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Parkinson's Disease

Essential tremor

10/02/2006

Question:

I have a neuromuscular disease and lately I have noticed my hands trembling or shaking esp. when eating or doing something with my hands. I mentioned this to my neuro who on exam said she noticed some tremors. I know it`s most likely not parkinson`s but probably essential tremor. Is there anything that can be done to prevent progression or does it progress? My hands don`t shake all the time so right now it is manageable but should I mention it to my neuro. or just wait to see if it gets worse ? I am a 42 y.o. female. Thanks so much!

Answer:

There are many causes of tremor possible.  Benign essential tremor (ET) is often mis-diagnosed as Parkinson's disease.  It is important to have a thorough exam and work-up to rule out any secondary causes of tremor before getting the diagnosis of ET.  Progression is variable.  Numerous situations and conditions may worsen the tremor of ET, and it is important to recognize these and avoid them when possible.

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Response by:

Karen M Thomas, DO Karen M Thomas, DO
Formerly:
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University