The pathophysiology of parkinsonian tremor: a review
- Cite this article as:
- Deuschl, G., Raethjen, J., Baron, R. et al. J Neurol (2000) 247(Suppl 5): V33. doi:10.1007/PL00007781
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Parkinsonian tremor is most likely due to oscillating neuronal activity within the CNS. Summarizing all the available evidence, peripheral factors only play a minor role in the generation, maintenance and modulation of PD tremor. Recent studies have shown that not a single but multiple oscillators and responsible. The most likely candidate producing these oscillations is the basal ganglia loop and its topographic organization might be responsible for the separation into different oscillators which, nevertheless, usually produce the same frquency. The neuronal mechanisms underlying these oscillations are not yet clear, but three hypotheses would be compatible with the presently available data from animal models and data recorded in patients. The first is a cortico-subthalamo-pallido-thalamic loop, the second is a pacemaker consisting of the external pallidum and the subthalamic nucleus, and the third is abnormal synchronization due to unknown mechanisms within the whole striato-pallido-thalamic pathway leading to a loss of segregation. Assuming the oscillator within the basal ganglia pathway, the mechanism of stereotactic surgery might be a desynchronization of the activity of the basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical or the cerebello-thalamo-cortical pathway.