Low cost, long-term measurement of motor activity and REM sleep.

We will assemble expertise, personnel and facilities from across the WR network to develop and pilot a novel device for inexpensive and noninvasive sleep monitoring. This device has
important applications for clinicians and academics alike, but the focus of this project will be
to explore its use in the early detection of Parkinson’s disease (PD).
Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep without dystonia (or more generally, REM sleep
behaviour disorder: RBD) is an early predictor of Parkinson’s disease. It is typified by
increased motor activity (e.g. arm movement) during REM sleep. Diagnosis is currently
expensive, involving labbased sleep polysomnography that requires extensive technical
expertise to administer. The goal of this project is to develop an inexpensive and
noninvasive monitoring system for this condition, to test it in a small pilot group and to
validate it against ‘gold standard’ data from sleep labs at both York and Leeds. The device
will be based around lowcost commercial components (for example, tablet computers,
bluetoothenabled EEG devices and personal activity monitors). Professor Alex Wade (York)
already has many of components to develop a prototype device and experience in programming
and electronics. However, more work is needed to develop the device and
undertake pilot testing and validation.
The ultimate aim of this project is to seed a more extensive collaboration taking advantage of common interests
in early detection of neurological disease, and sleep dysfunction. All three sites have strong research efforts in
this domain. External commercial entities (Lundbeck, SA,
Copenhagen, ClearSky Medical Diagnostics, York) have also expressed support for this system and York (Wade), ClearskyMD
and Lundbeck have an ongoing collaboration measuring motion and visual biomarkers of PD in a genotyped population in North
Africa. Mark Elliott (Consultant in Respiratory Medicine, Leeds Teaching Hospitals) also supports the clinical need for such a
device and its development

Lead Academics on this Project
Professor Alex Wade (Director, Center for Chronic Disease and Disorders (York)
Dr Anna Weighall (Leeds)
Dr Oliver Bandmann (Sheffield)
Other members of staff associated with this project
Dr Alisdair McNeill (Sheffield)
Dr Melanie Burke (Leeds)
Dr Scott Cairney (York)

  • Name:
  • Position:
  • Telephone:
  • Email:
  • Location:
  • LinkedIn: