Project details

Research objective

The primary objective of this project is to develop a dementia specific sensor-based analysis of circadian motor behavior and to investigate the diurnal rhythmicity of motor behavior and the Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA). A direct link between circadian motor disruptions and HPA-correlates is hypothesized.

Research method

Within this cross-sectional trial, the circadian motor behavior of 80 patients from hospital dementia care will be assessed by uSense-sensors. These sensors will be fixed on the patients’ lower back for 72 consecutive hours. The development of analysis strategies for the uSense-data is based upon following dimensions: frequency of physical activity in relation to the time, intensity (metabolic rate), time (length of episodes), type of activity (body postures / locomotion) and the time-sequence of these dimensions. In order to investigate the relation between circadian motor disruptions and HPA-correlates, diurnal pattern of cortisol will be analyzed from blood probes taken within these days.

Research key findings

Disturbances of circadian motor behaviour cause increased caregiver burden and are main reasons for institutionalization of people with dementia. There is a strong need for tailoring the management of these symptoms in dementia care. Such tailoring, requires suitable assessment procedures which at present are missing. Developing an objective sensor-based assessment of the behavioural symptoms will contribute to our understanding of underlying mechanism of circadian motor disturbances and will lead to an urgently needed improvement in care for demented patients. Not only patients would profit from this, also the burden of medical staff and other caregivers in dementia would be reduced.
Short titleAFI CiMoDem
Effective start/end date01.11.1531.10.17


  • dementia
  • circadian rhythmicity
  • motor behaviour
  • motion sensors


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