Laryngeal Tremor: Co-Occurrence with Other Movement Disorders.

Summary of "Laryngeal Tremor: Co-Occurrence with Other Movement Disorders."

Introduction: Limited epidemiologic information exists regarding the co-occurrence of laryngeal tremor (LT) and tremor in other parts of the body, and of other movement disorders. Tremor is the involuntary skeletal muscle contraction that leads to oscillatory movement. It can affect many parts of the body including the chin, neck, laryngeal muscles, or limbs. When it is not associated with parkinsonism, it is called an essential tremor. We reviewed our 5-year experience with LT patients and the presence of other movement disorders. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of 29 patients with LT seen in a voice clinic over a 5-year period from January 2004 to April 2009. Results: Of the 29 patients, 27 (93%) had co-incidence of another movement disorder. Of these patients, 45% had spasmodic dysphonia, 41% had oropharyngeal tremors, 38% had essential limb tremor, 31% had orofacial dystonias, and 24% had essential head and neck tremor. Only 1 patient (3%) presented with Parkinson's disease. Conclusion: Otolaryngologists may be the first to evaluate a patient for tremors. It is important to consider other movement disorders when examining these patients as neurologic assessment and treatment of other tremors may be beneficial.


Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa., USA.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: ORL; journal for oto-rhino-laryngology and its related specialties
ISSN: 1423-0275
Pages: 291-294


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Cyclical movement of a body part that can represent either a physiologic process or a manifestation of disease. Intention or action tremor, a common manifestation of CEREBELLAR DISEASES, is aggravated by movement. In contrast, resting tremor is maximal when there is no attempt at voluntary movement, and occurs as a relatively frequent manifestation of PARKINSON DISEASE.


Branches of the vagus (tenth cranial) nerve. The recurrent laryngeal nerves originate more caudally than the superior laryngeal nerves and follow different paths on the right and left sides. They carry efferents to all muscles of the larynx except the cricothyroid and carry sensory and autonomic fibers to the laryngeal, pharyngeal, tracheal, and cardiac regions.

A relatively common disorder characterized by a fairly specific pattern of tremors which are most prominent in the upper extremities and neck, inducing titubations of the head. The tremor is usually mild, but when severe may be disabling. An autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance may occur in some families (i.e., familial tremor). (Mov Disord 1988;13(1):5-10)

Branches of the VAGUS NERVE. The superior laryngeal nerves originate near the nodose ganglion and separate into external branches, which supply motor fibers to the cricothyroid muscles, and internal branches, which carry sensory fibers. The RECURRENT LARYNGEAL NERVE originates more caudally and carries efferents to all muscles of the larynx except the cricothyroid. The laryngeal nerves and their various branches also carry sensory and autonomic fibers to the laryngeal, pharyngeal, tracheal, and cardiac regions.

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