Cognitive and neuropsychiatric features of orthostatic tremor: A case-control comparison

Julián Benito-León, Elan D. Louis, Verónica Puertas-Martín, Juan Pablo Romero, Michele Matarazzo, José Antonio Molina-Arjona, Cristina Domínguez-González, Álvaro Sánchez-Ferro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Introduction Evidence suggests that the cerebellum could play a role in the pathophysiology of orthostatic tremor. The link between orthostatic tremor and the cerebellum is of interest, especially in light of the role the cerebellum plays in cognition, and it raises the possibility that orthostatic tremor patients could have cognitive deficits consistent with cerebellar dysfunction. Our aim was to examine whether orthostatic tremor patients had cognitive deficits and distinct personality profiles when compared with matched controls. Methods Sixteen consecutive orthostatic tremor patients (65.7 ± 13.3 years) and 32 healthy matched controls underwent a neuropsychological battery and the Personality Assessment Inventory. In linear regression models, the dependent variable was each one of the neuropsychological test scores or the Personality Assessment Inventory subscales and the independent variable was orthostatic tremor vs. control. Results Adjusted for age in years, sex, years of education, comorbidity index, current smoker, and depressive symptoms, diagnosis (orthostatic tremor vs. healthy control) was associated with poor performance on tests of executive function, visuospatial ability, verbal memory, visual memory, and language tests, and on a number of the Personality Assessment Inventory subscales (somatic concerns, anxiety related disorders, depression, and antisocial features). Older-onset OT (> 60 years) patients had poorer scores on cognitive and personality testing compared with their younger-onset OT counterparts. Conclusion Orthostatic tremor patients have deficits in specific aspects of neuropsychological functioning, particularly those thought to rely on the integrity of the prefrontal cortex, which suggests involvement of frontocerebellar circuits. Cognitive impairment and personality disturbances could be disease-associated nonmotor manifestations of orthostatic tremor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-143
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
StatePublished - Feb 15 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Case-control study
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Orthostatic tremor
  • Personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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