Academic Commons

Articles

Essential Tremor: A Neurodegenerative Disease?

Benito-León, Julián

Background: Essential tremor (ET) is one of the most common neurological disorders among adults, and is the most common of the many tremor disorders. It has classically been viewed as a benign monosymptomatic condition, yet over the past decade, a growing body of evidence indicates that ET is a progressive condition that is clinically heterogeneous, as it may be associated with a spectrum of clinical features, with both motor and non‐motor elements. In this review, I will describe the most significant emerging milestones in research which, when taken together, suggest that ET is a neurodegenerative condition.

Methods: A PubMed search conducted in June 2014 crossing the terms “essential tremor” (ET) and “neurodegenerative” yielded 122 entries, 20 of which included the term “neurodegenerative” in the article title. This was supplemented by articles in the author's files that pertained to this topic.

Results/Discussion: There is an open and active dialogue in the medical community as to whether ET is a neurodegenerative disease, with considerable evidence in favor of this. Specifically, ET is a progressive disorder of aging associated with neuronal loss (reduction in Purkinje cells) as well as other post‐mortem changes that occur in traditional neurodegenerative disorders. Along with this, advanced neuroimaging techniques are now demonstrating distinct structural changes, several of which are consistent with neuronal loss, in patients with ET. However, further longitudinal clinical and neuroimaging longitudinal studies to assess progression are required.

Subjects

Files

Also Published In

Title
Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Movements
DOI
https://doi.org/10.7916/D8765CG0

More About This Work

Academic Units
Center for Parkinson's Disease and Other Movement Disorders
Published Here
November 2, 2014
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.