Daytime sleepiness and nighttime sleep quality across the full spectrum of cognitive presentations in essential tremor

Brittany Rohl, Kathleen Collins, Sarah Morgan, Stephanie Cosentino, Edward D. Huey, Elan D. Louis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


There is increasing evidence that essential tremor (ET) is a complex and heterogeneous disorder with nonmotor features including cognitive deficits and sleep problems. We are unaware of a study that has examined sleep deficits in ET across the full spectrum of cognitive presentations. Cross-sectional (baseline) data on self-reported nighttime sleep dysfunction and excessive daytime sleepiness were collected using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) in 96 ET cases enrolled in a prospective study. Cases underwent a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment, and were classified as ET with normal cognition (ET-NC), ET with mild cognitive impairment (ET-MCI), and ET with dementia (ET-D). PSQI scores did not significantly differ across the three ET cognitive groups (p = 0.22). ESS scores were highest (more daytime sleepiness) in the ET-MCI group, followed by the ET-D and ET-NC groups, respectively (p = 0.016). We examined sleep dysfunction across the cognitive spectrum in ET. We demonstrate for the first time that excessive daytime sleepiness is greater in ET-MCI than ET-NC. Unpredicted low ESS scores in the dementia group raises two possibilities: a self-report bias related to cognitive impairment and/or the possibility that currently undefined pathological heterogeneity in ET may map onto multiple presentations of non-motor deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-31
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
StatePublished - Dec 15 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical
  • Cognition
  • Dementia
  • Essential tremor
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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