Involvement of cranial muscles and high intermuscular coherence in orthostatic tremor

Ann Neurol. 1999 Mar;45(3):384-8. doi: 10.1002/1531-8249(199903)45:3<384::aid-ana15>;2-j.


Electromyographic recordings were conducted from limb, trunk, and cranial muscles in 6 patients with orthostatic tremor. Spectral analysis revealed a high-frequency tremor not only in the muscles of the limbs and trunk, but also in cranial muscles. The cross spectra were analyzed between various pairs of muscles that displayed a high-frequency tremor pattern. The resulting peak correlations were uniformly very high (near one) suggesting a high level of coherence. The involvement of cranial muscles suggests that supraspinal mechanisms are involved in the generation of orthostatic tremor. The high intermuscular coherence between all muscles indicates the existence of either a unique oscillator that generates tremor in all involved muscles on both sides of the body or a linking mechanism probably at a supraspinal level. The high-frequency tremor was only found when the muscles were contracted isometrically, irrespective of body posture. Thus, tremor generation might be more closely linked to mechanisms responsible for isometric force control than to those involved in stance regulation.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Posture*
  • Tremor / physiopathology*