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Motor activity patterns can distinguish between interepisode bipolar disorder patients and healthy controls

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 September 2020

Jakub Schneider*
Department of Cybernetics, Czech Technical University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic Applied Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, National Institute of Mental Health, Klecany, Czech Republic
Eduard Bakštein
Department of Cybernetics, Czech Technical University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic Applied Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, National Institute of Mental Health, Klecany, Czech Republic
Marian Kolenič
Applied Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, National Institute of Mental Health, Klecany, Czech Republic
Pavel Vostatek
MINDPAX, Prague, Czech Republic
Christoph U. Correll
Department of Psychiatry, The Zucker Hillside Hospital, Northwell Health, Glen Oaks, New York, USA Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Department of Psychiatry and Molecular Medicine, Hempstead, New York, USA The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience, Manhasset, New York, USA Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Daniel Novák
Department of Cybernetics, Czech Technical University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
Filip Španiel
Applied Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, National Institute of Mental Health, Klecany, Czech Republic
*Author for correspondence: Jakub Schneider, Email:



Bipolar disorder (BD) is linked to circadian rhythm disruptions resulting in aberrant motor activity patterns. We aimed to explore whether motor activity alone, as assessed by longitudinal actigraphy, can be used to classify accurately BD patients and healthy controls (HCs) into their respective groups.


Ninety-day actigraphy records from 25 interepisode BD patients (ie, Montgomery–Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) < 15) and 25 sex- and age-matched HCs were used in order to identify latent actigraphic biomarkers capable of discriminating between BD patients and HCs. Mean values and time variations of a set of standard actigraphy features were analyzed and further validated using the random forest classifier.


Using all actigraphy features, this method correctly assigned 88% (sensitivity = 85%, specificity = 91%) of BD patients and HCs to their respective group. The classification success may be confounded by differences in employment between BD patients and HCs. When motor activity features resistant to the employment status were used (the strongest feature being time variation of intradaily variability, Cohen’s d = 1.33), 79% of the subjects (sensitivity = 76%, specificity = 81%) were correctly classified.


A machine-learning actigraphy-based model was capable of distinguishing between interepisode BD patients and HCs solely on the basis of motor activity. The classification remained valid even when features influenced by employment status were omitted. The findings suggest that temporal variability of actigraphic parameters may provide discriminative power for differentiating between BD patients and HCs while being less affected by employment status.

Original Research
© The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press.

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