Parkinson’s disease diagnosis and severity assessment using ground reaction forces and neural networks

Srivardhini Veeraragavan, Alpha Agape Gopalai, Darwin Gouwanda, Siti Anom Ahmad

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Gait analysis plays a key role in the diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease (PD), as patients generally exhibit abnormal gait patterns compared to healthy controls. Current diagnosis and severity assessment procedures entail manual visual examinations of motor tasks, speech, and handwriting, among numerous other tests, which can vary between clinicians based on their expertise and visual observation of gait tasks. Automating gait differentiation procedure can serve as a useful tool in early diagnosis and severity assessment of PD and limits the data collection to solely walking gait. In this research, a holistic, non-intrusive method is proposed to diagnose and assess PD severity in its early and moderate stages by using only Vertical Ground Reaction Force (VGRF). From the VGRF data, gait features are extracted and selected to use as training features for the Artificial Neural Network (ANN) model to diagnose PD using cross validation. If the diagnosis is positive, another ANN model will predict their Hoehn and Yahr (H&Y) score to assess their PD severity using the same VGRF data. PD Diagnosis is achieved with a high accuracy of 97.4% using simple network architecture. Additionally, the results indicate a better performance compared to other complex machine learning models that have been researched previously. Severity Assessment is also performed on the H&Y scale with 87.1% accuracy. The results of this study show that it is plausible to use only VGRF data in diagnosing and assessing early stage Parkinson’s Disease, helping patients manage the symptoms earlier and giving them a better quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Article number587057
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2020


  • artificial neural {network (ANN)}
  • gait analysis
  • machine learning
  • Parkinson’s Disease

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