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J Clin Neurol. 2005 Apr;1(1):76-80. doi: 10.3988/jcn.2005.1.1.76. Epub 2005 Apr 30.

Relationship between essential tremor and cerebellar dysfunction according to age.

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1
Department of Neurology, Chonbuk National University College of Medicine, Jeonju, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The cerebellum and its neural circuitry have been assumed to play a major role in the pathophysiology of essential tremor (ET). In this study, we sought to find associations between ET and cerebellar dysfunction.

METHODS:

We performed tandem gait test in 41 ET patients and 44 age-matched controls. Investigators assessed tandem gait by counting the number of missteps during ten-step tandem walk and each subject repeated the trial three times.

RESULTS:

ET patients had a higher average and total numbers of missteps during tandem gait tests than control subjects (p<0.05). Sex-adjusted odds ratio of the association between tandem gait abnormality and ET was 3.40 (95% confidence intervals 1.06-10.85). According to age stratification, aged ET patients (age >/=70 years) showed significantly higher prevalence of tandem gait abnormality than young ones. Interaction terms determined by a likelihood ratio test was also statistically significant (p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

Dysfunction of cerebellar neural circuitry may be associated with the pathophysiological mechanism of ET. In addition, aging may be an important factor modifying the association.

KEYWORDS:

Age; Cerebellum; Essential tremor; Tandem gait

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