Factors influencing the amplitude and frequency of essential tremor

Mov Disord. 1994 Nov;9(6):589-96. doi: 10.1002/mds.870090602.


Quantitative electromyography (EMG) and triaxial accelerometry were used to measure hand tremor, finger tremor, and forearm motor unit activity in 36 men and 23 women with essential tremor. Hand tremor was studied with and without 300-g mass loading. Tremor and EMG were recorded twice, with a 3-min rest interval, to assess the spontaneous intertrial variability in tremor amplitude, frequency, and motor unit entrainment. In general, the minimum detectable differences in tremor amplitude, frequency, and motor unit entrainment were roughly 30%, 5%, and 10% of the initial sample means, respectively, assuming a sample size of 30 patients, a statistical power of 0.9, and a significance level of 0.05. Linear regression analyses were performed to test the hypotheses that (a) there is an age-associated decrease in tremor frequency that is independent of symptom duration and (b) tremor frequency and motor unit entrainment make independent contributions to tremor amplitude. Our data supported both hypotheses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Electromyography*
  • Female
  • Hand / innervation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Neurons / physiology*
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Tremor / physiopathology*
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology