Assessment of Parkinsonian gait in older adults with dementia via human pose tracking in video data


Background: Parkinsonism is common in people with dementia, and is associated with neurodegenerative and vascular changes in the brain, or with exposure to antipsychotic or other dopamine antagonist medications. The detection of parkinsonian changes to gait may provide an opportunity to intervene and address reversible causes. In this study, we investigate the use of a vision-based system as an unobtrusive means to assess severity of parkinsonism in gait. Methods: Videos of walking bouts of natural gait were collected in a specialized dementia unit using a Microsoft Kinect sensor and onboard color camera, and were processed to extract sixteen 3D and eight 2D gait features. Univariate regression to gait quality, as rated on the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and Simpson-Angus Scale (SAS), was used to identify gait features significantly correlated to these clinical scores for inclusion in multivariate models. Multivariate ordinal logistic regression was subsequently performed and the relative contribution of each gait feature for regression to UPDRS-gait and SAS-gait scores was assessed. Results: Four hundred one walking bouts from 14 older adults with dementia were included in the analysis. Multivariate ordinal logistic regression models incorporating selected 2D or 3D gait features attained similar accuracies: the UPDRS-gait regression models achieved accuracies of 61.4 and 62.1% for 2D and 3D features, respectively. Similarly, the SAS-gait models achieved accuracies of 47.4 and 48.5% with 2D or 3D gait features, respectively. Conclusions: Gait features extracted from both 2D and 3D videos are correlated to UPDRS-gait and SAS-gait scores of parkinsonism severity in gait. Vision-based systems have the potential to be used as tools for longitudinal monitoring of parkinsonism in residential settings.

Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation