SENSE-PARK for clinicians


Current measures and scales used in Parkinson’s clinics only provide a snapshot of a person’s Parkinson’s however they do not give any sense of the changeablilty of Parkinson’s and its variability from day to day, hour to hour. It is this variability that has the greatest impact on quality of life for those living with Parkinson’s.

By accurately measuring Parkinson’s there is a real opportunity to create a personalised treatment plan which in turn allows the individuals living with Parkinson’s to better manage their disease on a day to day basis.

The clinical need for accurate measurement

There are a number of issues around current measures used in clinic. Current scales are open to interpretation from the clinician, and are subjective. They can be prone to bias and provide only a snapshot of a person’s condition taken at that point in time. It is unusual in normal clinical practice for a clinician to see a patient without medication or in an off state, and as such a clinician is only seeing one aspect of a person’s condition. These tests are not carried out in the person’s usual environment, they are time consuming to carry out, can be obtrusive and the results are not quantitative.

Visit for a demonstration of how subjective measurement can be in Parkinson’s, by rating the videos online.

The importance of creating a validated measure

As Professor Walter Maetzler, scientific coordinator for SENSE-PARK comments:
“Even though people with Parkinson’s are evalutated in clinical appointments by both interview and clinical observation, there is significant variation in clinical assessment as the tools used are subjective. The SENSE-PARK project came into being because our clinical practice would benefit from long-term objective measurement . As practitioners, we are very aware of the challenges of measuring a changeable condition such as Parkinson’s. By measuring Parkinson’s in the home environment, using validated objective measures in conjunction with existing tools, we have an opportunity to gain a real understanding of an individual’s condition, and can adapt their treatment plans accordingly. The system being developed by SENSE-PARK also has benefit in clinical trials of potentially disease modifying treatments in detecting the subtle changes in both on and off periods that would not be picked up by current measures.”

The vision: Using continuous objective measurement in disease modifying trials

Disease modification is the holy grail of Parkinson’s research. Current measurement that relies on clinical appointments does not provide a continuous objective picture over 24 hours – a picture that becomes essential when considering disease modification. It is possible that new treatments may have benefit in “off” periods, they might have an impact on sleep patterns, or even improve cognition. To map these possible changes, it is essential that continuous objective measurement be implemented.