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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Essential Tremor (ET) is a nerve disorder in which the affected person has uncontrollable shaking, or tremors in different parts of the body. Areas affected are the hands, arms, larynx, tongue and chin. The lower body is rarely affected. The condition can be confused with Parkinson's Disease. ET is the most common movement disorder. It affects ten million people in the U.S. It often strikes for the first time during adolescence or middle age, between ages forty and fifty. 
The thalamus of the brain controls muscle activity. 

It is not a life threating condition. Most of those affected live normal lives with this disorder. Daily activities such as eating, dressing, or writing can be difficult. The true cause of ET is not understood. The tremors can be disabling if the affected person can't perform daily activities. 

The condition is due to electrical brain activity of the thalamus. It is a deep structure of the brain that coordinates muscle activity. The true cause of ET is not understood. 

Genetics is responsible for ET in half of those who have the disorder. A child born with a parent with ET will have a fifty percent chance of having the condition. gene. It is more common in the elderly. Symptoms become more pronounced with aging. It is not a part of the natural aging process. 

Common symptoms include uncontrollable shaking for brief periods of time, shaking voice, nodding head, voice tremor,  
 head, shaking voice, and tremors that worsen  during emotional distress,

The movement tremors fade with rest. In some cases there may be balance problems. Conditions that mimic it include factors or diseases, including Parkinson's Disease.  Disorders that mimic ET include thyriod disease, 
Drug treatment include Inderal, neurontin and Topamax.  
Xanax, Valium. Botox may be a treatment option.

 Treatment includes deep brain stimulation, implantation of electrical leads to the thalamus, and surgery. 

Implantation of electrical leads to the thalamus deep in the brain. high intensity MRI Ultrasound  to destroy tissue in the thalamus. Patients are awake during the surgical procedure. There is no effective medications for ET. surgery can ease the tremor  lifestyle changes may help reduce the tremors. 

Source: WebMD; The Brain and Essential Tremor.