Treatment of essential tremor: Are there issues we are overlooking?

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28 Scopus citations


Background: Essential tremor (ET) is one of the most common neurological diseases. Although a large number of medications have been tested, there are only two first-line medications, primidone and propranolol, which is a situation that has not changed in approxi-mately 30 years. Several recent reviews have summarized the current pharmacotherapeutic options for ET and the approach to the management of ET patients. Yet there remain a number of important issues, both scientific and clinical, that have not been broached in the literature and that have therapeutic implications. Objectives: To introduce several clin-ical and scientific issues that have not formally entered the published literature on the treatment of ET. Methods: In September 2011, materials for this article were gathered during a literature search of PubMed using the following terms: ET, clinical, clinical trial, treatment, medications, therapeutics. English-language articles were selected for further review. Results: The paper focuses on several topics that have received scant or no dis-cussion in the published literature on ET therapeutics. These topics are as follows: the nature of the underlying disease pathophysiology, the presence of pathological hetero-geneity, the complexity of cellular and neurochemical changes which may be underlying this disorder, the presence of clinical heterogeneity, the selection of treatment endpoints, the effects of diagnostic uncertainty, the presence of cognitive and psychiatric features in ET, the identification of possible modifiable risk factors, and the absence of any neuropro-tective therapies. Conclusion: The author has identified several topics that have received scant or no discussion in the published literature on ET therapeutics. Further discussion of the issues raised here may lead to improvements in clinical trial methodologies as well as facilitate the development of fresh approaches to pharmacotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberArticle 91
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical
  • Essential tremor
  • Pharmacology
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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