Brain Chemistry in Patients with ET Summary

Researcher Dr. Holly Shill, Director of the Christopher Center for Parkinson Research at Sun Health Research Institute, recently published the article “Brain Biochemistry in Autopsied Patients with Essential Tremor” in Movement Disorders. This study builds on previous research funded by the IETF.

A report on that earlier research, “Pathologic findings in prospectively ascertained essential tremor subjects,” was published in Neurology (2008).

“This latest study is the logical next step. First, we looked at pathology in that publication,” says Dr. Shill. “Then, we looked at biochemistry in this current publication as that may be a more sensitive measure. I think we have really ruled out a significant link between PD and ET. Also, this current study says that the adrenalin system does not seem to be primarily affected in ET. However, it does suggest a role of the GABA system that warrants more investigation.”

In “Brain Biochemistry” the research team examined biochemical /anatomical systems in the brainstem, striatum, and cerebellum of autopsied subjects. They considered the possibility that ET-like tremor may be a manifestation of the underlying biochemical changes of Parkinson’s disease (PD).