Degenerative neuromuscular dysfunction in patients with Parkinson's Disease (PD) plays a critical role in the loss of ambulation and postural control, resulting in falls and progressive loss of mobility and independence. Recent studies revealed that neuromuscular degeneration and dysfunction are evident in a pre-symptomatic phase. Early detection of mobility and balance dysfunction may therefore provide the impetus for early interventions and subsequent amelioration of the progressive degeneration, including prevention of falls and delayed loss of independent mobility.
Cerebral Palsy (CP) describes a group of permanent movement and posture deficits, causing activity limitation, that are attributed to non-progressive disturbances that occurred in the developing fetal or infant brain. Early detection and intervention can significantly change the trajectory of motor function development.
Automated monitoring of motor function during activities of daily living will enhance our understanding of the side effects of medication and facilitate the development of evidence-based decision support tools for diagnosis and treatment. In this talk I present my current work to address the challenge of characterization of motion deficits in both patients with Parkinson's Disease and infants with high risk of Cerebral Palsy. Pose estimation, kinematics analysis, and surface geometry reconstruction of motion in unconstrained environments improve our knowledge of the initiation and progression of neuro-musculoskeletal deficiencies. Utilizing image and motion datasets of daily motor tasks, we extract features of functional movement performance and develop predictive models of disease state and progression and therapeutic response. Subsequently, these enable individualized dosing adjustment and online access to therapies.
Ami Drory’s research interests lie in coupling technological opportunities with maximising health impacts through the use of machine learning and computer vision techniques for biomechanics applications. Specifically, he is interested in developing solutions for unimpeded patient in-natura monitoring of postural control, ambulatory activities and assisted living. Ami is currently a biomedical engineering research fellow at the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University and the Max Nader Lab for Rehabilitation Technologies and Outcomes Research, Center of Bionic Medicine at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. He earned his PhD at CECS, ANU under Richard Hartley and Hongdong Li. Beforehand he held a five year appointment as a biomechanist, where he undertook research in musculoskeletal instrumentation, testing and modelling, as well as bluff bodies aerodynamics and wearable sensor fusion. He held lectureships in biomechanics at the universities of Sydney and Canberra. He holds a Masters from QUT and a BSc from UQ.