Background: Essential tremor is the most common movement disorder in adults, but its exact etiology and pathophysiology are still not fully understood. There is some consensus, however, about the involvement of the cerebellum and accumulating evidence points towards a dysfunction of the gabaergic system. We hypothesize that the serotonin neurotransmission system may also play a role as it does in tremor in Parkinson disease. This study aimed to investigate the association between the severity of tremor symptoms and the gabaergic and serotoninergic neurotransmission systems in essential tremor. Material and methods: We measured the tremor clinical rating scale score and acquired DASB and Flumazenil PET scans in 10 patients who presented with essential tremor at different stages of clinical severity. Statistically significant correlations were sought between the scale scores and parametric binding potential images. Results: The correlation analysis of cerebellar Flumazenil uptake and tremor clinical rating scale scores reached statistical significance (R2 = 0.423, p = 0.041), whereas no association was detected in the DASB scans. Conclusions: The severity of tremor correlated with the abnormalities found in GABA receptor binding, suggesting a primary gabaergic deficiency or a functional abnormality at the level of GABAA receptor subtypes. These results may assist in the rational development of new pharmacological treatments for essential tremor. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
- Essential tremor