Nonmotor symptoms in essential tremor: Comparison with Parkinson's disease and normal control

Seon Min Lee, Minjik Kim, Hye Mi Lee, Kyum Yil Kwon, Seong Beom Koh

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38 Citations (Scopus)


Background Recently, the definition of essential tremor (ET) has evolved to have two different meanings. One refers to classic ET, a benign mono-symptomatic disorder, and the other refers to a heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorder. The aim of this study was to categorize nonmotor symptoms according to ET phenotype, and compare them, along with autonomic function, in people with Parkinson's disease (PD) and normal controls. Methods We divided patients with ET into 3 subtypes according to their motor features: 23 Pure-ET, 25 Cerebellar-ET, and 12 Parkinsonism-ET. Comparisons were made between 30 PD subjects and 22 normal controls, and 60 subjects with ET. The following assessments were conducted: the Nonmotor Symptoms Scale, the Mini-Mental State Exam, Montreal Cognitive Assessment, the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale, Neuropsychiatric Inventory Questionnaire, Beck Anxiety Inventory, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Epworth Sleepiness Scale and the Scales for Outcomes in Parkinson's Disease - Autonomic. Results There were significant differences in the Nonmotor Symptoms Scale total scores of the ET, PD, and control groups (ET: 25.500 ± 2.346; PD: 27.960 ± 3.267; Control: 3.328 ± 3.796.). There were no significant differences in terms of each ET phenotype. ET patients had significant cognitive dysfunction, neuropsychiatric problems including depression and have complained about significant autonomic dysfunction and excessive daytime somnolence compared to normal controls. Conclusions Patients with ET have several nonmotor symptoms similar to those of patients with PD, which have a similar impact on their quality of life. Therefore, nonmotor symptoms should be considered in the clinical evaluation and management of ET.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-173
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Feb 15
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.


  • Depression
  • Essential tremor
  • Nonmotor symptoms
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Quality of life
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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