Low-cost robotic assessment of visuo-motor deficits in Alzheimer's disease

E Bartoli, F Caso, G Magnani, G Baud-Bovy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A low-cost robotic interface was used to assess the visuo-motor performance of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Twenty AD patients and twenty age-matched controls participated in this work. The battery of tests included simple reaction times, position tracking, and stabilization tasks performed with both hands. The regularity, velocity, visual and haptic feedback were manipulated to vary movement complexity. Reaction times and movement tracking error were analyzed. Results show a marked group effect on a subset of conditions, in particular when the patients could not rely on the visual feedback of hand movement. The visuo-motor performance correlated with the measures of global cognitive functioning and with different memory-related abilities. Our results support the hypothesis that the ability to recall and use visuo-spatial associations might underlie the impairment in complex motor behavior that has been reported in AD patients. Importantly, the patients had preserved learning effects across sessions, which might relate to visuo-motor deficits being less evident in every-day life and clinical assessments. This robotic assessment, lasting less than 1 h, provides detailed information about the integrity of visuo-motor abilities. The data can aid the understanding of the complex pattern of deficits that characterizes this pervasive disease. © 2001-2011 IEEE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)852-860
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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