A Pilot Study of Botulinum Toxin for Jerky, Position-Specific, Upper Limb Action Tremor

  • Tabish A Saifee
  • Tiago Teodoro
  • Roberto Erro
  • Mark J Edwards
  • Carla Cordivari

Abstract

Background: We aimed to investigate the efficacy and safety of botulinum toxin (BT) injections for jerky action tremor of the upper limb.

Methods: We performed an uncontrolled, prospective study of electromyography (EMG)-guided BT injections for jerky, position-specific, upper limb action tremor. The primary outcome was clinical global impression at 3–6 weeks after baseline.

Results: Eight patients with jerky, position-specific action tremor involving the upper limb were consecutively recruited. After a median follow-up of 4.4 weeks (interquartile range [IQR] 3.6–6 weeks), four of them rated themselves as “improved” and two as “much improved.” Five of these six subjects reported improvements in specific activities of daily living (bringing liquids to mouth, feeding, shaving, and dressing). Upper limb subscore of the Fahn–Tolosa–Marin Tremor Rating Scale (FTM) significantly decreased from 4.5 (4–6) to 3 (2–5) (p = 0.01).

Discussion: This pilot, prospective cohort study suggests that EMG-guided BT injections may improve jerky, position-specific, upper limb action tremor. Placebo-controlled studies evaluating larger samples of patients are warranted to confirm these findings.