Frequency difference between tremors ... - Parkinson's Movement

Parkinson's Movement

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Frequency difference between tremors and dyskinesia


This may be too technical for this list, but there seems to be some technical people here. Also realize I'm looking at this from the perspective of an electrical engineer, not a biologist. My observation of tremors is that they are at a frequency between 3 and 4 Hz, which is within the frequency of delta brain waves (0 to 4 Hz). I don't have direct experience with dyskinesia, but its periodic motion appears to have a longer period (slower frequency). It isn't easy to find videos that actually show dyskinesia, but Michael J. Fox's dyskinesia is about 1 Hz and isn't always periodic. Is there an explanation for these frequency relationships that can help explain PD.

Appendix: The 5 Different Brainwave Frequencies and What They Mean

"These [delta] waves are also interconnected with proper digestion, regular heart beat and proper blood pressure."

What is the function of the various brainwaves?

"The final brainwave state is delta. Here the brainwaves are of the greatest amplitude and slowest frequency. They typically center around a range of 1.5 to 4 cycles per second. They never go down to zero because that would mean that you were brain dead. But, deep dreamless sleep would take you down to the lowest frequency. Typically, 2 to 3 cycles a second."

"Research has shown that although one brainwave state may predominate at any given time, depending on the activity level of the individual, the remaining three brain states are present in the mix of brainwaves at all times. In other words, while somebody is an aroused state and exhibiting a beta brainwave pattern, there also exists in that person's brain a component of alpha, theta and delta, even though these may be present only at the trace level."

20 Replies

pvw2 Yes, I know exactly what you mean about the frequency difference. I don't have tremor but do have dyskinesia. From what I've read, dyskinesia arises via a different process/channel/mechanism from parkinsonian movement, which may account for the frequency difference.

Looking at Parkinson's from an electrical/vibrational perspective sounds really interesting; keep us posted, eh? Good luck!

If all disease is a lowering of frequency’s, per Dr. Joe Dispenza. Were did you come up with brain waves are 3-4 Hz. I found this on the web.

Frequency range


Usually associated with:

> 40 Hz

Gamma waves

Higher mental activity, including perception, problem solving, and consciousness

13–39 Hz

Beta waves

Active, busy thinking, active processing , active concentration, arousal, and cognition

7–13 Hz

Alpha waves

Calm relaxed yet alert state

4–7 Hz

Theta waves

Deep meditation /relaxation, REM sleep

< 4 Hz

Delta waves

Deep dreamless sleep,

pvw2 in reply to Cons10s

See edited question. I think the 3-4 Hz came from brain waves during sleep.

1. Parkinson's causes nerve impulses to propagate more slowly

2. The body has an automatic control system that keeps our arms where we last left them when we are not paying attention to their position

3. This system is a feedback loop involving proprioception as an input and muscle control of position as an output

4. When excessive delay is introduced into a feedback loop the result is oscillation which in this case manifests as tremors.

5. The frequency of oscillation is related to the time it takes for signal to propagate around this feedback loop.

The tremors stop when you transfer control of limb position from this automatic system to paying conscious attention.

Dyskinesia is due to a different mechanism and I do not have good insight as to how to model it.

ion_ion in reply to park_bear

"The tremors stop when you transfer control of limb position from this automatic system to paying conscious attention. "

What do you mean?

In my case the tremor stops when the focus is diverted away or when I get in a fully relaxed position (limbs not in gear but in neutral).

park_bear in reply to ion_ion

I was referring to paying deliberate consciousness attention to the limb that is trembling.

My tremor also stops when I am deeply relaxed.

ion_ion in reply to park_bear

Interesting. My tremor intensifies when I do that.

I have had tremor dominant PD (mainly left hand) for 5 years. I have been testing an app "StudyMyTremor" for some months. The results are very variable depending on my state of mind, body and emotions. The results so far show most frequency results in the range - left hand: 5.0 - 5.5 Hz; right hand 4.0-4.5 Hz. The app also measures amplitude and power which are even more variable.

pvw2 in reply to froome

StudyMyTremor appears to only be available for an iPhone. However, Play Store has at least two apps searching "tremor" and more under Parkinson's Disease. It should be more accurate than using a stopwatch. Anyone have any experience with the Android apps?

froome in reply to pvw2

It measures the tremor in the hand and requires that any movement in the arm is prevented . This is not easy!!!

It appears to measure and display 3 types of tremor using the accelerometer in the iphone. I can't get into the original paper to see how these are averaged.

An excellent thread. Appreciation to pvw2 and the others who've responded informatively!

Tremor Test

It looks like one of the most useful things about measuring frequency and amplitude of tremors is analyst are beginning to use these measurements for real time measurements of how things affect tremors (attached link). This has also a possibility for dyskinesia.

new method measure tremor - TNR

Is there any actual value or use to be put from all of this? Am not familiar with study my tremor.

Because I can think of several variables that would require making assumptions involving condition of the mechanical conditions that would render each person's situation unique, such as condition of the nerves, myelination, electrolyte balances, personal difference in speed of signaling, whether such speed is supported as uniform or not based on the physical characteristics of the entire length of the signalling equipment, including whether well or not-consistently myelinated along the way and other impedence and speed influencing physical factors, whether those factors are unique or universal as well as whether they are known, and nature of signaling being electrochemical and controlled by levels of potentiation rather than absolute potentiations (such as in copper wires) and other conductivity factors, rather that physically unimpeded electrons, i.e., mechanical engineering properties of the signaling equipment and mechanisms. Example: tremor can occur because two opposing forces always present become out of balance, rather than a single-direction potentiation...think of the way air brakes work on a semi-truck, the brakes are "always on" but held back by an opposing force, and when the truck needs to be slowed down by braking, additional force is applied on the "braking" side to slow the truck, but the brakes themselves are still "full-on." That's a different mechanism than using disc brakes whilst reducing the motor's acceleration force. Which is it in our nerve's mechanical case, it would seem to matter since the signal is very slow (electro-chemical, not nearly the speed of naked electricity; thus anything affecting it would have a larger variable effect as a factor differentiating individual people, making comparisons a bit harder to be confident about). Another variable: circuits are not driven by continous power supply, cells run out of substances that stimulate and build and initiate potentiation, and then supply yet enough for a certain length of signal as ion exchange propagates along the nerve axon as the minuses are replaced by a plus then moves along exchanging the plus for a new minus and new plus and new minus that eventually propagates many of these individual changes down the length of the axon and converts back, all chemical exchanges of a single "ping," and then have to refract (recycle) those ions back into position to repeat the next single ping signal, the multiple pings comprising eventually a signal signal of this strength, continuity or duration, etc. All these are controlled by individual capabilities of materials supply and recycle speed, signal material conductivity differences (does cold slow things down?). Every signal generated.

Seems a lot of variables to know of and define and then control to be useful in the case of people. Except for measuring how different treatments and applications affect the tremor, in which case it is really a measurement tool, fun perhaps and perhaps you learn something that works better or worse on the tremor. Otherwise, how do we derive a benefit? Is that the idea of it? Wouldn't it also be true that if something decreases my tremor, or makes it better or worse in some way, wouldn't I likely know it without all the details? Would I need an analyst to do it?

pvw2 in reply to MarionP

It appears that other than amplitude, knowing what is an improvement in tremors is still in its infancy. At this point, even amplitude may need to be an immediate real time comparison rather than an absolute. It is research in an area that distinguishes PD biology from Lewy body dementia. The same questions may have been asked about EEG's and EKG's before we learned to interpret them.

pvw2 in reply to MarionP

Quantitative analysis of tremor in Minamata disease.


Applying the techniques of power spectrum and pulse correlation, we carried out a quantitative analysis of tremor in normal subjects, patients with methyl mercury poisoning (Minamata disease) and patients with other diseases. We found that tremor of methyl mercury poisoning was different from physiological tremor and the other pathological tremors in frequency and amplitude.

pvw2 in reply to MarionP

The importance of making measurements like this, especially if it can separate PD into groups is it is actual data rather than theory. We don't know the cause of most PD, but we need to evaluate potential cures by cause. Ways to put PD in groups, even if we don't know the reason for the group, is a way to look at potential cures by group.

Maybe an oscillating ring on the hand with the same frequency but having a phase of 180 degrees may cut down the tremor.

pvw2 in reply to ion_ion

I'm not sure a ring has enough mass, but noise cancelling circuitry could counter the tremor and would need a way to distinguish tremor from desired movements.

pvw2 in reply to pvw2

To differentiate tremor from desired movement would probably take something like the squelch setting used in shortwave radio. Less forceful movement would get canceled. One would initially feel that amount of resistance to desired movement until movement continued.

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