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Essential tremor in Parkinson's disease kindreds from a population of similar genetic background


  • Potential conflict of interest: None reported.


To investigate the possible association between essential tremor (ET) and Parkinson's disease (PD) we conducted a prospective clinical and epidemiological study in a population of similar genetic background. The first-degree relatives of 303 PD probands and 249 controls from Crete were evaluated for the presence of ET. In addition, the possible co-occurrence of ET and PD in the same family or in the same individual was investigated. Results showed that ET was present in the relatives of PD patients more often than in those of controls (OR:3.64, P < 0.001). The risk was even greater (OR: 4.48) when the affected proband had tremor-dominant or mixed PD. Female relatives and siblings of PD patients were more likely to have ET than male relatives and parents of PD patients (OR: 4.36 v/s 2.89 and 4.49 v/s 2.74, respectively). Twelve subjects had both ET and PD phenotypes. While this may have occurred by chance, a number of families were identified in which ET and PD were coinherited through the same parental line. Hence, in certain families ET and PD are genetically related probably sharing common hereditary predisposition. © 2009 Movement Disorder Society