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Feasibility and validity of a modified finger-nose-finger test

Authors

  • Elan D. Louis MD, MS,

    Corresponding author
    1. G.H. Sergievsky Center, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
    2. Department of Neurology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
    3. Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
    • Unit 198, Neurological Institute, 710 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032
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  • LaKeisha M. Applegate BA,

    1. G.H. Sergievsky Center, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
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  • Sarah Borden BA,

    1. G.H. Sergievsky Center, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
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  • Carol Moskowitz MS,

    1. Department of Neurology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
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  • Zhezhen Jin PhD

    1. Department of Biostatistics, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA
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Abstract

In essential tremor (ET) research, it is important to obtain standardized, objective data on tremor severity. Often, it is not possible to carry out in-person or videotaped neurological examinations. In place of these, handwriting samples can be collected, but they do not capture all of the variance in tremor severity. Although additional tests of tremor severity (finger-nose-finger [FNF] test) might be of use, these would need to be modified to allow ET patients to mail their results to the study investigator for rating. We modified the standard FNF test (sFNF) by asking subjects to hold a pen during this activity and mark a paper target. The purpose of this report was to determine whether the modified FNF (mFNF) test was feasible and valid. Of 70 subjects, 65 (92.9%) were able to complete the mFNF, demonstrating that it was feasible. The scores of the mFNF correlated highly with those of the sFNF (r = 0.56–0.85; all P < 0.001), indicating the mFNF is a valid measure of tremor severity. In addition, using the regression equation, sFNF = 0.174(mFNF) + 0.743, a sFNF score can be derived easily from the mFNF score. The mFNF may be used to collect valuable data on tremor severity in pathological, genetic, and epidemiological field studies of ET, in which in-person or videotaped neurological examinations are not possible. © 2005 Movement Disorder Society

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