Primary writing tremor: motor cortex reorganisation and disinhibition

Michelle Byrnes, Francis Mastaglia, S.E. Walters, Sarah Archer, Gary Thickbroom

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

35 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Primary writing tremor (PWT) is a task-specific tremor of uncertain origin. There has been debate as to whether PWT represents a variant of essential tremor or a tremulous form of focal dystonia related to writer's cramp. In writer's cramp there is evidence of changes in intracortical inhibition (0), as well as cortical motor reorganisation. Objective To study corticomotor organisation and short-latency ICI in a patient with typical task-specific PWT. Methods: Transcranial magnetic stimulation mapping of the corticomotor representation of the hand and studies of ICI using paired-pulse stimulation were performed in a 47-year-old right-handed woman with a pure task-specific writing tremor. Results The motor maps for the hand were displaced posteriorly on both sides and reverted to a normal position after treatment with botulinum toxin. Short-latency ICI was reduced for the dominant hand. Conclusion: The findings indicate reorganisation and disinhibition of the corticomotor projection to the hand and point to the participation of cortical centres in the origin of PWT. (C) 2004 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-104
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


Dive into the research topics of 'Primary writing tremor: motor cortex reorganisation and disinhibition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this