Tremor in dystonia

Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2016 Aug:29:3-9. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2016.03.024. Epub 2016 Apr 1.


Tremor has been recognized as an important clinical feature in dystonia. Tremor in dystonia may occur in the body part affected by dystonia known as dystonic tremor or unaffected body regions known as tremor associated with dystonia. The most common type of tremor seen in dystonia patients is postural and kinetic which may be mistaken for familial essential tremor. Similarly familial essential tremor patients may have associated dystonia leading to diagnostic uncertainties. The pathogenesis of tremor in dystonia remains speculative, but its neurophysiological features are similar to dystonia which helps in differentiating it from essential tremor patients. Treatment of tremor in dystonia depends upon the site of involvement. Dystonic hand tremor is treated with oral pharmacological therapy and dystonic head, jaw and voice tremor is treated with injection botulinum toxin. Neurosurgical interventions such as deep brain stimulation and lesion surgery should be an option in patients not responding to the pharmacological treatment.

Keywords: Dystonia; Essential tremor; Neurophysiology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Botulinum Toxins / therapeutic use
  • Dystonia / complications*
  • Humans
  • Neurotoxins / therapeutic use
  • Tremor / diagnosis
  • Tremor / drug therapy
  • Tremor / etiology*


  • Neurotoxins
  • Botulinum Toxins