A brain network model explaining tremor in Parkinson's disease

Christian Duval, Jean Francois Daneault, William D. Hutchison, Abbas F. Sadikot

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This paper presents a novel model of tremor in Parkinson's disease (PD) based on extensive literature review as well as novel results stemming from functional stereotactic neurosurgery for the alleviation of tremor in PD. Specifically, evidence that suggests the basal ganglia induces PD tremor via excessive inhibitory output to the thalamus and altered firing patterns which in turn generate rhythmic bursting activity of thalamic cells is presented. Then, evidence that the thalamus generates PD tremor by facilitating the generation and consolidation of rhythmic bursting activity of neurons within its nuclei is also offered. Finally, evidence that the cerebellum may modulate characteristics of PD tremor by treating it as if it was a voluntary motor behavior is presented. Accordingly, the current paper proposes that PD tremor is induced by abnormal basal ganglia activity; it is generated by the thalamus, and modulated or reinforced by the cerebellum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-59
Number of pages11
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology


  • Basal ganglia
  • Cerebellum
  • Oscillator
  • Parkinsonian
  • Tremor

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