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Limb temperature and human tremors.
  1. M Lakie,
  2. E G Walsh,
  3. L A Arblaster,
  4. F Villagra,
  5. R C Roberts
  1. Applied Physiology Research Unit, University of Birmingham, UK.


    The changes in postural tremor of the hand produced by moderate cooling of the muscles of one forearm have been investigated in 16 normal subjects and in 16 patients with essential tremor. In both groups, cooling produced a profound long lasting decrease in tremor level of the ipsilateral hand. In normal subjects, although cooling reduced the tremor size, the EMG of the active muscle clearly increased. Warming the limb in normal subjects produced an increase in tremor level and decrease in EMG. Cooling or warming the limb did not, however, significantly change the peak frequency which was quite stable for each subject. The results of cooling were compared with a brief period of ischaemia, which also reduces tremor size. Local cooling may be a useful manoeuvre for patients with essential tremor, and for others who wish to reduce their tremor temporarily in order to improve dexterity.

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