The balance and gait disorder of essential tremor: What does this mean for patients?

David Arkadir, Elan D. Louis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Essential tremor (ET), once considered a monosymptomatic disease, is now viewed as a syndrome characterized by action tremor as well as a variety of other neurological features. These features include deficits of both balance (i.e. the ability to maintain the body within its base of support) and gait. Balance and gait abnormalities in ET have been studied most extensively in the laboratory, with the disability and burden on life, as experienced by patients with ET, being a subject of relatively less scrutiny. In this paper, we review the data on balance and gait impairment in ET. These include data both from objective assessments (bedside examination or laboratory gait analysis) and subjective assessments (patients' reports of imbalance). We discuss the clinical implications of the current data, and suggest a tiered approach to begin to address the still unanswered questions in this field. This tiered approach starts with an attempt to isolate a subpopulation of patients who are at greatest risk of difficulty with balance and gait, and then later focuses on this subgroup to assess the burden of any balance and gait impairments as well as the impact of potential therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-236
Number of pages8
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Neurological Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • balance
  • clinical
  • essential tremor
  • falls
  • gait

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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