Smartphones could be used as an inexpensive and effective way to measure tremors in mice, which may allow for more research on tremor medications, a new study reports.
Tremor is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions, and can seriously affect quality of life.
Currently, there are no medications that can address tremors. One barrier to the development of such medications is that it would require animal studies to test their effectiveness and safety, which means researchers would need to be able to measure tremors in animals such as mice.
There is equipment that can do this reliably, but a single device can cost tens of thousands of U.S. dollars. Because it is so expensive, researchers haven’t focused on studying tremors.
“I thought it would be a pity if expensive equipment kept us from continuing our research to find treatments for tremor,” Eva Maria Meier Carlsen, PhD, co-author of the study, said in a press release. Carlsen is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
“That’s why I set out to find an affordable and valid way to measure it, and I came up with the idea of using a smartphone as a measuring device,” Carlsen said.
Modern smartphones already have built-in accelerometers. That is how the phone knows it is being moved, like when you’re playing a game that requires tilting the screen.
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