Novel accelerometer-based algorithm detects early signals of AD in everyday motion behavior

October 7, 2013

The projected substantial increase in Alzheimer's disease due to the higher life expectancy in modern societies is one of the great future challenges of health care systems worldwide. Alzheimer's disease leads to significant changes in the temporal structure of activities that impair everyday activities. Abnormal motion behavior and degeneration of the sleep-waking cycle are among the most severe behavioral symptoms. An early detection and even a prediction of these behaviors would allow a timely onset of interventions that aim to delay the manifestation or exacerbation of symptoms and reduce the need of institutionalized care.

An interdisciplinary joint study by the Medical Faculty and the Faculty for Computer Science and Electrical Engineering of Rostock University and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) Rostock has now established a novel sensing algorithm that allows detecting the effect of Alzheimer's disease in unconstrained everyday motion behavior. In a dyad study with n=46 subjects (23 diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia, 23 healthy controls), the method achieves an accuracy of 91% when labeling an unknown subject as "AD" or "healthy control". The algorithm uses spectral features of motion signals that are obtained by unobtrusive accelerometers worn by the subjects during their normal .

"The method shows a substantially higher sensitivity than established behavioral rating scales, such as Cohen-Mansfield Agitation Index" emphasizes Prof. Teipel, head of DZNE Rostock and responsible for the study design. "This means, we now have a more sensitive instrument for detecting changes in behavior that allows us to monitor disease progress and the efficacy of interventions." He adds: "And the measure we obtain is objective, it does not require the assessment by a human observer."

"It is fascinating that our approach is able to work with unconstrained everyday motion behavior," says Prof. Kirste from the Computer Science Department, who has designed the analysis algorithm. "Considering the high variance of everyday activities, we think that the ability to detect the influence of Alzheimer's disease on the temporal structure of this behavior is a very important result." He remarks: "On a practical level this means we can use low-cost sensing devices and we do not require the patients to perform specific controlled activities. Prospectively, it might even be possible to use the data of established devices such as mobile phones or navigation support devices for this purpose."

Explore further: Early detection and treatment of Alzheimer's disease prevents psychological and behavioral symptoms

More information: The results of this study will be presented in the paper "Detecting the Effect of Alzheimer's Disease on Everyday Motion Behavior," scheduled for publication in issue 38(1) of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. An early online version of this paper is available at DOI: 10.3233/JAD-130272

Related Stories

Early detection and treatment of Alzheimer's disease prevents psychological and behavioral symptoms

July 18, 2013
Persons with Alzheimer's disease are able to manage their everyday activities longer and they suffer from less psychological and behavioural symptoms if the diagnosis is made and treatment begun at a very early phase of the ...

Toward an early diagnostic tool for Alzheimer's disease

August 29, 2013
Despite all the research done on Alzheimer's, there is still no early diagnostic tool for the disease. By looking at the brain wave components of individuals with the disease, Professor Tiago H. Falk of INRS's Centre Énergie ...

Alzheimer's collaboration brings time-course to equation

October 3, 2013
Scientists from Western Australia and across the nation have shown the accumulation of a protein in the brain occurs 20 years before symptoms of Alzheimer's occur, in a groundbreaking study that could prove beneficial for ...

A brake in the head: Researchers gain new insights into the working of the brain

September 19, 2013
Scientists of the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases have managed to acquire new insights into the functioning of a region in the brain that normally is involved in spatial ...

Memory-related brain network shrinks with aging

September 20, 2013
Brain regions associated with memory shrink as adults age, and this size decrease is more pronounced in those who go on to develop neurodegenerative disease, reports a new study published Sept. 18 in the Journal of Neuroscience ...

What goes wrong in a brain affected by Alzheimer's disease?

August 22, 2013
The ability of different regions of the brain to communicate gradually breaks down with aging and in Alzheimer's disease, but there are key differences between these two processes. Some of these differences are reported in ...

Recommended for you

Lifestyle changes to stave off Alzheimer's? Hints, no proof

July 20, 2017
There are no proven ways to stave off Alzheimer's, but a new report raises the prospect that avoiding nine key risks starting in childhood just might delay or even prevent about a third of dementia cases around the world.

Blood test identifies key Alzheimer's marker

July 19, 2017
A new study led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that measures of amyloid beta in the blood have the potential to help identify people with altered levels of amyloid in their ...

Steering an enzyme's 'scissors' shows potential for stopping Alzheimer's disease

July 19, 2017
The old real estate adage about "location, location, location" might also apply to the biochemical genesis of Alzheimer's disease, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.

Brain scans may change care for some people with memory loss

July 19, 2017
Does it really take an expensive brain scan to diagnose Alzheimer's? Not everybody needs one but new research suggests that for a surprising number of patients whose memory problems are hard to pin down, PET scans may lead ...

Can poor sleep boost odds for Alzheimer's?

July 18, 2017
(HealthDay)— Breathing problems during sleep may signal an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease, a trio of studies suggests.

Hearing is believing: Speech may be a clue to mental decline

July 17, 2017
Your speech may, um, help reveal if you're uh ... developing thinking problems. More pauses, filler words and other verbal changes might be an early sign of mental decline, which can lead to Alzheimer's disease, a study suggests.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.