A Power Spectral Density-Based Method to Detect Tremor and Tremor Intermittency in Movement Disorders

Frauke Luft*, Sarvi Sharifi, Winfred Mugge, Alfred C. Schouten, Lo J. Bour, Anne Fleur van Rootselaar, Peter H. Veltink, Tijtske Heida

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)
    125 Downloads (Pure)


    There is no objective gold standard to detect tremors. This concerns not only the choice of the algorithm and sensors, but methods are often designed to detect tremors in one specific group of patients during the performance of a specific task. Therefore, the aim of this study is twofold. First, an objective quantitative method to detect tremor windows (TWs) in accelerometer and electromyography recordings is introduced. Second, the tremor stability index (TSI) is determined to indicate the advantage of detecting TWs prior to analysis. Ten Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, ten essential tremor (ET) patients, and ten healthy controls (HC) performed a resting, postural and movement task. Data was split into 3-s windows, and the power spectral density was calculated for each window. The relative power around the peak frequency with respect to the power in the tremor band was used to classify the windows as either tremor or non-tremor. The method yielded a specificity of 96.45%, sensitivity of 84.84%, and accuracy of 90.80% of tremor detection. During tremors, significant differences were found between groups in all three parameters. The results suggest that the introduced method could be used to determine under which conditions and to which extent undiagnosed patients exhibit tremors.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number4301
    JournalSensors (Switzerland)
    Issue number19
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2019


    • Accelerometers
    • Automatic detection
    • EWlectromyography
    • Essential tremor
    • Movement disorders
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Tremor
    • Tremor stability index


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