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Keywords:

  • sway;
  • orthostatic tremor;
  • proprioception;
  • postural control

Abstract

Sway parameters in orthostatic tremor (OT) patients were compared with age-matched controls. The effects of vision (eyes open or closed), stance width (feet apart or together), and external support (with or without) on sway and 14–18 Hz energy were measured. Sway in OT patients decreased in the presence of each of the stabilizing factors but the extent of benefit obtained by OT patients was significantly less than controls for support for the sagittal plane (22% vs. 42% decrease; P < 0.01) and feet apart in the mediolateral plane (38% vs. 65% decrease; P < 0.01). Three patients with proprioceptive loss also had a reduced response to these factors. Energy in the 14–18 Hz range did not always change in parallel with sway levels. Vision suppresses activity at the OT frequency in patients. Postural control mechanisms in OT remain responsive to postural conditions, but patients differ significantly from normals in the degree of their responsiveness. OT appears to have disruption of the normal generation or processing of proprioceptive signals as one of its important components. © 2005 Movement Disorder Society