Midbrain sonography in patients with essential tremor

Mov Disord. 2007 Feb 15;22(3):414-7. doi: 10.1002/mds.21344.


Several studies have reported an increased risk to develop Parkinson's disease (PD) in essential tremor (ET) populations. Hyperechogenicity of the substantia nigra (SN) is a common transcranial sonography (TCS) finding in PD and has been suggested as a PD risk-marker in nonparkinsonian subjects. This study compared SN areas of 44 ET patients with 100 controls and 100 PD patients. Sixteen percent of ET patients had SN hyperechogenicity as compared with 3% of controls and 75% of PD patients. These findings might correspond to an increased risk of ET patients to develop PD. Long-term follow-up will show if those with hyperechogenic SN develop PD, while these without will not.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Essential Tremor / diagnostic imaging*
  • Essential Tremor / etiology
  • Essential Tremor / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / complications
  • Substantia Nigra / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Transcranial*