Tremor: Clinical Phenomenology and Assessment Techniques

  • Christopher W. Hess
  • Seth L. Pullman

Abstract

Tremors are among the most common movement disorders. As there can be considerable variability in the manner in which clinicians assess tremor, objective quantitative tools such as electromyography, accelerometry, and computerized, spiral analysis can be very useful in establishing a clinical diagnosis and in research settings. In this review, we discuss the various methods of quantitative tremor analysis and the classification and pathogenesis of tremor. The most common pathologic tremors and an approach to the diagnosis of tremor etiology are described. Pathologic tremors are common, and the diagnosis of underlying etiology is not always straightforward. Computerized quantitative tremor analysis is a valuable adjunct to careful clinical evaluation in distinguishing tremulous diseases from physiologic tremors, and can also help shed light on their pathogenesis.