Subjectivity & Inter-rater Variability in PD Clinical Scales

Subjectivity & Inter-rater Variability in PD Clinical Scales
Did you know that for many neurodegenerative conditions, there are few or no objective ways to accurately measure disease progression? Even trained neurologists often don’t agree on their assessments of the same patient, using currently accepted disease rating scales (e.g., MDS-UPDRS)
In a recent study published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, 21 neurologists who specialize in movement disorders were asked to evaluate bradykinesia, a hallmark motor feature in PD patients, which is often measured by a finger-tapping task. The specialists were asked to evaluate videos of hands and there were considerable differences in ratings across neurologists, with some even indicating bradykinesia in videos of healthy patients.
Results like these highlight the challenges presented by the current, gold-standard clinical rating scales. The subjectivity inherent in scales like the MDS-UPDRS results not only in significant inter-rater variability, but also downstream challenges for clinical drug development using such scales.  
At NeuraLight, we’re committed to developing objective, stable, and sensitive digital biomarkers for Parkinson’s Disease and other neurodegenerative conditions. To learn more about NeuraLight, our technology, and our mission, contact us!
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