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Bhawna Shiwani, Delsys Research fellow at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, will be presenting her M.S. Thesis proposal on: Autonomous tracking of bradykinesia during unconstrained activities in Parkinson’s disease.


Bradykinesia is one of the most prevalent yet poorly measured motor symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Unlike other visually discernable motor symptoms of PD, such as tremor or freezing of gait, the slowness and paucity of movement, typical of bradykinesia often leads to it being hidden within the context of normal activities of daily living (ADL). As bradykinesia is one of the earliest motor symptoms of PD, difficulties in its detection has hindered the ability for clinicians to adequately monitor and treat PD patients, negatively affecting their quality of life. Indirect approaches using scripted activities have been applied to monitor bradykinesia but scripted movements only show a limited correlation to Bradykinetic symptoms as they do not capture the entire symptomatic progress during ADL. There remains a need to develop a more comprehensive solution to autonomously detect bradykinesia during ADL. I propose to design a robust algorithm capable of real-time automated detection of motor symptoms of whole body bradykinesia during unconstrained ADL using sensor data. The algorithm will utilize EMG and IMU data from muscle activation and limb movement, respectively, to deduce both presence and severity of bradykinesia. When integrated into a body-worn ambulatory device, the proposed algorithm will help clinicians with a better understanding of disease progression; ultimately helping with the better management of disease symptoms by optimal dopamine titration.

About Bhawna Shiwani

Bhawna ShiwaniBhawna Shiwani is a Research fellow at Delsys Inc. She received her B.E. in Electronics and Communication Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Jalandhar, India in 2012 and she is currently pursuing her M.S. in Robotics Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA. She was previously employed by Cadence Design Systems, Noida, India where she worked as a Member of Technical Staff in Analog Design Environment team. Her current research interests include artificial intelligence, control theory and cyber physical systems.

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