Essential Tremor Information Page

Essential Tremor Information Page


What research is being done?

Scientists at the National Insitutte of Neurological Disorders and Stroke are evaluating the effectiveness of 1-octanol, a substance similar to alcohol but less intoxicating, for treating essential tremor. Results of two previous NIH studies have shown this agent to be promising as a potential new treatment.

Scientists are also studying the effectiveness of botulinum toxin as a treatment for a variety of involuntary movement disorders, including essential tremor of the hand.

Get information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Tremor

×
What research is being done?

Scientists at the National Insitutte of Neurological Disorders and Stroke are evaluating the effectiveness of 1-octanol, a substance similar to alcohol but less intoxicating, for treating essential tremor. Results of two previous NIH studies have shown this agent to be promising as a potential new treatment.

Scientists are also studying the effectiveness of botulinum toxin as a treatment for a variety of involuntary movement disorders, including essential tremor of the hand.

Get information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Tremor

Scientists at the National Insitutte of Neurological Disorders and Stroke are evaluating the effectiveness of 1-octanol, a substance similar to alcohol but less intoxicating, for treating essential tremor. Results of two previous NIH studies have shown this agent to be promising as a potential new treatment.

Scientists are also studying the effectiveness of botulinum toxin as a treatment for a variety of involuntary movement disorders, including essential tremor of the hand.

Get information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Tremor

Search Disorders

Definition
Definition
Treatment
Treatment
Prognosis
Prognosis
Clinical Trials
Clinical Trials
Organizations
Organizations
Publications
Publications
Definition
Definition

Tremor is an unintentional, somewhat rhythmic, muscle movement involving to-and-fro movements (oscillations) of one or more parts of the body. Essential tremor (previously called benign essential tremor) is the most common form of abnormal tremor. (In some people, tremor is a symptom of a neurological disorder or appears as a side effect of certain drugs.)  Although it may be mild and nonprogressive in some people, in others the tremor is slowly progressive, starting on one side of the body but eventually affecting both sides. Hand tremor is most common but the head, arms, voice, tongue, legs, and trunk may also be involved. Hand tremor may cause problems with purposeful movements such as eating, writing, sewing, or shaving. Head tremor may be seen as a "yes-yes" or "no-no" motion. Essential tremor may be accompanied by mild gait disturbance. Heightened emotion, stress, fever, physical exhaustion, or low blood sugar may trigger tremors or increase their severity. There may be mild degeneration in the certain parts of the cerebellum in persons with essential tremor.  Onset is most common after age 40, although symptoms can appear at any age. Children of a parent who has essential tremor have up to a 50 percent chance of inheriting the condition. Essential tremor is not associated with any known pathology.

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Definition

Tremor is an unintentional, somewhat rhythmic, muscle movement involving to-and-fro movements (oscillations) of one or more parts of the body. Essential tremor (previously called benign essential tremor) is the most common form of abnormal tremor. (In some people, tremor is a symptom of a neurological disorder or appears as a side effect of certain drugs.)  Although it may be mild and nonprogressive in some people, in others the tremor is slowly progressive, starting on one side of the body but eventually affecting both sides. Hand tremor is most common but the head, arms, voice, tongue, legs, and trunk may also be involved. Hand tremor may cause problems with purposeful movements such as eating, writing, sewing, or shaving. Head tremor may be seen as a "yes-yes" or "no-no" motion. Essential tremor may be accompanied by mild gait disturbance. Heightened emotion, stress, fever, physical exhaustion, or low blood sugar may trigger tremors or increase their severity. There may be mild degeneration in the certain parts of the cerebellum in persons with essential tremor.  Onset is most common after age 40, although symptoms can appear at any age. Children of a parent who has essential tremor have up to a 50 percent chance of inheriting the condition. Essential tremor is not associated with any known pathology.

Treatment
Treatment

There is no definitive cure for essential tremor. Symptomatic drug therapy may include propranolol or other beta blockers and primidone, an anticonvulsant drug. Eliminating tremor "triggers" such as caffeine and other stimulants from the diet is often recommended. Physical and occupational therapy may help to reduce tremor and improve coordination and muscle control for some individuals.  Deep brain stimulation uses a surgically implanted, battery-operated medical device called a neurostimulator to delivery electrical stimulation to targeted areas of the brain that control movement, temporarily blocking the nerve signals that cause tremor.  Other surgical intervention is effective but may have side effects.

×
Treatment

There is no definitive cure for essential tremor. Symptomatic drug therapy may include propranolol or other beta blockers and primidone, an anticonvulsant drug. Eliminating tremor "triggers" such as caffeine and other stimulants from the diet is often recommended. Physical and occupational therapy may help to reduce tremor and improve coordination and muscle control for some individuals.  Deep brain stimulation uses a surgically implanted, battery-operated medical device called a neurostimulator to delivery electrical stimulation to targeted areas of the brain that control movement, temporarily blocking the nerve signals that cause tremor.  Other surgical intervention is effective but may have side effects.

Definition
Definition

Tremor is an unintentional, somewhat rhythmic, muscle movement involving to-and-fro movements (oscillations) of one or more parts of the body. Essential tremor (previously called benign essential tremor) is the most common form of abnormal tremor. (In some people, tremor is a symptom of a neurological disorder or appears as a side effect of certain drugs.)  Although it may be mild and nonprogressive in some people, in others the tremor is slowly progressive, starting on one side of the body but eventually affecting both sides. Hand tremor is most common but the head, arms, voice, tongue, legs, and trunk may also be involved. Hand tremor may cause problems with purposeful movements such as eating, writing, sewing, or shaving. Head tremor may be seen as a "yes-yes" or "no-no" motion. Essential tremor may be accompanied by mild gait disturbance. Heightened emotion, stress, fever, physical exhaustion, or low blood sugar may trigger tremors or increase their severity. There may be mild degeneration in the certain parts of the cerebellum in persons with essential tremor.  Onset is most common after age 40, although symptoms can appear at any age. Children of a parent who has essential tremor have up to a 50 percent chance of inheriting the condition. Essential tremor is not associated with any known pathology.

Treatment
Treatment

There is no definitive cure for essential tremor. Symptomatic drug therapy may include propranolol or other beta blockers and primidone, an anticonvulsant drug. Eliminating tremor "triggers" such as caffeine and other stimulants from the diet is often recommended. Physical and occupational therapy may help to reduce tremor and improve coordination and muscle control for some individuals.  Deep brain stimulation uses a surgically implanted, battery-operated medical device called a neurostimulator to delivery electrical stimulation to targeted areas of the brain that control movement, temporarily blocking the nerve signals that cause tremor.  Other surgical intervention is effective but may have side effects.

Prognosis
Prognosis

Although essential tremor is not life-threatening, it can make it harder to perform daily tasks and is embarrassing to some people. Tremor frequency may decrease as the person ages, but the severity may increase, affecting the person's ability to perform certain tasks or activities of daily living. In many people the tremor may be mild throughout life.

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Although essential tremor is not life-threatening, it can make it harder to perform daily tasks and is embarrassing to some people. Tremor frequency may decrease as the person ages, but the severity may increase, affecting the person's ability to perform certain tasks or activities of daily living. In many people the tremor may be mild throughout life.

Prognosis
Prognosis

Although essential tremor is not life-threatening, it can make it harder to perform daily tasks and is embarrassing to some people. Tremor frequency may decrease as the person ages, but the severity may increase, affecting the person's ability to perform certain tasks or activities of daily living. In many people the tremor may be mild throughout life.

Definition

Tremor is an unintentional, somewhat rhythmic, muscle movement involving to-and-fro movements (oscillations) of one or more parts of the body. Essential tremor (previously called benign essential tremor) is the most common form of abnormal tremor. (In some people, tremor is a symptom of a neurological disorder or appears as a side effect of certain drugs.)  Although it may be mild and nonprogressive in some people, in others the tremor is slowly progressive, starting on one side of the body but eventually affecting both sides. Hand tremor is most common but the head, arms, voice, tongue, legs, and trunk may also be involved. Hand tremor may cause problems with purposeful movements such as eating, writing, sewing, or shaving. Head tremor may be seen as a "yes-yes" or "no-no" motion. Essential tremor may be accompanied by mild gait disturbance. Heightened emotion, stress, fever, physical exhaustion, or low blood sugar may trigger tremors or increase their severity. There may be mild degeneration in the certain parts of the cerebellum in persons with essential tremor.  Onset is most common after age 40, although symptoms can appear at any age. Children of a parent who has essential tremor have up to a 50 percent chance of inheriting the condition. Essential tremor is not associated with any known pathology.

Treatment

There is no definitive cure for essential tremor. Symptomatic drug therapy may include propranolol or other beta blockers and primidone, an anticonvulsant drug. Eliminating tremor "triggers" such as caffeine and other stimulants from the diet is often recommended. Physical and occupational therapy may help to reduce tremor and improve coordination and muscle control for some individuals.  Deep brain stimulation uses a surgically implanted, battery-operated medical device called a neurostimulator to delivery electrical stimulation to targeted areas of the brain that control movement, temporarily blocking the nerve signals that cause tremor.  Other surgical intervention is effective but may have side effects.

Prognosis

Although essential tremor is not life-threatening, it can make it harder to perform daily tasks and is embarrassing to some people. Tremor frequency may decrease as the person ages, but the severity may increase, affecting the person's ability to perform certain tasks or activities of daily living. In many people the tremor may be mild throughout life.

What research is being done?

Scientists at the National Insitutte of Neurological Disorders and Stroke are evaluating the effectiveness of 1-octanol, a substance similar to alcohol but less intoxicating, for treating essential tremor. Results of two previous NIH studies have shown this agent to be promising as a potential new treatment.

Scientists are also studying the effectiveness of botulinum toxin as a treatment for a variety of involuntary movement disorders, including essential tremor of the hand.

Get information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Tremor

Patient Organizations
Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor
241 Boxelder Drive
Aiken
SC
Aiken, SC 29803
Tel: 803-761-2860
HopeNET
14425 Coachway Drive
Centreville
VA
Centreville, VA 20120
Tel: 703-543-8131; 804-754-4455
International Essential Tremor Foundation
P.O. Box 14005
Lenexa
KS
Lenexa, KS 66285-4005
Tel: 913-341-3880; 888-387-3667
Tremor Action Network
P.O. Box 5013
Pleasanton
CA
Pleasanton, CA 94566-5013
Tel: 510-681-6565; 925-462-0111
Patient Organizations