Vol 47, No 3 (2013)

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Tremor associated with focal and segmental dystonia

Monika Rudzińska1, Małgorzata Krawczyk1, Magdalena Wójcik-Pędziwiatr1, Andrzej Szczudlik1, Anna Wasielewska1
DOI: 10.5114/ninp.2013.35584
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2013;47(3):223-231.


Background and purpose

Tremor occurs in 10–85% of patients with focal dystonia as so-called dystonic tremor or tremor associated with dystonia. The aim of this study was to assess the incidence and to characterize parameters of tremor accompanying focal and segmental dystonia.

Material and methods

One hundred and twenty-three patients with diagnosis of focal and segmental dystonia together with 51 healthy controls were included in the study. For each participant, clinical examination and objective assessment (accelerometer, electromyography, graphic tablet) of hand tremor was performed. Frequency and severity of tremor were assessed in three positions: at rest (rest tremor); with hands extended (postural tremor); during ‘finger-to-nose’ test and during Archimedes spiral drawing (kinetic tremor). Based on the mass load test, type of tremor was determined as essential tremor type or enhanced physiological type.


The incidence of tremor was significantly higher in dystonic patients as compared to controls (p = 0.0001). In clinical examination, tremor was found in 50% of dystonic patients, and in instrumental assessment in an additional 10–20%. The most frequent type of tremor was postural and kinetic tremor with 7 Hz frequency and featured essential tremor type. In the control group, tremor was detected in about 10% of subjects as 9-Hz postural tremor of enhanced physiological tremor type. No differences were found between patients with different types of dystonia with respect to the tremor incidence, type and parameters (frequency and severity). No correlations between tremor severity and dystonia severity were found either.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska