Background: The burden of mild (i.e., subclinical) tremor within essential tremor (ET) families is not fully understood. We assessed the burden of mild tremor in a cohort of 287 adults, none of whom reported tremor or were diagnosed with ET. Methods: We recruited adults in 2 groups based on the familial risk for ET: 244 high-risk individuals (i.e., reporting one or more first-degree relative with ET) and 43 low-risk individuals (i.e., reporting no relatives with ET). Tremor was objectively assessed on 4 hand-drawn spirals (total spiral score = 0-12). Mild tremor was defined using 3 different cut points. Results: The prevalence rates of mild tremor among high-risk individuals ranged from 41.4 to 98.4% and were highly dependent on the cut point. Above a certain threshold (i.e., a total spiral score ≥5), 1-in-5 (i.e., 19.7%) high-risk individuals exhibited mild tremor, whereas no low-risk individuals did. High-risk individuals were 3.09-4.50 times more likely than low-risk individuals to exhibit mild tremor. Conclusion: The burden of ET extends beyond the boundaries of the clinically defined disease, and partially expressed forms of ET are abundant in ET families. This fact greatly complicates gene-finding studies and epidemiological studies whose goal is to detect disease-linked associations.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Mar 1 2018|
- Essential tremor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology