Continuous in-home monitoring of essential tremor

C. L. Pulliam, S. R. Eichenseer, C. G. Goetz, Olga Waln, C. B. Hunter, J. Jankovic, D. E. Vaillancourt, J. P. Giuffrida, D. A. Heldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Background: Essential tremor (ET) is typically measured in the clinic with subjective tremor rating scales which require the presence of a clinician for scoring and are not appropriate for measuring severity throughout the day. Motion sensors can accurately rate tremor severity during a set of predefined tasks in a laboratory. Methods: We evaluated the ability of motion sensors to quantify tremor during unconstrained activities at home. 20 ET subjects wore a wireless sensor continuously for up to 10h daily on two days and completed hourly standardized tremor assessments involving pre-defined tasks. Mathematical models were used to predict tremor rating scores from the sensor data. Results: At home tremor scores from hourly standardized assessments correlated with at home tremor scores estimated during unconstrained activities immediately following the standardized assessments. The hourly standardized assessments did not significantly fluctuate throughout the day, while fluctuations in the continuous assessments tended to follow changes in voluntary activity level. Both types of tremor ratings (standardized and continuous) showed high day-to-day test-retest reliability with intraclass correlation coefficients ranging from 0.67 to 0.90 for continuous ratings and 0.77 to 0.95 for standardized ratings. Conclusions: Results demonstrate the feasibility of continuous monitoring of tremor severity at home, which should provide clinicians with a measure of the temporal pattern of tremor in the context of daily life and serve as a useful tool for the evaluation of novel anti-tremor medications in clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-40
Number of pages4
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Accelerometer
  • Ambulatory monitoring
  • Essential tremor
  • Gyroscope
  • Kinesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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