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Essential tremor might be less frequent than Parkinson's disease in North Israel Arab villages

Authors

  • Amir Glik MD,

    1. Department of Neurology and The Sagol Neuroscience Center, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel
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    • The first two authors have equally contributed to this study.

  • Magdalena Masarwa MD,

    1. Department of Neurology and The Sagol Neuroscience Center, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel
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    • The first two authors have equally contributed to this study.

  • Amin Abuful MN,

    1. Department of Neurology, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel
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  • Amar Deeb BN,

    1. Department of Neurology, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel
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  • Rosa Strugatsky MD,

    1. Department of Neurology and The Sagol Neuroscience Center, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel
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  • Lindsay A. Farrer MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Medicine (Genetics Program), Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    2. Department of Neurology, Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    3. Department of Genetics and Genomics, Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    4. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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  • Robert P. Friedland MD,

    1. Department of Neurology, Laboratory of Neurogeriatrics, Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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  • Rivka Inzelberg MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurology and The Sagol Neuroscience Center, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel
    2. Department of Neurology, Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion, Haifa, Israel
    • Department of Neurology, The Sagol Neuroscience Center, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, 52621, Israel
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  • Potential conflict of interest: None reported.

Abstract

Essential tremor (ET) is much more prevalent than Parkinson's disease (PD) in Western countries. We estimated ET and PD prevalence in Wadi Ara Arabic villages in Northern Israel. In this door-to-door survey, all consenting residents aged ≥65 years were systematically examined by an Arabic speaking team. No prescreening questionnaires were used. A random sample of 900 subjects [437 males, mean age (SD) = 72.6 years (6.6)] of the 2,163 eligible residents were evaluated. Sixteen subjects had an action, intentional tremor. Tremor prevalence was estimated as 1.78% (95% CI 1.1–2.87). Nine of these had another likely cause of tremor. Only 7 patients were diagnosed as ET [prevalence 0.78% (95% CI 0.38–1.6)]. PD was diagnosed in 13 subjects. PD prevalence was 1.44% (95% CI 0.84–2.45). ET is unusually uncommon in this population and possibly even less frequent than PD. The PD prevalence in Wadi Ara is similar to that reported in Western countries. © 2008 Movement Disorder Society

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