We developed a new device, the portable gait rhythmogram (PGR), to record up to 70 hrs of movement-induced accelerations. Acceleration values induced by various movements, averaged every 10 min, showed gamma distribution, and the mean value of this distribution was used as an index of the amount of overall movements. Furthermore, the PGR algorithm can specify gait-induced accelerations using the pattern-matching method. Analysis of the relationship between gait-induced accelerations and gait cycle duration makes it possible to quantify Parkinson’s disease (PD)-specific pathophysiological mechanisms underlying gait disorders. Patients with PD showed the following disease-specific patterns: (1) reduced amount of overall movements and (2) low amplitude of gait-induced accelerations in the early stages of the disease, which was compensated by fast stepping. Loss of compensation was associated with slow stepping gait, (3) narrow range of gait-induced acceleration amplitude and gait cycle duration, suggesting monotony, and (4) evident motor fluctuations during the day by tracing changes in the above two parameters. Prominent motor fluctuation was associated with frequent switching between slow stepping mode and active mode. These findings suggest that monitoring various movement- and gait-induced accelerations allows the detection of specific changes in PD. We conclude that continuous long-term monitoring of these parameters can provide accurate quantitative assessment of parkinsonian clinical motor signs.
Part of the book: Wearable Technologies
Visual hallucinations are a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease dementia. These can cause delusions and violent behaviors that can be significant burdens on patients and caregivers. The cause of visual hallucinations is considered to be the dysregulation of the default mode network due to the presence of Lewy bodies in the cortex and the degeneration of dopaminergic and cholinergic neurons. Dopaminergic agents, especially non-ergoline dopamine agonists, can exacerbate visual hallucinations. Reducing the dosage can ameliorate symptoms in many cases; however, this frequently worsens parkinsonism. In contrast, the administration of cholinesterase inhibitors is effective and rarely worsens motor symptoms. In advanced cases, antipsychotic drugs are required; clinical studies have shown that some drugs are beneficial while the adverse events are acceptable. An optimal treatment protocol should be selected depending on the patient’s condition.
Part of the book: Dementia in Parkinson’s Disease