Thigh-derived inertial sensor metrics to assess the sit-to-stand and stand-to-sit transitions in the timed up and go (TUG) Task for quantifying mobility impairment in multiple sclerosis
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Authors: Witchel, H.J., Westling, C.E.I. et al.
Journal: Frontiers in Neurology
© 2007-2018 Frontiers Media S.A. All Rights Reserved. Introduction: Inertial sensors generate objective and sensitive metrics of movement disability that may indicate fall risk in many clinical conditions including multiple sclerosis (MS). The Timed-Up-And-Go (TUG) task is used to assess patient mobility because it incorporates clinically-relevant submovements during standing. Most sensor-based TUG research has focused on the placement of sensors at the spine, hip or ankles; an examination of thigh activity in TUG in multiple sclerosis is wanting. Methods: We used validated sensors (x-IMU by x-io) to derive transparent metrics for the sit-to-stand (SI-ST) transition and the stand-to-sit (ST-SI) transition of TUG, and compared effect sizes for metrics from inertial sensors on the thighs to effect sizes for metrics from a sensor placed at the L3 level of the lumbar spine. Twenty-three healthy volunteers were compared to 17 ambulatory persons with MS (PwMS, HAI = 2). Results: During the SI-ST transition, the metric with the largest effect size comparing healthy volunteers to PwMS was the Area Under the Curve of the thigh angular velocity in the pitch direction-representing both thigh and knee extension; the peak of the spine pitch angular velocity during SI-ST also had a large effect size, as did some temporal measures of duration of SI-ST, although less so. During the ST-SI transition the metric with the largest effect size in PwMS was the peak of the spine angular velocity curve in the roll direction. A regression was performed. Discussion: We propose for PwMS that the diminished peak angular velocity during SI-ST directly represents extensor weakness, while the increased roll during ST-SI represents diminished postural control. Conclusions: During the SI-ST transition of TUG, angular velocities can discriminate between healthy volunteers and ambulatory PwMS better than temporal features. Sensor placement on the thighs provides additional discrimination compared to sensor placement at the lumbar spine.