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Objective Quantitative Assessment of Movement Disorders Through Analysis of Static Handwritten Characters

[+] Author Affiliations
Naiqian Zhi, Beverly K. Jaeger, Andrew Gouldstone, Rifat Sipahi

Northeastern University, Boston, MA

Samuel Frank

Boston University Medical Center, Boston, MA

Paper No. DSCC2015-9974, pp. V001T16A006; 8 pages
  • ASME 2015 Dynamic Systems and Control Conference
  • Volume 1: Adaptive and Intelligent Systems Control; Advances in Control Design Methods; Advances in Non-Linear and Optimal Control; Advances in Robotics; Advances in Wind Energy Systems; Aerospace Applications; Aerospace Power Optimization; Assistive Robotics; Automotive 2: Hybrid Electric Vehicles; Automotive 3: Internal Combustion Engines; Automotive Engine Control; Battery Management; Bio Engineering Applications; Biomed and Neural Systems; Connected Vehicles; Control of Robotic Systems
  • Columbus, Ohio, USA, October 28–30, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Dynamic Systems and Control Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5724-3
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Movement disorders associated with Essential Tremor (ET) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) can negatively impact use of the upper limb for many precision tasks, including handwriting. Both ET and PD can be assessed through clinical tests which are, however, relatively subjective. This assessment approach possesses inherent logistical and resolution limitations. To address this, here we present objective computerized metrics intended to assess and quantify the extent to which static writing samples display the effects of ET and PD. Specifically, these metrics are tested in their ability to measure tremor by comparing unaffected writing samples with those affected by artificially induced tremor on healthy subjects, and also by comparing healthy writing samples with symptomatic writing samples collected from PD patients reporting micrographia. Our findings indicate that the presented metrics can be utilized for assessment, leading to a toolset capable of objectively monitoring static handwriting changes associated with symptom variations in ET and/or PD patients.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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