Role of an electronic armband in motor function monitoring in patients with Parkinson's disease

Emanuele Cereda, Gianni Pezzoli, Michela Barichella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Levodopa replacement still is the gold standard for the management of Parkinson's disease (PD). Long-term treatment with levodopa is frequently associated with motor fluctuations. A low-protein (LP) dietary regimen has proved to be effective in reducing this adverse effect, but has been associated with weight loss, probably due to increased energy expenditure. A new wearable device (SenseWear Armband [SWA]) has recently been introduced into clinical practice. It is designed to monitor physical activity continuously and provide estimates of energy consumption. We assessed its role in measuring the effects of dietary regimens on motor function in PD. Methods: Six patients with levodopa-treated PD and motor fluctuations were asked to follow a balanced diet (protein 1 g · kg-1 · d-1) for 7 d and then to cross over to a isocaloric LP (protein 0.7 g · kg-1 · d-1) dietary regimen. Total daily energy expenditures, physical activity, number of steps, and metabolic rate were assessed continuously (14 d) by the SWA. Motor control was evaluated by daily diaries. Results: The SWA proved that, during the LP diet, mean total daily energy expenditure was higher (P <0.05) and so were physical activity (P = 0.05) and average metabolic rate (P = 0.01), despite no change in the number of steps. The duration of periods with dyskinesias was also increased (P <0.05). These data support the role of upper-extremity involuntary movements in increasing total daily energy expenditure during an LP diet. Conclusion: The SWA may help in monitoring patients with PD because it can assist in evaluating motor response to treatment and changes in physical activity and daily calorie needs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-242
Number of pages3
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • Energy expenditure
  • Low-protein diet
  • Motor fluctuations
  • Parkinson's disease
  • SenseWear Armband

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Role of an electronic armband in motor function monitoring in patients with Parkinson's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this