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Valproate-induced rest tremor and parkinsonism

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Tremor and parkinsonism are recognized side effects of valproate; however, the relationship between rest tremor and other signs of parkinsonism has not been addressed in patients taking valproate. We studied a cohort of 125 consecutive patients treated with valproate due to epilepsy or migraine, evaluated with the Fahn–Tolosa–Marin Tremor Rating Scale (FTM-TRS). A total of 14 (11.2%) patients had rest tremor (bilateral n = 10, unilateral n = 4). Patients with rest tremor had significant higher scores in the FTM-TRS (P < 0.001), but only one was diagnosed with parkinsonism. Patients may have valproate-induced parkinsonism or exacerbated motor features of Parkinson’s disease by valproate. The frequency of parkinsonism was 1.6% in this cohort and of 3% in the pooled data of 717 patients from previous reports. Rest tremor is observed in 11.2% of patients treated with valproate and is related to the burden of valproate-induced tremor, rather than the presence of parkinsonism.

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Authors and Affiliations



JFB: 1A, 1B, 1C, 3A, 3B. MA: 1B, 1C, 3A. [(1) Research project: A. conception, B. organization, C. execution. (2) Statistical analysis: A. design, B. execution, C. review and critique. (3) Manuscript: A. writing of the first draft, B. review and critique.]

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Correspondence to José Fidel Baizabal-Carvallo.

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Baizabal-Carvallo, J.F., Alonso-Juarez, M. Valproate-induced rest tremor and parkinsonism. Acta Neurol Belg 121, 515–519 (2021).

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  • Tremor
  • Drug-induced tremor
  • Valproate
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Parkinsonism