David R Williams
Tremor is the most common movement disorder in the
community and is defined as a rhythmic oscillatory movement
of a body part. Classification of tremors is helpful for accurate
diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. Most tremors can be
separated according to the state in which they occur, that
is, during rest or action. Other clinical features, including
frequency, amplitude and associated neurological signs, further
This article describes some of the important clinical clues
that reliably separate tremors, including the rest tremors of
Parkinson disease and vascular midbrain lesions, or the action
tremors of enhanced physiological tremor, essential tremor and
Numerous treatment strategies exist for tremor, but focused,
selective use of appropriate medications requires accurate
clinical diagnosis. Diagnostic certainty is essential as functional
neurosurgery (deep brain stimulation) offers a realistic treatment
option for many patients with severe tremor.
Tremor describes an oscillatory, rhythmic involuntary movement of a body part and is the most common movement disorder in the community.1–4 Although tremor can involve any part of the body, hands are the most common site. In general, tremor is a descriptive term, but the underlying cause and classification of tremor can usually be determined based on history and observation and aided by investigations when indicated.
Download the PDF for the full article.