Case Report - Orthostatic tremor: report of a case and review of the literature|
K. B. Bhattacharyya, S. Basu, A. D. Roy, S. Bhattacharya
Orthostatic tremor is a rare movement disorder characterized by tremulousness of the lower limbs on standing that disappears on walking, sitting or on lying down and a distinctive electromyographic burst of 14 to 16 Hz. On inspection, fine ripples can sometimes be seen over the quadriceps on standing. The tremor has a tendency to reappear even in the supine posture if the lower limb muscles are put to an isometric contraction state, indicating thereby that in spite of the fact that the tremor occurs on standing, it is essentially `orthostasis independent' and the central factor is the contraction of the muscles. As a matter of fact, the tremor is abolished if the subject is suspended by harness, thus relieving him of muscle contraction. Doubts are being cast whether it is a variant of essential tremor since a number of families are being reported to be suffering from this disease as well. Positron emission tomography reveals hyperactivity of cerebellum in orthostatic tremor as it shows in essential tremor, therefore lending credence to such a hypothesis. However, lack of response to alcohol, propranolol and primidone in orthostatic tremor stands out as a serious challenge to such a view. Lack of positive family history, synchrony of contracting group of muscles and negative 'reseting' of the tremor by increasing peripheral load-phenomena consistently observed in orthostatic tremor and not in essential tremor, are other features that often help to distinguish between the two conditions. We report a case of orthostatic tremor that presented with the classical clinical and eletromyographic features. Relevant literature in this regard is also being reviewed.
Orthostatic tremor, Electromyography, Essential tremor