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Resting tremor only: A variant of Parkinson's disease or of essential tremor

Resting tremor only: A variant of Parkinson's disease or of essential tremor

Journal of the Neurological Sciences 130(2): 215-219

Resting tremor is one of the characteristic features of Parkinson's disease. However, there are a number of patients who typically have resting tremor alone for at least 5 years without development of other parkinsonian signs or symptoms. The etiology of an isolated resting tremor is still obscure. Recently, positron emission tomography was used to study these patients with isolated resting tremor, and demonstrated a markedly decreased striatal uptake of fluoro-dopa to the range of Parkinson's disease. These findings suggested the existence of a separate subtype, namely, tremulous Parkinson's disease with a manifestation of resting tremor alone. In order to confirm the existence of this subgroup of tremulous Parkinson's disease and further investigate its morphological changes and the usefulness of magnetic resonance imaging, we collected 5 patients who typically have resting tremor for at least 8 years in the absence of other features of Parkinson's disease. MRI was performed and the results of the images showed typical findings of Parkinson's disease with smudging or decreased distance between substantia nigra and red nucleus. Quantitative analysis also demonstrated a significant decrease of the above-noted distance when the resting tremor group was compared to the essential tremor group. Therefore, patients with an isolated resting tremor can have morphological abnormalities in addition to functional disturbances shown by positron emission tomography. To our knowledge, this is the first paper to report that resting tremor is a variant of Parkinson's disease rather than essential tremor, by using a double-blind method, with magnetic resonance imaging to support.

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Accession: 009350250

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 8586989

DOI: 10.1016/0022-510x(95)00033-x

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