Acta Neurologica Belgica

, Volume 118, Issue 2, pp 235–241 | Cite as

Evaluation of thickness of retinal nerve fiber layer, ganglion cell layer, and choroidal thickness in essential tremor: can eyes be a clue for neurodegeneration?

  • Ali Zeynel Abidin Tak
  • Yıldızhan Şengül
  • Ayşe Sevgi Karadağ
Original Article


The pathology of essential tremor (ET) and underlying mechanisms of the disease are still unclear, but an increasing amount of research has been conducted on the subject. Discussions are ongoing about ET’s definition as a neurodegenerative disease. Optic coherence tomography (OCT) provides a window to the brain where direct visualization of central nervous system (CNS) changes may be possible, and it can help us to develop a new point of view on ET. The goal of this study was to examine OCT parameters in ET. 40 ET patients and 40 healthy controls, i.e., a total of 160 eyes were evaluated. Retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), ganglion cell layer (GCL), inner plexiform layer (IPL), and choroid thinning were analyzed using spectral domain OCT. The mean age was 25.77 ± 8.98 in the ET group and 27.25 ± 8.22 in the control group. We found a decreased global RNFL thickness for both eyes in ET patients. All GCL and IPL thickness parameters were lower in the patients with ET (P < 0.001, P 0.03). Choroid was significantly thicker in ET patients than the controls (P < 0.001). Our study’s results suggest that the usefulness of OCT in detecting neurodegeneration in ET. RNFL, GCL, IPL measurements are highly reproduced findings of neurodegeneration. Increased choroid volume may indicate neuroinflammation. Eyes in ET may shed light on nature of the disease, and may be used as a diagnostic tool.


Optic coherence tomography Essential tremor Retinal nerve fiber layer Ganglion cell layer Choroidal thickness 



We thank Psy. Hakan Serdar Sengul and Dr. Neslihan Cevik for their valuable contribution.

Compliance with ethical standards


There was no funding source in this study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The study was conducted in accordance with the ethical principles stated in the “Declaration of Helsinki” and was approved by the Ethical Committee of the Adıyaman University Hospital.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from the participants after the nature of the procedures had been fully explained.


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Copyright information

© Belgian Neurological Society 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ali Zeynel Abidin Tak
    • 1
  • Yıldızhan Şengül
    • 2
  • Ayşe Sevgi Karadağ
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Neurology, School of MedicineAdiyaman University Siteler MahallesiAdiyamanTurkey
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyBezmialem Vakif Universitesi HastanesiIstanbulTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Ophthalmolgy, School of MedicineAdiyaman University Siteler MahallesiAdiyamanTurkey

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