Tremor in progressive supranuclear palsy

Shinsuke Fujioka, Avi A. Algom, Melissa E. Murray, Monica Y. Sanchez-Contreras, Pawel Tacik, Yoshio Tsuboi, Jay A. Van Gerpen, Ryan J. Uitti, Rosa Rademakers, Owen A. Ross, Zbigniew K. Wszolek, Dennis W. Dickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Introduction Tremor is thought to be a rare feature of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Methods We retrospectively reviewed the database of the CurePSP brain bank at Mayo Clinic Florida to retrieve all available clinical information for PSP patients. All patients underwent a standard neuropathological assessment and an immunohistochemical evaluation for tau and α-synuclein. DNA was genotyped for the MAPT H1/H2 haplotype. Results Of the 375 PSP patients identified, 344 had a documented presence or absence of tremor, which included 146 (42%) with tremor, including 29 (20%) with postural/action tremors, 16 (11%) with resting tremor, 7 (5%) with intention tremor, 20 (14%) with a combination of different types of tremor, and 74 (51%) patients who had tremor at some point during their illness, but details were unavailable. The tremor severity of 96% of the patients (54/55) who had this data was minimal to mild. The probability of observing a tremor during a neurological examination during the patient's illness was estimated to be ∼22%. PSP patients with postural/action tremors and PSP patients with resting tremor responded to carbidopa-levodopa therapy more frequently than PSP patients without tremor, although the therapy response was always transient. There were no significant differences in pathological findings between the tremor groups. Conclusions Tremor is an inconspicuous feature of PSP; however, 42% (146/344) of the PSP patients in our study presented some form of tremor. Because there is no curative therapy for PSP, carbidopa/levodopa therapy should be tried for patients with postural, action, and resting tremor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
StatePublished - 2016


  • Carbidopa/levodopa therapy
  • MAPT H1/H2 haplotype
  • Neuropathology
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy
  • Tremor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology


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