Essential Tremor: Is It Parkinson’s?

Most people have never heard of essential tremor, but it’s actually the most common movement disorder in the world. While it’s not usually a sign of a more serious problem, like Parkinson’s disease, it can be quite debilitating. If you’re experiencing symptoms of essential tremor, it’s important to get diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. This post will explain what essential tremor is, how to tell if you have it, and what treatment options are available. Stay tuned for more on this topic coming soon!

essential tremor
essential tremor: is it parkinson's? 2

What Is Essential Tremor?

Essential tremor is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary movement in the hands, arms, and occasionally the head and voice. The cause of essential tremor is unknown, but it is thought to be related to problems in the nervous system.

Essential tremor can make everyday activities like brushing your teeth or eating difficult. The tremors may also increase with stress or anxiety. There is no cure for essential tremor, but there are treatments that can help lessen the symptoms.

It generally is symmetrical and targets the arms, hands, or fingers; nevertheless it occasionally affects the head, voice chords, or other body parts. Essential tremor is one of two types: an action (intention) tremor, which becomes worse when you attempt to use the afflicted muscles during voluntary activities such as eating and writing, or a postural tremor, which is characterized by sustained muscle tone.


The main symptoms of essential tremors are involuntary shaking or trembling in the hands, arms, head, and voice. In some cases, the tremors may also affect the legs, torso, and eyelids. The shaking is usually most severe during periods of stress or excitement, and it may lessen or disappear completely during sleep.

Other common symptoms include: difficulty writing or using utensils; dropping things frequently; a feeling of unsteadiness or clumsiness; a raspy or high-pitched voice; and difficulty speaking clearly. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Although slumber-related tremor are uncommon, people with ET occasionally report an especially harsh tremor upon waking that gradually becomes less severe as the first few minutes of consciousness pass. In response to tiredness, strong emotions, low blood sugar, cold and heat, caffeine, lithium salts, some antidepressants, and other factors tremor can become worse. The tremor typically gets worse in “performance” situations such as writing a cheque for payment at a store or giving a presentation.


The causes of essential tremors are still being investigated, but it is believed that they may be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Some experts believe that the tremors may be caused by a problem with the way the brain sends messages to the muscles. Others believe that they may be caused by damage to the nerves that control movement. Still others believe that they may be caused by overactivity in some of the muscles in the hand and arm. And finally, some experts believe that essential tremors may be caused by a combination of factors.

Essential Tremors v. Parkinson’s Disease

Essential tremors are a neurological disorder that cause involuntary shaking. Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that results in the death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra.

Parkinson’s disease is characterized by four primary symptoms: resting tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement (akinesia), and postural instability. Patients with Parkinson’s also often experience problems with mood, memory, and sleep. Essential tremors are generally not accompanied by any of these other symptoms.


There are a few different treatment options for essential tremors. The most common is medication, which can help to reduce the shaking. If medication doesn’t work, there are other options, such as surgery or deep brain stimulation. Each person’s case is different, so it’s important to talk to a doctor to find the best treatment option for you.

Beta blockers, such as propranolol or alternatively nadolol and timolol, are the first treatments for palpitations. Atenolol and pindolol are ineffective in treating tremor. Primidone, an anticonvulsant, has shown promise as well. The risk of alcohol addiction is greater than the potential benefit. However, because ETs are generally responsive to alcohol, some people use it as a form of self-medication.

Propranolol and primidone have only modest tremor-reducing effects in ET people, with efficacy rates of around 50%.

If a person’s tremor is not controlled by medicines or if they are unable to tolerate them, C. botulinum toxin, deep brain stimulation, or occupational therapy may be beneficial. Deep brain stimulation electrodes are usually placed in the “tremor center” of the brain, the ventral intermediate nucleus of the thalamus, for relief from Parkinson’s disease symptoms.

Last Updated on October 25, 2022 by Lucas Berg


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *