Dr. Pan, Ming-Kai 's Personal Homepage


  • 2789-9059 (Lab) (Room No: N901)

  • Movement Disorders
  • Cerebellar physiology
  • In-vivo electrophysiology & optogenetics
  • Fiber-photometry and in-vivo two-photon imaging
  • Clinical electrophysiology

Education and Positions:
  • M.D. Ph.D.
    Associate Professor, Department and Graduate Inst. of Pharmacology, Nat'l Taiwan Univ.
    Attending Physician, Department of Medical Research, Nat'l Taiwan Univ. Hospital

Highlight Detail

Neuronal population activity in the olivocerebellum encodes the frequency of essential tremor in mice and patients

Dr. Pan, Ming-Kai
Science Translational Medicine, May 15, 2024

Essential tremor (ET) is the most prevalent movement disorder, characterized primarily by action tremor, an involuntary rhythmic movement with a specific frequency. However, the neuronal mechanism underlying the coding of tremor frequency remains unexplored. Here, we used in vivo electrophysiology, optogenetics, and simultaneous motion tracking in the Grid2dupE3 mouse model to investigate whether and how neuronal activity in the olivocerebellum determines the frequency of essential tremor. We report that tremor frequency was encoded by the temporal coherence of population neuronal firing within the olivocerebellums of these mice, leading to frequency-dependent cerebellar oscillations and tremors. This mechanism was precise and generalizable, enabling us to use optogenetic stimulation of the deep cerebellar nuclei to induce frequency-specific tremors in wild-type mice or alter tremor frequencies in tremor mice. In patients with ET, we showed that deep brain stimulation of the thalamus suppressed tremor symptoms but did not eliminate cerebellar oscillations measured by electroencephalgraphy, indicating that tremor-related oscillations in the cerebellum do not require the reciprocal interactions with the thalamus. Frequency-disrupting transcranial alternating current stimulation of the cerebellum could suppress tremor amplitudes, confirming the frequency modulatory role of the cerebellum in patients with ET. These findings offer a neurodynamic basis for the frequency-dependent stimulation of the cerebellum to treat essential tremor.