Essential tremor is a neurological condition that affects the nervous system and causes uncontrollable shaking of the hands, head, and other parts of the body. It’s a common disorder that affects people of all ages, but it’s more common in older adults. Essential tremor is a chronic condition that can be managed with treatment, but it’s important to seek medical attention if you’re experiencing symptoms.
The exact cause of essential tremor is unknown, but it’s believed to be caused by abnormal communication between certain areas of the brain that control movement. It may also be hereditary, with about 50% of cases having a genetic component. Essential tremor can be triggered or worsened by stress, anxiety, and caffeine consumption.
The primary symptom of essential tremor is involuntary shaking or tremors in the hands, arms, head, or other parts of the body. Tremors typically occur when the affected person is trying to perform a task or hold a position, such as holding a cup or writing. The tremors can also be worsened by stress, fatigue, or emotional excitement. Essential tremor typically does not cause other symptoms or affect daily activities, but in severe cases, it can interfere with activities of daily living, such as eating, dressing, or writing.
Diagnosis of essential tremor is based on the patient’s symptoms and a neurological examination. The physician may also perform blood tests, imaging tests, or other tests to rule out other conditions that may cause tremors, such as Parkinson’s disease.
There is no cure for essential tremor, but there are several treatment options that can help manage symptoms. Medications such as beta-blockers, anti-seizure medications, and tranquilizers can help reduce tremors. Botox injections can also be used to reduce tremors in specific areas of the body. In severe cases, deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery may be recommended, which involves implanting electrodes in the brain that regulate abnormal brain activity and reduce tremors.
Living with Essential Tremor
Living with essential tremor can be challenging, but there are several strategies that can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. These include avoiding triggers such as caffeine and stress, getting enough rest and exercise, and using assistive devices such as weighted utensils or writing aids.
Research is ongoing to understand the causes and treatment options for essential tremors. Ongoing research includes genetic studies, brain imaging studies, and clinical trials testing new treatments. The focus of the research is to better understand the underlying mechanisms of the disease and to develop new treatment approaches, including medications that target specific mechanisms of the disease. Clinical trials play an essential role in evaluating the safety and efficacy of novel treatments and interventions for essential tremor.
Essential tremor is a common neurological condition that causes involuntary shaking or tremors in the hands, head, or other parts of the body. While there is no cure for essential tremor, there are several treatment options available that can help manage symptoms. If you’re experiencing symptoms of essential tremor, it’s important to seek medical attention to rule out other conditions and determine the best treatment plan for you. With proper management, people with essential tremor can lead full and productive lives.
Participate in a Clinical Trial
If you or someone you know is interested in participating in a clinical trial related to essential tremor, there may be options available in your area. Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate new treatments, therapies, or interventions for a particular condition. By participating in a clinical trial, individuals can help advance our understanding of essential tremors and potentially benefit from new treatment options.
Enrolling in a clinical trial involves meeting certain eligibility criteria and following a study protocol that outlines the procedures, treatments, and assessments involved. Participants may receive compensation for their time and travel expenses. If you are interested in learning more about clinical trials for essential tremor or other conditions, click here to search for active trials in your area. Also review the Frequently Asked Question section by clicking here. The FAQ answers many questions relating to how to enroll, what should be expected and many other areas of interest.