An multi-sensor band worn on the arm or leg, called Myo, can capture and relay difficulties with limb movement due to multiple sclerosis (MS) with an accuracy that mirrors gold standard measures of disability, like the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), a study reports.
These findings support the device’s potential to more easily and quickly assess physical impairment in MS by detecting subtle changes in movement.
The study “Novel MS vital sign: multi-sensor captures upper and lower limb dysfunction” was published in the journal Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.
MS progression and clinical outcomes are usually evaluated at periodic exams. However, this approach offers only a single snapshot of the patient’s performance, and is informative only over time through continuous examinations. Tools able to evaluate less evident changes taking place at shorter intervals are needed.
“We currently lack reliable measures of subtle MS disability progression over short time intervals,” Jennifer Graves, MD, PhD, a neurologist at University of California (UC) San Diego Health and the study’s lead author, said in a press release.
“For example, a patient may tell us that that she can no longer play piano, but our 150-year-old bedside neurological exam techniques can’t quantify this. In a standard clinical trial, this patient would be rated stable and not progressing,” Graves added.
A tool able to capture disease progression — like difficulties in moving the limbs properly — “within six to 12 months instead of three to five years” could “drive faster drug development for the most disabling forms of MS,” she said.
A team led by researchers at UC San Diego evaluated whether the commercially available Myo gesture control armband, developed by Thalmic Labs, could be a robust tool to measure changes in limb function in MS patients.
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