Gait abnormality in essential tremor

Carlos Singer, Juan Sanchez‐Ramos, William J. Weiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


Essential tremor (ET) has been described as a monosymptomatic disorder. In reports describing large series of patients with ET, there are rare patients who exhibit a noticeable gait disorder. However, we have observed that patients with ET and normal gait often exhibit an abnormality of tandem gait. To investigate this observation, we examined whether a gait disorder was present in 36 consecutive patients (mean age 69) with ET. We employed a tremor rating scale that scored tremor amplitude, location, and disability. In all patients, gait and tandem gait were separately evaluated. Eighteen of 36 patients (50%) exhibited tandem gait abnormalities in the presence of a normal narrow-based gait compared to 11 of 40 age-matched controls (28%) (p < 0.05). Abnormality of tandem gait was more frequently present in older ET patients and those with > 5 years of disease duration. No relationship was found between presence of tandem gait abnormality and gender, tremor severity, head involvement, or positive family history. The finding of a tandem gait abnormality in 50% of ET patients suggests that cerebellar dysfunction may be important in its pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-196
Number of pages4
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1994


  • Cerebellar dysfunction
  • Essential tremor
  • Gait disorders
  • Tandem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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