Essential tremor associated with pathologic changes in the cerebellum

Louis, Elan D.; Vonsattel, Jean Paul; Honig, Lawrence S.; Lawton, Arlene; Moskowitz, Carol Brown; Ford, Blair; Frucht, Steven

Background: Although essential tremor (ET) is one of the most common neurologic disorders, there have been few postmortem studies. We recently reported postmortem changes (torpedoes and Bergmann gliosis) in the cerebellar cortex in a few ET cases. Objective: To describe more extensive postmortem changes in the cerebellum in another ET case. Design: Case report. Results: A 90-year-old woman had a 30-year history of ET. At postmortem examination, there was segmental loss of Purkinje cells, presence of torpedoes, and Bergmann gliosis in the cerebellar cortex. Moreover, there were extensive changes in the dentate nucleus, in the form of neuronal loss, neuronal atrophy, microglial clusters, and reduction in the number of efferent fibers (ie, pallor of the hilum). Conclusions: The brain in the current case exhibited more marked cerebellar pathologic features than noted in previously reported ET cases and thereby extends the described cerebellar findings in this common, yet pathologically poorly characterized, neurologic disorder.



Also Published In

Archives of Neurology

More About This Work

Academic Units
Center for Parkinson's Disease and Other Movement Disorders
Published Here
July 30, 2012