App takes aim at Parkinson's

April 8, 2014 by Kate Sullivan
App takes aim at Parkinson's
Smart phone app to help people with Parkinson's

A smartphone app has been developed to help monitor and improve treatments for people with Parkinson's disease.

Researchers from The University of Queensland and CSIRO are using smartphone technology to monitor the symptoms and wellbeing of people with the disease.

Dr Jacki Liddle, from the UQ Centre for Clinical Research, said new smartphone applications were being developed to measure and understand the symptoms, daily activities and response to medication of people with Parkinson's.

"The app is part of a larger system that uses, among other things, micro-sensors worn on the body to monitor patients' movements and voice patterns," Dr Liddle said.

"The data collected will be sent wirelessly to a portal and communicated to research and clinical teams, enabling a timely response to issues that occur."

By monitoring people's movements and participation in their communities, researchers can gain important insights into the lives of people with Parkinson's, the nature and timing of their needs and the contributions they make to the community.

The app update has been announced in the lead up to World Parkinson's Day on Friday, April 11.

Simon McBride, from CSIRO's Australian E-Health Research Centre, said the new technology would give a clear indication of treatment outcomes on the person's health and their daily life.

"Parkinson's disease is progressive, with symptoms that can fluctuate throughout the day," Mr McBride said.

"Diagnosis and determining accurately the most appropriate levels of medication or stimulation require careful monitoring of symptoms and outcomes.

"Currently, symptoms are monitored through brief clinical assessments or in a laboratory situation

"Smartphones are ideal for monitoring and participation in the community while individuals are conducting their usual activities at home."

Researchers trialled the GPS-tracking component of the technology during the Parkinson's Unity Walk in September and Dr Liddle said she was pleased with the results.

"This will reduce the burden and costs associated with clinical assessments and give a more accurate indication of the impact of Parkinson's disease and treatments on people's lives," she said.

The research team is seeking funding to complete the project and hopes to have the technology available within two years.

Explore further: Parkinson's discovery could lead to earlier diagnosis

Related Stories

Parkinson's discovery could lead to earlier diagnosis

April 18, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—A new study could help earlier diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, after a Malaysian researcher working for Newcastle University in the UK identified that even early in the disease people experience symptoms.

Parkinson's can lead to anxiety and other non-motor symptoms, even early on

January 14, 2013
While movement problems are the main symptom of Parkinson's disease, a new study shows that even early in the course of disease people frequently experience many non-motor symptoms such as drooling, anxiety and constipation. ...

Scientists redefine how the brain plans movement

February 3, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—University of Queensland researchers have made a surprise discovery about how the brain plans movement that may lead to more targeted treatments for patients with Parkinson's disease.

New method helps target Parkinson's disease

November 20, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—Health professionals may soon have a new method of diagnosing Parkinson's disease, one that is noninvasive and inexpensive, and, in early testing, has proved to be effective more than 90 percent of the ...

Stress-induced depression exacerbates Parkinson's

March 6, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Chronic stress-induced depression exacerbated an experimental model of Parkinson's disease, researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) have shown.

Recommended for you

Scientists solve 3-D structure of key defense protein against Parkinson's disease

October 5, 2017
Scientists at the University of Dundee have identified the structure of a key enzyme that protects the brain against Parkinson's disease.

Novel protein interactions explain memory deficits in Parkinson's disease

September 26, 2017
A study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience describes the identification of a novel molecular pathway that can constitute a therapeutic target for cognitive defects in Parkinson's disease. The study showed that abnormal ...

Psychosis in Parkinson's dementia—new treatment provides hope

September 25, 2017
New research involving King's College London and the University of Exeter has highlighted the benefits of a promising new treatment which could relieve psychosis in thousands of people with dementia related to Parkinson's ...

Bicycling 'overloads' movement networks with Parkinson's

September 23, 2017
(HealthDay)—Bicycling suppresses abnormal beta synchrony in the Parkinsonian basal ganglia, according to a study published online Sept. 11 in the Annals of Neurology.

Researchers find new path to promising Parkinson's treatment

September 19, 2017
Three researchers at The University of Alabama are part of work that is leading to a new direction for drug discovery in the quest to treat Parkinson's disease.

Tug of war between Parkinson's protein and growth factor

September 18, 2017
Alpha-synuclein, a sticky and sometimes toxic protein involved in Parkinson's disease (PD), blocks signals from an important brain growth factor, Emory researchers have discovered.


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.