Objective: Patients with essential tremor (ET) may exhibit non-motor features, including those that are neuropsychiatric. Depression and anxiety are the most common among these. This study aims to investigate the possible relationship between microstructural brain changes and symptoms of depression and anxiety in ET. Methods: We assessed 62 ET patients (40 women and 22 men, mean age 46.0 ± 20.4) for symptoms of depression and anxiety using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). Thirty-two patients had severe or moderate symptoms of anxiety, and 15 patients had severe or moderate depressive symptoms. Microstructural brain changes were evaluated using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), which was reported using fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), radial diffusivity (RD), and axial diffusivity (AD) values calculated for 17 regions of interest including the prefrontal cortex, paralimbic and limbic structures and cerebellar peduncles. We evaluated the relationship between observed changes in brain regions and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Results: Decreased left amygdala FA (p = 0.003) and increased left amygdala RD (p = 0.04) were detected in depressed vs. non-depressed ET patients. Left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) FA (p = 0.02) and left precuneus FA (p = 0.02) values differed between anxious patients vs. non-anxious ET patients. BDI scores were correlated with left amygdala FA and left RD, while BAI scores were correlated with left VLPFC FA and left precuneus FA. Discussion: Our results provide evidence that symptoms of depression and anxiety could be based in structural brain changes observed in patients with ET.
- Diffusion tensor imaging
- Essential tremor
- Non-motor symptoms
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging