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Volume 45 Number 9, 2008
   Pages 1343 — 1348

Abstract - Daily ambulatory activity levels in idiopathic Parkinson disease

Frank M. Skidmore, MD;1-3* Chad A. Mackman, BS;1 Breckon Pav, MS;1 Lisa M. Shulman, MD;4 Cyndi Garvan, MD;5 Richard F. Macko, MD;4,6-7 Kenneth M. Heilman, MD1-2

1Department of Neurology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Jacksonville, FL; 2North Florida/South Georgia Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Gainesville, FL; 3McKnight Brain Institute, Gainesville, FL; 4Department of Neurology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD; 5Department of Biostatistics, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; 6Department of Gerontology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD; 7Baltimore VA Medical Center, Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Baltimore, MD

Abstract — Patients with Parkinson disease (PD) may have decreased physical activity due to motor deficits. We recently validated the reliability of step activity monitors (SAMs) to accurately count steps in PD, and we wished to use them to evaluate the impact of disease severity on home activity levels in PD. Twenty-six subjects with PD (Hoehn and Yahr disease stage 2-4) were recruited to participate in a study of activity levels over 48 hours. Ability to achieve 95% device accuracy was an entry requirement. A Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) evaluation was performed on all subjects, subjects were monitored for 48 hours, and total number of steps per day and maximum steps taken per hour were calculated. Out of 26 subjects, 25 met entry requirements. We calculated the number of steps taken per day, as well as maximal activity levels, and correlated these with UPDRS total score, the activity of daily living subscale, and the UPDRS motor function subscale off and on medication (all p < 0.01). Transition from Hoehn and Yahr stage 2 to stage 3 was associated with a decline in functional mobility (p < 0.005). A microprocessor-linked SAM accurately counted steps in subjects with PD. The number of steps taken correlated highly with disease severity. SAMs may be useful outcome measures in PD.

Key words: activity level, ambulatory activity, disease progression, gait, home ambulatory monitoring, movement disorders, Parkinson disease, parkinsonism, physical activity, walking.

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