Headache and Tremor: Co-occurrences and Possible Associations

  • Mathys Kuiper
  • Suzan Hendrikx
  • Peter J. Koehler

Abstract

Background: Tremor and headache are two of the most prevalent neurological conditions. This review addresses possible associations between various types of tremor and headache, and provides a differential diagnosis for patients presenting with both tremor and headache.

Methods: Data were identified by searching MEDLINE in February 2015, with the terms “tremor” and terms representing the primary headache syndromes.

Results: Evidence for an association between migraine and essential tremor is conflicting. Other primary headaches are not associated with tremor. Conditions that may present with both tremor and headache include cervical dystonia, infectious diseases, hydrocephalus, spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leaks, space-occupying lesions, and metabolic disease. Furthermore, both can be seen as a side effect of medication and in the use of recreational drugs.

Discussion: No clear association between primary headaches and tremor has been found. Many conditions may feature both headache and tremor, but rarely as core clinical symptoms at presentation.