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



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.


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.


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).


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.


Age; Cerebellum; Essential tremor; Tandem gait

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