Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Modulation of primary orthostatic tremor by magnetic stimulation over the motor cortex
  1. C H Tsaia,c,
  2. J G Semmlera,
  3. T E Kimbera,
  4. G Thickbroomb,
  5. R Stellb,
  6. F L Mastagliab,
  7. P D Thompsona
  1. aDepartment of Neurology and University Department of Medicine, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, Australia, bAustralian Neuromuscular Research Institute, Queen Elizabeth II Medical centre, Nedlands, Western Australia, cDepartment of Neurology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
  1. Professor P D Thompson, Department of Neurology and University Department of Medicine, Royal Adelaide Hospital, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia.


OBJECTIVES To study the role of corticomotor neuronal pathways in primary orthostatic tremor.

METHODS Transcranial magnetic stimuli at an intensity 10% above the resting motor threshold were delivered over the leg motor cortex in two patients with primary orthostatic tremor while standing still. Electromyographic responses in both tibialis anterior muscles were recorded after 20 stimuli given randomly at intervals of 120 to 180 seconds. Differences between predicted and actual times of occurrence of tremor bursts after the stimuli were used to calculate a resetting index, with a value of 0 representing no resetting and a value of 1 representing complete resetting.

RESULTS Transcranial magnetic stimulation evoked EMG responses in both tibialis anterior muscles, followed by transient suppression of tremor before reappearance of rhythmic EMG activity. Analysis of the timing of tremor bursts from EMG recordings before and after the magnetic stimuli disclosed that the phase of orthostatic tremor could be reset by brain stimulation (mean resetting indices 0.93 and 0.82).

CONCLUSION The results suggest that a central oscillator, involving the motor cortex, has a crucial role in either the generation or modulation of orthostatic tremor.

  • orthostatic tremor
  • tremor resetting
  • transcranial magnetic stimulation

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.