Cerebral toxoplasmosis in Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) patients also provides unifying pathophysiologic hypotheses for Holmes tremor

Alain Zingraff Lekoubou Looti, Rodrigue Njouoguep, Callixte Kuate, André P. Kengne

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Background: Holmes tremor is a rare symptomatic movement disorder. Currently suggested pathophysiological mechanisms of the disease are mostly derived from stroke cases. Although rare, cerebral toxoplasmosis may strengthen the pathophysiologic mechanism of disease.Case presentation: A case of Holmes tremor secondary to cerebral toxoplasmosis in an AIDS patient is presented. A relevant literature search was performed, using pubmed and several entries for Holmes tremor as labelled in the literature. The unifying feature of our case and those of the literature is the involvement of either the cerebello-thalamo-cortical and/or the dentato-rubro-olivary pathways. The abscess or the extension of surrounding edema beyond these two circuits may account for the superimposed dysfunction of the nigrostriatal system in some but not all cases. The short delay observed in our observation and the dramatic response to treatment may indirectly support the secondary neuronal degeneration theory in the mechanism of Holmes tremor.Conclusion: Cases of cerebral toxoplasmosis in AIDS patients also provide arguments for the role of the thalamo-cortical and/or the dentato-rubro-olivary pathways dysfunction in the pathogenesis of Holmes tremor. Involvement of the nigro-striatal pathway may not be crucial in the development of this syndrome. Our case also brings additional indirect arguments for the role of secondary neuronal degeneration in the mechanism of Holmes tremor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number37
JournalBMC Neurology
Publication statusPublished - Jun 3 2010


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology

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