The NEDICES Study: Recent Advances in the Understanding of the Epidemiology of Essential Tremor

  • Juan Pablo Romero
  • Julian Benito-Leon
  • Félix Bermejo-Pareja

Abstract

Background: Essential tremor (ET) is the most common tremor disorder. ET has classically been viewed as a benign monosymptomatic condition. Yet over the past 10 years, a growing body of evidence indicates that this is a progressive condition that is clinically heterogeneous, and may be associated with a variety of different features. Large epidemiological studies such as the Neurological Disorders of Central Spain (NEDICES), a longitudinal, population-based survey, have contributed significantly to the changing view of the disease. Our aim is to review some of the main results of NEDICES within the larger framework of the epidemiology of ET.

Methods: Data for this review were gathered from all our articles published up to October 2011 regarding NEDICES study and “Essential Tremor”.

Results: We have published 18 articles up to October 2011. The prevalence, incidence, and mortality of ET were analyzed in this cohort. In addition, ET was found to be associated with increased frailty and low morale, as well as with a series of non-motor manifestations, including cognitive deficits, mild cognitive impairment, dementia, depressive symptoms, and hearing impairment. Finally, the link between ET and Parkinson's disease (PD) was formally quantified in the NEDICES study, which demonstrated that the risk of developing incident PD was 4.3 times higher in prevalent ET cases than in age-matched controls without ET.

Conclusions: This review highlights the contributions of NEDICES towards the advancement of current knowledge of the epidemiology and clinical features of ET, and emphasizes the importance of population-based studies towards the understanding of complex, ageing-related diseases.