© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York. The pathophysiology and the exact anatomy of essential tremor (ET) is not well known. One of the pillars that support the cerebellum as the main anatomical locus in ET is neurochemistry. This review examines the link between neurochemical abnormalities found in ET and cerebellum. The review is based on published data about neurochemical abnormalities described in ET both in human and in animal studies. We try to link those findings with cerebellum. γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the main neurotransmitter involved in the pathophysiology of ET. There are several studies about GABA that clearly points to a main role of the cerebellum. There are few data about other neurochemical abnormalities in ET. These include studies with noradrenaline, glutamate, adenosine, proteins, and T-type calcium channels. One single study reveals high levels of noradrenaline in the cerebellar cortex. Another study about serotonin neurotransmitter results negative for cerebellum involvement. Finally, studies on T-type calcium channels yield positive results linking the rhythmicity of ET and cerebellum. Neurochemistry supports the cerebellum as the main anatomical locus in ET. The main neurotransmitter involved is GABA, and the GABA hypothesis remains the most robust pathophysiological theory of ET to date. However, this hypothesis does not rule out other mechanisms and may be seen as the main scaffold to support findings in other systems. We clearly need to perform more studies about neurochemistry in ET to better understand the relations among the diverse systems implied in ET. This is mandatory to develop more effective pharmacological therapies.
- Essential tremor
- T-type calcium channels