Presentation Title

Timekeeper: Development of a Web-App to Improve Motor Timing and Rhythm in People with Parkinson’s Disease

Presenter Information

Meghan PrusiaFollow

Advisor Information

Vivien Marmelat

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

26-3-2021 12:00 AM

End Date

26-3-2021 12:00 AM

Abstract

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) leads to motor timing and rhythm deficits. The use of rhythmic auditory stimulation (RAS) can improve the gait of people with PD2. Studies have shown a tight connection between basic motor timing and the success of RAS interventions. The general dysrhythmia hypothesis suggests that training basic motor timing may lead to improvements in other rhythmic activities such as gait. Currently there is no protocol to selectively train rhythmic skills in PD patients. Our goal is to develop innovative, accessible patient-centered interventions to improve motor functions in people with Parkinson’s Disease. Our Timekeeper Web-app is based on the hypothesis that the accuracy and variability in timing will increase and decrease, respectively, with practice.

We use a typical synchronization-continuation paradigm, where users listen and tap in time with a metronome and try to ‘keep the rhythm’ when the metronome stops. A training regimen using this task could improve the motor timing of PD participants, because it could train them to internally generate rhythm. Based on their performance during the continuation phase, users are provided a score as a percentage, where 100% means that they perfectly reproduced the rhythm. So far, we have only tested the web-app with healthy adults and a single person with PD. We will recruit a few more volunteers to have them involved and provide their feedback about usability.

Further work is needed to validate our web-app against gold-standard equipment, before testing it as a training intervention for people with PD. Our long-term goal is to create a patient-centered intervention to improve motor and potentially cognitive functions in people with Parkinson’s Disease. We are working on improving this app further to create a mobile version for the phone, and to transform the “assignments” into a game.

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Mar 26th, 12:00 AM Mar 26th, 12:00 AM

Timekeeper: Development of a Web-App to Improve Motor Timing and Rhythm in People with Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) leads to motor timing and rhythm deficits. The use of rhythmic auditory stimulation (RAS) can improve the gait of people with PD2. Studies have shown a tight connection between basic motor timing and the success of RAS interventions. The general dysrhythmia hypothesis suggests that training basic motor timing may lead to improvements in other rhythmic activities such as gait. Currently there is no protocol to selectively train rhythmic skills in PD patients. Our goal is to develop innovative, accessible patient-centered interventions to improve motor functions in people with Parkinson’s Disease. Our Timekeeper Web-app is based on the hypothesis that the accuracy and variability in timing will increase and decrease, respectively, with practice.

We use a typical synchronization-continuation paradigm, where users listen and tap in time with a metronome and try to ‘keep the rhythm’ when the metronome stops. A training regimen using this task could improve the motor timing of PD participants, because it could train them to internally generate rhythm. Based on their performance during the continuation phase, users are provided a score as a percentage, where 100% means that they perfectly reproduced the rhythm. So far, we have only tested the web-app with healthy adults and a single person with PD. We will recruit a few more volunteers to have them involved and provide their feedback about usability.

Further work is needed to validate our web-app against gold-standard equipment, before testing it as a training intervention for people with PD. Our long-term goal is to create a patient-centered intervention to improve motor and potentially cognitive functions in people with Parkinson’s Disease. We are working on improving this app further to create a mobile version for the phone, and to transform the “assignments” into a game.