Mirror movements in patients with essential tremor

Elan D. Louis, Eileen Rios, Claire Henchcliffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Mirror movements (MM), which occur in age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD), have never been studied in essential tremor (ET). The objective of this work is to study the prevalence and clinical correlates of MM in ET cases and controls. In a clinical-epidemiological study in New York, participants performed repetitive motor tasks; MM (hands and feet) were rated. MM occurred in 35/107 (32.7%) ET cases versus 23/97 (23.7%) controls (OR 1.56, P = 0.16). Total MM score was 2x higher in cases (3.9 ± 7.7 vs. 1.9 ± 3.9, P = 0.02). MM (hands) occurred in 16 (15.0%) cases versus 5 (5.2%) controls (OR 3.24, P = 0.03) and total hand MM score was three to four times higher in ET cases (1.4 ± 4.5 vs. 0.4 ± 2.0, P 5 0.03). MMs were not correlated with age, tremor duration, or severity and were most severe in cases with rest tremor. Thus, it was concluded that MM occurred in 1/3 of ET cases. These results further expand the spectrum of non-tremor, motor phenomenology seen in ET. Whether, as in PD, MMs in ET represent a failure of subcortical structures to support the cortical network involved with the initiation of unilateral motor activity, requires future neurophysiological investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2211-2217
Number of pages7
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number15
StatePublished - Nov 15 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical
  • Essential tremor
  • Mirror movements
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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