Tags: essential tremor | treatment | side effects | symptoms | medicines

Essential Tremor: What Are the Treatments?

Friday, 20 Dec 2013 09:06 PM

Essential tremor is a neurological disorder in which the arms and hands shake. Other than the limbs, it can also affect other body parts like the head or the voice. Shaking occurs while performing simple tasks like shaving, holding a glass, writing, or tying shoelaces. Essential tremor is not dangerous, but it can become worsen if proper treatment is not provided.
 
People of any age can be affected by essential tumor, but it is more common in people above 40. Symptoms of essential tremor may worsen because of fatigue, caffeine, and emotional stress. This familial tremor may be caused due to genetic mutation though the precise cause of essential tremor is still not clear.     
 
Medicines are used for the treatment of essential tremor. However, any treatment using medicines may cause side effects. Propranolol and primidone are among medicines found effective in treating essential tremor and in reducing associated symptoms in around 8 out of 10 affected people.

Propanolol comes under the category of beta-blockers. Usually used for the treatment of heart diseases, care should be taken by patients having asthma or heart conditions. Side effects of this medicine include nausea, dizziness, and tiredness.

Primidone is a medicine used for the treatment of essential tremor, though it is usually used for curing epilepsy. Side effects of primidone include nausea, sleepiness, and dizziness.

Other medicines like benzodiazepines are also used to treat essential tremor. Side effects of these medicines include sedation and risk of dependence. Treatment begins with patients generally being given lower doses of medicines that are increased slowly if no side effects or negative symptoms are visible.
 
Other than these medicines, nonmedical methods of treatment can benefit the patients of essential tremor. Applying wrist weights can help in reducing the tremor symptoms. Relaxation techniques and biofeedback can also be beneficial treatments for essential tremor. Avoiding dietary stimulants like caffeine can benefit patients by reducing the associated symptoms. 
 
If no relief is found through medical and nonmedical treatment methods, surgical options can be considered for treating symptoms. Surgical lesion can help in controlling the symptoms of essential tremor. Placing it in the ventral intermediate thalamus in the brain has been found to benefit 80 to 90 percent of people affected with essential tremor. Deep brain stimulation can also be used. Side effects of surgical treatment methods may include weakness, problem with balance, and headache. Physical and occupational therapies can also be treatment methods for treating essential tremor. For improving muscle strength, physical therapists can suggest exercises, which have no side effects.  

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Essential tremor is a distressing neurological condition that requires treatment. We outline its symptoms, medicines, and their side effects below.
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2013-06-20
Friday, 20 Dec 2013 09:06 PM
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