Essential Tremor

Essential tremor is an involuntary movement disorder that involves tremors in the arms, hands, and fingers. Essential tremor is different from Parkinson’s disease because the tremors become more severe when the muscles are being used, where rather Parkinson’s tremors happen without movement. There are medical treatments for ET but rest and avoided stress is an effective way to prevent severe symptoms. The cause of ET is unknown but it can be inherited through genes.

Cause: The cause of ET is mainly through genetic mutation passed down. All other causes for ET are unknown.

Symptoms: ET symptoms begin gradually usually starting with the hands. ET symptoms become more severe with stress, exhaustion, and increased body exertion.

ET vs Parkinson’s disease: ET and Parkinson’s disease are sometimes mistaken for each other in early diagnosis. ET happens when there is movement or exertion in the body while Parkinson’s symptoms happen without any movement. ET doesn’t affect other health problems in the body while Parkinson’s affects body posture and slow movements. ET symptoms usually affect the hands and head while Parkinson’s can affect all parts of the body.

Treatment: There are various medical treatment drugs that can reduce the symptoms of ET. These include: beta blocks, anti-seizure meds, tranquilizers, and Botox injections. Physical and occupational therapy can be used to help stabilize strength and coordination.

Helpful Links:

International Essential Tremor Foundation

NINDS Essential Tremor Information Page

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