Non-motor symptoms in essential tremor: A review of the current data and state of the field

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102 Scopus citations


Background: The motor features of essential tremor (ET) include its hallmark element, kinetic tremor, yet non-motor features are increasingly being recognized as an accompanying part of what was previously viewed as a solely motor disorder. Given the evolving state of the ET field with respect to these non-motor features, the purpose of this manuscript is to critically review the current data. Methods: A PubMed search was conducted on July 1, 2015. The term "essential tremor" was crossed in sequential order with 13 additional search terms (e.g., "cognitive", "dementia", "depression"). The total number of unique hits was 322. Results: Numerous studies seem to substantiate the presence of a range of non-motor features occurring in excess in ET cases compared to age-matched controls. These comprise cognitive features (including a full spectrum from mild cognitive difficulty through to frank dementia), psychiatric (including depression, apathy, anxiety, and personality characteristics), sensory (hearing and possibly olfactory abnormalities), and other non-motor features (e.g., sleep dysregulation). Emerging evidence suggests that some of these features could be primary disease features that pre-date motor features of ET. Conclusions: The presence of numerous non-motor features in ET is increasingly evident. The biological basis of these features deserves additional study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S115-S118
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
StatePublished - Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognition
  • Dementia
  • Essential tremor
  • Non-motor
  • Psychiatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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