The clinical significance of lower limb tremors

Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2019 Aug:65:165-171. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2019.06.007. Epub 2019 Jun 8.


Introduction: To explore the prevalence, clinical course and associated features of lower limb tremor in the most common tremor syndromes.

Methods: This retrospective chart review studied lower limb tremor patients as defined by a Tremor Rating Scale score ≥1 in either lower limb. We compared and correlated their characteristics, also comparing them with patients without lower limb tremor.

Results: Of the 283 patients with lower limb tremor (58.3% males, age: 65.0 ± 16.0 years, tremor duration: 25.6 ± 17.9 years), 255 patients within six tremor syndrome groups were included in the final analysis. Prevalence of patients with lower limb tremor (either rest, postural or kinetic) was lowest (28.6%) in the essential tremor (ET) group and highest (69%) in the parkinsonian tremor (PT) group. Lower limb tremor score was higher in patients classified as having intention tremor (IT) compared to ET and dystonic tremor (DT). Total tremor score was highest in IT and lowest in ET. We found a positive correlation between total lower limb tremor score and total tremor score in most groups. In addition, there was a positive correlation between lower limb tremor score and upper limb tremor score. Finally, compared to patients without lower limb tremor, all diagnostic groups with lower limb tremor, with the exception of functional tremor (FT), had worse total tremor score; and disease duration was longer in ET-plus, DT and PT patients with lower limb tremor compared to those without.

Conclusions: Lower limb tremor is less commonly observed in ET than other tremor syndromes, is a marker of symptom severity of the underlying disease condition in all tremor syndromes except FT, and reflects longer disease duration in ET-plus, DT and PT.

Keywords: Essential tremor; Leg tremor; Lower limb tremor; Tremor.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Dystonic Disorders / epidemiology
  • Dystonic Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Essential Tremor / epidemiology
  • Essential Tremor / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lower Extremity / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinsonian Disorders / epidemiology
  • Parkinsonian Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tremor / epidemiology
  • Tremor / physiopathology*