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Sunday, August 10, 2014

App from the Cleveland Clinic helps assess symptoms of multiple sclerosis

Neuroscientists at the Cleveland Clinic have developed an iPad-based tool for assessing disability and symptoms from multiple sclerosis.
The Multiple Sclerosis Perfomance Test (MSPT) was developed based on a commonly used scale for assessing multiple sclerosis symptoms, the Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite (MSFC). The MSFC uses standardized motor and cognitive tasks to evaluate for symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
Sharing their work in the Journal of Visual Experimentation, researchers from the Cleveland Clinic describe the use of an iPad to perform the assessments used in the MSFC using the device’s embedded sensors as well as peripherals 1. They then tested it in a group 51 multiple sclerosis patients and 49 healthy controls; assessments were also done by trained technicians using the MSFC.
Two tests, the Walking Speed Test and the Balance Test, are performed by affixing the iPad to the patient’s lower back and then asking them to perform the standardized task. Using the devices embedded sensors, data is captured about the completion of the tasks. Using displays within the app, a visual test and a cognitive test are performed. Finally, using an attachment to the front of the iPad, a manual dexterity test is performed.
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