Factor structure of motor signs in essential tremor

Elan D. Louis, La Keisha Applegate, Pam Factor-Litvak, Michael K. Parides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Motor signs in essential tremor (ET) are varied. Patients may have limb tremors, including postural, kinetic (e.g. writing, pouring), and rest tremors, head tremor, voice tremor, or chin tremor. Factor analysis allows one to determine whether these signs fall into a smaller number of discrete domains. Such an analysis has not been performed on a group of ET cases. ET cases (n = 168) were recruited from the Neurological Institute of New York and a videotaped examination was performed. A factor analysis was performed on 17 motor items. Four distinct factors emerged, explaining 68.7% of the total variance. These were factor I (action tremor in the dominant arm), factor II (action tremor in the nondominant arm), factor III (tremor at rest) and factor IV (chin tremor, head tremor, and voice tremor). The demonstration of these four factors will be of potential use for pathological and genetic studies as well as interventional studies, as will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-47
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical characteristics
  • Essential tremor
  • Factor analysis


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