essential tremor

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Related to Essential benign tremor: Benign essential blepharospasm

tremor

 [trem´or, tre´mor]
an involuntary trembling of the body or limbs; it may have either a physical or a psychological cause. Early symptoms include trembling of the hands and nodding of the head. Tremors are often associated with parkinson's disease, which affects nerve centers in the brain that control the muscles. They also occur in cerebral palsy, hyperthyroidism, and withdrawal from narcotics or alcohol. They tend to develop as one of the results of aging, and are sometimes symptoms of temporary abnormal conditions such as insulin shock, or of poisoning, especially metallic poisoning. They sometimes appear with a high fever resulting from an infection. Tremors of psychological origin take many forms, some minor and some serious. Violent, uncontrollable trembling is often seen in certain phases of severe mental disorders. If there is no physiological cause, they may be a sign of general tension.
action tremor rhythmic, oscillatory movements of the outstretched upper limb when voluntary movements are attempted, as when writing or lifting a cup; it may also affect the voice and other parts. Called also intention tremor and volitional tremor.
coarse tremor that involving large groups of muscle fibers contracting slowly.
essential tremor a hereditary tremor with onset at varying ages, usually at about 50 years of age, beginning with a fine rapid tremor (as distinct from that of parkinsonism) of the hands, followed by tremor of the head, tongue, limbs, and trunk; it is aggravated by emotional factors, is accentuated by volitional movement, and in some cases is temporarily improved by alcohol.
fine tremor one in which the vibrations are rapid.
flapping tremor asterixis.
intention tremor action tremor.
parkinsonian tremor a type of resting tremor commonly seen with parkinsonism, consisting of slow, regular movements of the hands and sometimes the legs, neck, face, or jaw; it typically stops upon voluntary movement of the part and is intensified by stimuli such as cold, fatigue, and strong emotions.
physiologic tremor a rapid transient tremor of extremely low amplitude found in the limbs and sometimes the neck or face of normal individuals, only subtly detectable on an electromyogram and seldom visible to the naked eye; it may become accentuated and visible under certain conditions.
rest tremor (resting tremor) one occurring in a relaxed and supported limb, such as a parkinsonian tremor.
senile tremor one due to the infirmities of old age.
volitional tremor action tremor.

es·sen·tial trem·or

an action tremor of 4-8 Hz frequency that usually begins in early adult life and is limited to the upper limbs and head; called familial when it appears in several family members.

essential tremor

an involuntary fine shaking of the hand, the head, and the face, especially during routine body movements. It is a familial disorder inherited as an autosomal-dominant trait and appears during adolescence or in middle age, slowly progressing as a more pronounced disorder. The precise cause of this condition is not known. Essential tremor is aggravated by activity and emotion and can be reduced in some patients by the administration of mild sedatives, such as propranolol and diazepam, or with alcohol consumption. Also called benign essential tremor, familial tremor. Compare parkinsonism.

essential tremor

Neurology A benign idiopathic disorder characterized by rhythmic, moderately rapid tremor of voluntary muscles–hands, arms, head, larynx, eyelids, voice, evoked by activity and exacerbated by purposeful movement; if ET occurs in more than one member of a family, it is termed a familial tremor; emotional stress may ↑ tremors. See Tremor.

es·sen·tial trem·or

(ĕ-sen'shăl trem'ŏr)
An action tremor of 4-8 Hz frequency that usually begins in early adult life and is limited to the upper limbs and head; called familial when it appears in several family members.

essential tremor

Involuntary shaking of the hands, head, neck or voice often of genetic origin with an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance with variable penetrance.

Essential tremor

An uncontrollable (involuntary) shaking of the hands, head, and face. Also called familial tremor because it is sometimes inherited, it can begin in the teens or in middle age. The exact cause is not known.

es·sen·tial trem·or

(ĕ-sen'shăl trem'ŏr)
Action tremor of 4-8 Hz frequency that usually begins in early adult life and is limited to upper limbs and head.

Patient discussion about essential tremor

Q. Should I go for the knife? I have essential tremor for many years, and in the last few years it seems nothing helps it, and although I tried all the drugs my doctor could offer me, nothing helps. It really ruins my life, and recently I read about a surgery that suppose to treat it, called thalamotomy- does anyone know anything about it?

A. It's a possibility, and considered effective (reducing tremor in most of the patients). However, it has quite serious side effects, that can result even in weakness of some parts of your body. You should think really good before you opt for this treatment. Good luck!

Q. Hand tremors, 22 yrs. Meds have not worked. Is brain surgery the only option left? After taking medication I get about 2 1/2 hours of reduced tremors. After that I can't write my name. Eating is becoming a greater problem and there are times I need help even getting dressed. Frustration has caused me to get counseling. I've been on every medication authorized for the treatment of essential tremors. Increased dosages reduced the effect of the medicine.

A. Have you tried combination treatment with two drugs? It's considered more effective than treatment with one drug only.

Surgery is indeed a treatment option for severe, disabling tremor. However, all I can give you is a general advice - there's really no substitution for consulting a professional (e.g. a neurologist).

Take care,

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