We offer unique, personalised, therapy called Deep Brain Stimulation, giving your life back to you.
What is Essential Tremor?
Essential Tremor is a movement disorder characterised by uncontrollable shaking, or ‘tremors’, in different parts and on different sides of the body. Common areas affected are the head, larynx, tongue, chin, arms and hands. The lower body is rarely affected. Essential Tremor is more common than Parkinson’s: in the UK population of 64 million, research suggests that up to one million people have Essential Tremor.1
Essential Tremor Causes
The exact cause of Essential Tremor is unknown but it is thought that there is a change within the thalamus overtime. The thalamus is a structure within the brain that coordinates and controls muscle activity. Majority of cases are genetically inherited and occur more commonly in the elderly.
Essential Tremor Symptoms
Symptoms can vary person to person. If it is interfering with daily activities, you should speak with your family doctor and can ask for a referral to a specialist movement disorder team.
- Shaking that cannot be controlled and may occur for just brief periods of time
- Shaking voice
- Nodding head
- Tremors that worsen during periods of emotional stress
- Tremors that get worse with on-action, such as when you pick up a cup of tea
- Tremors that lessen with rest
- Balance problems (in rare cases)
Essential Tremor Treatment
The currently available treatments for Essential Tremor are symptomatic and not curative. This means that the severity of Essential Tremor can be decreased but that the tremor will not be cured.2 There are varying types of medicine you may be prescribed; you will work with your movement disorder specialist team to find the best solution for you.
There are different types of medicines that can be taken for Essential Tremor. The medicine may be able to reduce the severity of the tremor. Speak to your specialist team about the potential treatments to create an individualised therapy.
Physical therapy to improve coordination and muscle control can be beneficial. To be accepted for DBS surgery, your specialist team will advise you to be aerobically fit as you can be.
- Deep Brain Stimulation is a surgical procedure designed to help control motor symptoms while allowing for a reduction in medication. DBS uses a device similar in size and shape to a cardiac pacemaker. It sends signals to your brain to help control the symptoms of movement disorders. Your surgeon will place one or two wires called ‘leads’ in the brain.
- The leads are then connected to the stimulator and the stimulator is placed under the skin in the chest or in the abdomen. Paediatric patients often will have the stimulator inserted in the abdomen. When the stimulator is turned on, it produces mild electrical impulses that stimulate a specific target within the brain.
- The stimulation may help regulate the incorrect signaling in the brain, improving some of the symptoms of movement disorders. For many people, daily activities which had been impossible to perform previously could become feasible again.
Discover how Deep Brain Stimulation therapy works
- Always speak to your Clinician to see if this could be a treatment for you.
- To be accepted for DBS surgery, your specialist team will advise you to be aerobically fit as you can be.
Deep Brain Stimulation for Essential Tremor
Am I a good candidate?
Where to find help for your Essential Tremor
Keep up to date with all the research and resources going on to support people living with Tremor. To increase awareness and understanding, Boston Scientific actively participates in community education and builds strong relationships with the local Essential Tremor community.
The NTF was founded by Professor Leslie Findley (UK) and the late Professor William Koller (USA) in the two countries simultaneously in 1992. Subsequently, in 1994, the NTF became a separate registered charity in its own right.
1. EPDA. Essential Tremor. Accessed July 2022. https://www.epda.eu.com/about-parkinsons/types/essential-tremor/
2. National Tremor Foundation. Medication & Treatments. Accessed July 2022. https://tremor.org.uk/medication-treatments
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