Long-Term Measurement of Tremor



To account for the fluctuating and contextdependent nature of tremor, the method of ambulatory long-term electromyography (EMG) was developed for quantification of this symptom. It is based on successive evaluation of 15-s intervals by using a fast Fourier transformation (FFT). The standard results obtained are (a) tremor occurrence, a measure of how many intervals contain tremor; (b) mean tremor intensity; and (v) mean tremor frequency. This new method fulfills the so-called “test criteria” such as reliability, validity, sensitivity, and specificity for tremor quantification in essential tremor (ET) and Parkinson's disease (PD). In addition, we developed a method of determining the antagonist activation pattern by using cross-correlation analysis, also based on the long-term approach. This allows differentiation between ET and PD with a high sensitivity and a high interrater reliability. We conclude that long-term EMG is useful for both quantification and differentiation of tremor.