Wearable sensors for estimation of parkinsonian tremor severity during free body movements

Murtadha D. Hssayeni, Joohi Jimenez-Shahed, Michelle A. Burack, Behnaz Ghoraani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Tremor is one of the main symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) that reduces the quality of life. Tremor is measured as part of the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) part III. However, the assessment is based on onsite physical examinations and does not fully represent the patients’ tremor experience in their day-to-day life. Our objective in this paper was to develop algorithms that, combined with wearable sensors, can estimate total Parkinsonian tremor as the patients performed a variety of free body movements. We developed two methods: an ensemble model based on gradient tree boosting and a deep learning model based on long short-term memory (LSTM) networks. The developed methods were assessed on gyroscope sensor data from 24 PD subjects. Our analysis demonstrated that the method based on gradient tree boosting provided a high correlation (r = 0.96 using held-out testing and r = 0.93 using subject-based, leave-one-out cross-validation) between the estimated and clinically assessed tremor subscores in comparison to the LSTM-based method with a moderate correlation (r = 0.84 using held-out testing and r = 0.77 using subject-based, leave-one-out cross-validation). These results indicate that our approach holds great promise in providing a full spectrum of the patients’ tremor from continuous monitoring of the subjects’ movement in their natural environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4215
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • Continuous monitoring
  • Deep learning
  • Gradient tree boosting
  • LSTM
  • Parkinsonian tremor
  • Wearable sensors


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