The nature of postural tremor in Parkinson disease
Number of pages
SourceNeurology, 90, 13, (2018), pp. e1095-e1103
Article / Letter to editor
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PI Group Systems Neurology
Subject240 Systems Neurology; Radboudumc 3: Disorders of movement DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
OBJECTIVE: To disentangle the different forms of postural tremors in Parkinson disease (PD). METHODS: In this combined observational and intervention study, we measured resting and postural tremor characteristics in 73 patients with tremulous PD by using EMG of forearm muscles. Patients were measured both "off" medication (overnight withdrawal) and after dispersible levodopa-benserazide 200/50 mg. We performed an automated 2-step cluster analysis on 3 postural tremor characteristics: the frequency difference with resting tremor, the degree of tremor suppression after posturing, and the dopamine response. RESULTS: The cluster analysis revealed 2 distinct postural tremor phenotypes: 81% had re-emergent tremor (amplitude suppression, frequency difference with resting tremor 0.4 Hz, clear dopamine response) and 19% had pure postural tremor (no amplitude suppression, frequency difference with resting tremor 3.5 Hz, no dopamine response). This finding was manually validated (accuracy of 93%). Pure postural tremor was not associated with clinical signs of essential tremor or dystonia, and it was not influenced by weighing. CONCLUSION: There are 2 distinct postural tremor phenotypes in PD, which have a different pathophysiology and require different treatment. Re-emergent tremor is a continuation of resting tremor during stable posturing, and it has a dopaminergic basis. Pure postural tremor is a less common type of tremor that is inherent to PD, but has a largely nondopaminergic basis.
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