian symptoms with quantitative measures based on electrical signals from muscle activity (EMG). Here, we present the system design and the implementation of methods for system validation. This system was designed to provide continuous measures of tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia which are related to the neurophysiological source without the need for multiple bulky experimental apparatuses, thus allowing more precise, quantitative indicators of the symptoms which can be measured during practical daily living tasks. This measurement system has the potential to improve the diagnosis of PD as well as the evaluation of PD treatments, which is an important step in the path to improving PD treatments.
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