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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 24, 2022

Real-time classification of movement patterns of tremor patients

  • Patricia Piepjohn EMAIL logo , Christin Bald , Gregor Kuhlenbäumer , Jos Steffen Becktepe , Günther Deuschl and Gerhard Schmidt


The process of diagnosing tremor patients often leads to misdiagnoses. Therefore, existing technical methods for analysing tremor are needed to more effectively distinguish between different diseases. For this purpose, a system has been developed that classifies measured tremor signals in real time. To achieve this, the hand tremor of 561 subjects has been measured in different hand positions. Acceleration and surface electromyography are recorded during the examination. For this study, data from subjects with Parkinson’s Disease, Essential Tremor, and physiological tremor are considered. In a first signal analysis feature extraction is performed, and the resulting features are examined for their discriminative value. In a second step, three classification models based on different pattern recognition techniques are developed to classify the subjects with respect to their tremor type. With a trained decision tree, the three tremor types can be classified with a relative diagnostic accuracy of 83.14%. A neural network achieves 84.24% and the combination of both classifiers yields a relative diagnostic accuracy of 85.76%. The approach is promising and involving more features of the recorded time series will improve the discriminative value.

Corresponding author: Patricia Piepjohn, Faculty of Engineering, Institute of Electrical and Information Engineering, Digital Signal Processing and System Theory, Kiel University, Kiel, Germany, E-mail:

  1. Research funding: G.D., G.S. and C.B. are supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB 1261, TP B2, B6, B9, B10, T1, Z2).

  2. Author contributions: All authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission.

  3. Competing interests: Authors state no conflict of interest regarding this work.

  4. Informed consent: Not applicable.

  5. Ethical approval: The research related to human use has complied with all the relevant national regulations, institutional policies, and in accordance with the tenets of the Helsinki Declaration, and has been approved by the author’s Institutional Review Board or equivalent committee (Ethikkommission der Medizinischen Fakultät der Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel).


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Received: 2021-05-06
Accepted: 2022-01-27
Published Online: 2022-02-24
Published in Print: 2022-04-26

© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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