Low frequency rest tremor is one of the cardinal signs of Parkinson's disease and some of its animal models. Current physiological studies and models of the basal ganglia differ as to which aspects of neuronal activity are crucial to the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease. There is evidence that neural oscillations and synchronization play a central role in the generation of the disease. However, parkinsonian tremor is not strictly correlated with the synchronous oscillations in the basal ganglia networks. Rather, abnormal basal ganglia output enforces abnormal thalamo-cortical processing leading to akinesia, the main negative symptom of Parkinson's disease. Parkinsonian tremor has probably evolved as a downstream compensatory mechanism.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported in part by a Center of Excellence grant from the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) and the ‘Fighting against Parkinson’ Foundation of the Hebrew University Netherlands Association (HUNA). We thank E Singer for critical reading and language editing.