Anxiety spectrum disorders are common in patients with orthostatic tremor

D. E. Bhatti, R. J. Thompson, K. Malgireddy, N. M. Syed, B. Bayer, D. Bessette, M. H. Fleisher, D. L. Murman, D. Torres-Russotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Orthostatic Tremor (OT) is a rare movement disorder characterized by a sensation of unsteadiness while standing and associated with high frequency tremors. Patients with OT commonly report a fear of falling and significant limitations in everyday activities. The prevalence of psychiatric comorbidities in OT patients has not been well-studied. Methods: Subjects were evaluated by trained psychiatry researchers using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I.). The M.I.N.I is a validated screening tool for psychiatric disorders. A standardized history covering previous psychiatric symptoms and illnesses was also obtained. Results: 29 OT subjects were evaluated. The mean age was 67.7 years with female preponderance (89.3%). The average disease symptom duration was 18.2 years. 58.6% of the subjects had seen a mental health professional during the course of their OT illness. 24.1% of the subjects had a past history of depression, and 10.3% reported a family history of any psychiatric condition. 37.9% of the subjects screened positive for agoraphobia. Two of 29 subjects (6.9%) were classified as having a current major depressive episode and one subject (3.4%) was at risk for suicide. Conclusions: Psychiatric comorbidities are highly prevalent in OT patients, especially anxiety-spectrum disorders. Further studies are needed to understand if psychiatric disorders appear as a secondary response to the patient's symptoms, or are a primary non-motor manifestation of OT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-12
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Parkinsonism and Related Disorders
Volume1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Anxiety spectrum disorders
  • Orthostatic tremor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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