Essential Tremor Treatment | Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Treatment | Dutchess County | Westchester County
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Movement Disorders

Essential Tremor

Essential Tremor Treatment  | Duchess County | Westchester CountyEssential tremor is a type of movement disorder. This is a category of neurological conditions that involve abnormalities in the quality and quantity of spontaneous movement. Essential tremor causes involuntary shaking, particularly in the hands. There are typically no other symptoms, which sets this condition apart from other movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

The tremor tends to appear more pronounced the harder the muscles are working, such as during movement or by extending an arm. When the muscles are at rest, the tremor is typically not noticeable. Besides the hands, the tremor may sometimes be present in the muscles of the arms, head, face, neck and midsection of the body. It is rare for the tremor to occur in the legs. When the head is affected, the tremor will usually be a side-to-side or up-and-down motion that takes place when the patient is in an upright position. Essential tremor may also involve the voice, which may quiver. The symptoms can increase when the patient is experiencing stress or fatigue or has had caffeine or cigarettes.

Essential tremor is not a life-threatening disorder, but for those with severe symptoms, it can impinge on the ability to perform everyday activities. The fine motor skills of the hands may deteriorate, making certain tasks such as writing, putting on makeup, drinking from a cup and eating with utensils much more difficult. Sometimes essential tremor occurs in concert with another neurological disorder, such as Parkinson's disease or dystonia.

This is a common condition that affects millions of people in the United States, the majority of whom are over 65 years old. It can strike younger people, but that is unusual. Essential tremor is the most typically-appearing type of tremor. There is no known cause for essential tremor, but in general tremors tend to occur when there are nerve-related problems that influence the muscles with which they are connected.

Essential Tremor Treatment | Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Treatment | Duchess County | Westchester CountyTo determine whether your symptoms are caused by essential tremor or another condition, your physician will take your medical history and perform a physical examination. Blood tests and imaging, including X-rays, a CT scan of the head and a brain MRI, may all be performed to obtain the correct diagnosis.

No treatment is usually necessary for essential tremor unless the disorder has begun to hinder normal activities. There are several medications that have been found to relieve tremor symptoms. Your physician can help determine whether any of these are right for you. In the most extreme cases, cranial surgery, or surgery of the head, may be performed to treat essential tremor. One option is stereotactic radiosurgery, in which powerful X-rays are concentrated on the problem area of the brain to reduce or eliminate tremors. Another surgical method is to implant a device in the brain to realign the signals in the portion that controls movement.

Call us today at (914) 345-1313 for more information about
Essential Tremor

Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson's disease and essential tremor. This treatment option inactivates the parts of the brain that trigger the disease without destroying nearby brain tissue.

Essential Tremor Treatment | Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Treatment | Duchess County | Westchester CountyDuring the DBS procedure, a small device called a neurostimulator is implanted under the skin of the chest. This battery-operated device is similar to a pacemaker for the heart. The device is connected to electrodes that are placed in the brain in order to directly deliver the electrical stimulation to brain areas that control movement in order to treat tremor, stiffness, and slowness.

The areas in the brain where electrodes are to be placed are targeted before the procedure with the use of MRI or CT scanning. For most patients, the electrodes will be placed on the thalamus, subthalamic nucleus and globus pallidus.

After the DBS procedure has been performed, most patients experience significant symptom relief. Patients may still need to take medication to treat the disease, although dosage can be reduced. Dosage reduction also helps reduce the occurrence of side effects and can lead to an overall higher quality of life for patients with Parkinson's disease and essential tremor. After the procedure, periodic adjustments of stimulation settings are made in order to deliver optimum level of therapy.

Call us today at (914) 345-1313 for more information about
Deep Brain Stimulation

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