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Essential Tremors

By Jim Boxley

Have you ever seen people in public whose hand or hands shake?Have you thought to yourself, they must have Parkinson`s or maybe they had to much to drink? Sometimes you may even make fun of them or try not to be around them.

Each day you get up and brush your teeth, button your shirt, tie your laces, and can hold a cup of coffee, but people with advance tremor can only do this with great difficulty. Most people with the disorder don`r even have a social life or go to great lengths to hide the shaking, they avoid holding anything or will use 2 hands,but most avoid doing anything that would draw attention to themselves.

In public or around strangersmost will avoid eating and drinking until they can do it unobserved.

Essential Tremor (ET) is the most common form of tremor. ET was called benign tremor but there is nothing benign about it. It is often mistaken for Parkinson`s, and can affect people of any age. This is being written to enlighten and inform people of the disorder.

The disorder will usually get worse with age. Today there are more than 20 different kinds of tremor, so don`t be misdiagnosed.

ET can be involuntary, oscillating, wobbling, rhythmatic, or a movement or shaking of your head, arm, hand, or torso or a combination of these.

It can occur on one side or both sides of the body. Common types of tremor are: resting, postural, task specific, Essential and Parkinson`s.

A family history will be present but not always. Millions of people are affected by tremor in the US alone. ET is a neurological disorder that is more common with the aging but can be present at any age, with mine it surfaced at the age of 17.

Defining ET: Posturial tremor occurs in the arms and hands during action and noaction or drugs known to cause are present. Head, voice and neck tremor may or may not be present and no other known factors causing this are present.

ET causes uncontrollable shaking of the hands, voice, torso, head, legs and other parts of the body and will increase in severity when trying to perform an action of any kind.

Many different drugs are available to treat ET, such as Propananol, Premadone, Sotalol, Atenolol and various others.

Before much was known about the disorder even valium was prescribed because it was belived to be"just your nerves",some medical people still believe this because they don`t know about tremor.

While the different drugs will help, they will not completly do away with the symptoms but will help manage them and improve the daily lives of those affected. As time goes by the drugs will have less and less effect and dosage will have to be increased, as in my case, years went by and maximum dosage was reached without effect and the new surgery was opted for.

When all else fails to control the disorder you can fall back on surgery with brain stimulators, which will interfere with or block the bad signals the brain sends and therefore helps the tremor to not happen. With deep brain stimulators you can lead a more normal life and even work jobs you were afraid to try before.

The surgery sounds scary but the procedure, while being a little uncomfortable and with the fact you have to be awake during the proceedure, isn`t as bad as it sounds, and when you see the results a couple months later you know it was worth it.

If you have the disorder or know someone who has seek out a neurologist who has traing in this field. In my case a neurosurgon was found who was also teaching the subject in our local medical school.

This type of surgery has less complications than other surgery and is also reversible. The older treatment involves cutting away part of the thalmus.

Copyright (c) 2005 Jim Boxley - All rights reserved.


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