Essential Tremor

“My Hands Shake…Do I Have Parkinson’s Disease?”

Maybe Not!  Tremor is the most common involuntary movement.  Resting movement that looks like “pill rolling” with the thumb and first finger, is found in Parkinson’s disease (PD).  The type of tremor that worsens with intentional movement such as eating or writing is called Essential Tremor (ET), but is often misdiagnosed as PD.  Tremor of the head and voice are really only seen in ET.  ET is 8x more common than PD.  It is caused by an underlying genetic predisposition and environmental triggers.  Anything that causes you to be “off kilter” will make them worse; such as being sick, tired or stressed.  It also worsens with increasing age.

While there are easy ways to treat ET, it does not hurt not to treat it.  When it becomes bothersome enough then it is worth it to take a medicine. The most effective treatments are a certain generic seizure medicine or a certain blood pressure (BP) medicine, which can often be substituted for a BP medicine you are already taking to do “double duty”.  For very severe, debilitating tremors that are refractory to medication, other options are available up to and including deep brain stimulation devices that are implantable in the brain, but these severe tremors are rare.

Most patients who come in worried about Parkinson’s disease have a benign essential tremor. Stop worrying and find out for sure…no referral needed!

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If you would like to obtain help from our talented neurologist Dr. Bisby, please fill out the form below or call us (352) 750 – 6387 to schedule your appointment.


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