Bradykinesia is a cardinal hallmark of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Improvement in bradykinesia is an important signature of effective treatment. Finger tapping is commonly used to index bradykinesia, albeit these approaches largely rely on subjective clinical evaluations. Moreover, recently developed automated bradykinesia scoring tools are proprietary and are not suitable for capturing intraday symptom fluctuation. We assessed finger tapping (i.e., Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) item 3.4) in 37 people with Parkinson’s disease (PwP) during routine treatment follow ups and analyzed their 350 sessions of 10-s tapping using index finger accelerometry. Herein, we developed and validated ReTap, an open-source tool for the automated prediction of finger tapping scores. ReTap successfully detected tapping blocks in over 94% of cases and extracted clinically relevant kinematic features per tap. Importantly, based on the kinematic features, ReTap predicted expert-rated UPDRS scores significantly better than chance in a hold out validation sample (n = 102). Moreover, ReTap-predicted UPDRS scores correlated positively with expert ratings in over 70% of the individual subjects in the holdout dataset. ReTap has the potential to provide accessible and reliable finger tapping scores, either in the clinic or at home, and may contribute to open-source and detailed analyses of bradykinesia.
Published: May 2023