Evolving Concepts in Our Understanding and Treatment of Holmes Tremor, Over 100 Years in the Making

Tremor Other Hyperkinet Mov (N Y). 2022 May 26:12:18. doi: 10.5334/tohm.683. eCollection 2022.


Holmes Tremor (HT) is an irregular, slow-frequency (<4.5 Hz) tremor characterized by a combination of resting, postural, and action tremors mostly of the upper extremities. Symptoms of HT typically emerge 4 weeks to 2 years after a brain injury caused by a spectrum of etiologies. HT pathophysiology is thought to result from aberrant collateral axonal sprouting and synaptic dysfunction following neuronal damage. To date, the dopaminergic nigrostriatal system, cerebello-thalamo-cortical pathway, and dentate-rubro-olivary pathway have all been implicated in the clinical manifestations of HT. The diversity of HT etiologies usually requires a personalized treatment plan. Current treatment options include carbidopa-levodopa, levetiracetam, and trihexyphenidyl, and surgical management such as deep brain stimulation in selected medication-refractory patients. In this review we discuss the pathophysiology, etiology, neuroimaging, and the latest clinical guidelines for care and management of HT.

Keywords: Holmes tremor; midbrain tremor; rubral tremor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain*
  • Cerebellum
  • Humans
  • Neuroimaging
  • Tremor* / diagnosis
  • Tremor* / drug therapy