Essential tremor associated with pathologic changes in the cerebellum

Elan D. Louis, Jean Paul G. Vonsattel, Lawrence S. Honig, Arlene Lawton, Carol Moskowitz, Blair Ford, Steven Frucht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Background: Although essential tremor (ET) is one of the most common neurologic disorders, there have been few postmortem studies. We recently reported postmortem changes (torpedoes and Bergmann gliosis) in the cerebellar cortex in a few ET cases. Objective: To describe more extensive postmortem changes in the cerebellum in another ET case. Design: Case report. Results: A 90-year-old woman had a 30-year history of ET. At postmortem examination, there was segmental loss of Purkinje cells, presence of torpedoes, and Bergmann gliosis in the cerebellar cortex. Moreover, there were extensive changes in the dentate nucleus, in the form of neuronal loss, neuronal atrophy, microglial clusters, and reduction in the number of efferent fibers (ie, pallor of the hilum). Conclusions: The brain in the current case exhibited more marked cerebellar pathologic features than noted in previously reported ET cases and thereby extends the described cerebellar findings in this common, yet pathologically poorly characterized, neurologic disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1189-1193
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of neurology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology


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