Parkinsonism Relat Disord 2014 Mar 27;20(3):314-7. Epub 2013 Dec 27.
Neuroimaging Research Unit, Institute of Bioimaging and Molecular Physiology, National Research Council, Germaneto, Catanzaro, Italy; Institute of Neurology, University "Magna Graecia", Germaneto, Catanzaro, Italy. Electronic address:
Purpose: This study is aimed at investigating the neuroanatomical patterns characterizing dystonic tremor in comparison with essential tremor.
Methods: Voxel-based morphometry and cortical thickness data of 12 patients with dystonic tremor, 14 patients with essential tremor and 23 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects were analyzed.
Results: Patients with dystonic tremor showed a thickening and increased gray matter volume (surviving whole-brain correction for multiple comparisons) of the left sensorimotor cortex when compared to other groups. Otherwise, patients with essential tremor were characterized by a subtle atrophy of the anterior cerebellar cortex.
Discussion: Our multimodal structural neuroimaging study demonstrated that patients with dystonic tremor and essential tremor are characterized by different neuroanatomical abnormalities. The involvement of the sensorimotor cortex in patients with dystonic tremor suggests that this disorder may share some pathophysiological mechanisms with focal dystonia.