Our ‘Motor Signature’ Is a Window Into Mental Health

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Piotr Słowiński</strong> Department of Mathematics College of Engineering Mathematics and Physical Sciences, Research Fellow University of Exeter

Dr. Piotr Słowiński

Dr. Piotr Słowiński
Department of Mathematics
College of Engineering
Mathematics and Physical Sciences,
Research Fellow
University of Exeter

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: In an earlier study, we have found that every person has an individual style of moving (its own individual motor signature) and that people who have similar motor signatures are better in coordinating with each other (http://rsif.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/13/116/20151093). In the current study, we show that both these characteristics, own motor signature, and quality of interaction with others, have potential to give and insight into person’s mental health condition.

Assessment of motor symptoms is already a part of a clinical interview during a neurological evaluation by an expert psychiatrist. Our method, if confirmed in clinical trials, would speed up such examination and would allow for better allocation of the valuable time of medical professionals (for example, for more advanced tests in cases of diagnostic uncertainty). Additionally, it could allow for monitoring and personalization of treatment.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: We present a set of non-invasive, unbiased and data-driven biomarkers of schizophrenia. The biomarkers take into account both individual motor abnormalities and deficits in socio-motor interactions. We further show that classification based on these biomarkers give results that are as good as results based on more expensive and time-consuming neuroimaging techniques. Importantly, in our study, none of the control subjects was misclassified as a patient.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: By combining medical knowledge with mathematics, personalized medicine is becoming reality. Our aim is to build tools that would assist medical professionals in informed and personalized diagnosis and treatment choices.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: It is worth mentioning, that non-invasive and play-like nature of our method makes it a potentially attractive diagnostic tool for children. This is particularly important because early screening is considered crucial for prevention and treatment of schizophrenia.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.


Unravelling socio-motor biomarkers in schizophrenia
Piotr Słowiński, Francesco Alderisio, Chao Zhai,Yuan Shen, Peter Tino, Catherine Bortolon, Delphine Capdevielle, Laura Cohen, Mahdi Khoramshahi, Aude Billard, Robin Salesse, Mathieu Gueugnon,  Ludovic Marin,Benoit G. Bardy,Mario di Bernardo, Stephane Raffard & Krasimira Tsaneva-Atanasova
npj Schizophrenia 3, Article number: 8 (2017)

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Last Updated on February 6, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD