Using Artificial Intelligence to Differentiate Parkinson’s disease from Essential tremor

Using Artificial Intelligence to Differentiate Parkinson’s disease from Essential tremor

Both Parkinson’s disease and Essential tremor are progressive diseases of the  nervous symptom which cause tremors - generally in the hands, legs, trunk, and voice.  While Essential tremor is actually four times more common than Parkinson’s disease,  many people confuse the two because of their overlapping tremor features. While  these two diseases may seem to be the same, they are actually quite different in their  symptomatology and disease progression. It is important to differentiate between PD  and ET in order to find the treatment options that will be most beneficial to your  condition. Recently, researchers have discovered that artificial intelligence (AI) can be  used to help differentiate between PD and ET, and therefore provide more accurate  diagnosis.  

You may be wondering, “What is AI?”

Artificial intelligence can be described as intelligence that is demonstrated by machines rather than the natural intelligence that is displayed by humans or animals. It is the ability of a computer or robot to complete tasks that generally require human input. Artificial intelligence is widely used today. Some examples include virtual chat boxes, or self driving cars.


Steadi-Two

Learn more about the Steadi-Two- a revolutionary glove designed to reduce hand tremors.

Learn More


So, how can AI be used to diagnose PD and ET?  

Researchers in China have developed and tested machine learning algorithms to identify and classify PD and ET tremors for diagnosis. The technology uses biomarkers like tremor signals in order to differentiate between PD and ET.

In order to test the system, nearly 400 patients with PD or ET were recruited between November and June 2020 to participate in a study. Their tremors were
measured and assessed by a medical device system that collected information in 4 different postures for each patient - resting, stretching, winging, and vertically winging. The machine learning tool can categorize a patients tremor as either PD-related or ET related based off of the amplitude and frequency of surface electromyogram (sMEG) tremors.

Using AI to help diagnose ET and PD may lead to less misdiagnoses. According to the American Journal of Managed Care, approximately 25% of patients with PD are misdiagnosed as having ET. Since PD and ET have many of the same symptoms, it can be incredibly difficult to differentiate between the two progressive diseases, and the task usually comes down to the physicians clinical experience. Thus, introducing AI in the diagnosis process can help to more accurately diagnose PD or ET in a more objective manner.

Using AI in PD and ET diagnosis can also be helpful when creating wearable devices. This is because by knowing what tremor amplitudes and frequencies are associated with PD and ET, wearable devices can more accurately target those specific tremors and suppress them.

Wearable devices  

Steadiwear , a Canadian medical device company, has created the Steads-Two - an assistive device designed to reduce hand tremors for people with Parkinson’s disease and Essential tremor. The Steadi-Two is lightweight, battery-free, and machine washable. In lab tests, the Steadi-Two provided users with up to 80% of tremor relief. Steadier is currently running their pre-order campaign, where you can reserve a unit today for $99 USD, and pay the rest ($400 USD) upon delivery. Delivery is currently scheduled for June of 2022. This offer also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee - customers can try the device for 30 days after it arrives, and if they do not like it they can send it back for a full refund. Click here to learn more.

Overall, AI has proven to be a beneficial tool in differentiating between PD and ET tremors. This can aid in accurately diagnosing patients, as well as perfecting assistive devices to suppress patients tremors. The future is looking bright for people with PD and ET!


Steadi-Two

Learn more about the Steadi-Two- a revolutionary glove designed to reduce hand tremors.

Learn More



1 comment

  • Patricia Maselli

    Where can we find the Al in the US?

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