The NeuroMedical Center | Patient Education Library | Essential Tremor

What is Essential Tremor (ET)?

Essential tremor is a movement disorder that most commonly causes involuntary, rhythmic trembling of the hands (tremor).  ET usually occurs with movements and can occur during many different types of activities that require fine motor skills such as eating with utensils, drinking, writing, shaving, or applying makeup.  The tremor usually affects both sides of the body, but it may be more noticeable in the dominant hand.  The tremor can also affect the head, voice, legs and trunk.


What Causes Essential Tremor?

Essential tremor is due to abnormal communication between certain areas of the brain, but the exact cause of this movement disorder is unknown. Scientists haven’t found any absolute genetic or environmental causes, and no cellular defect has been linked to the condition. There is evidence that the tremor is genetic, giving each child of a parent with ET a 50% chance of inheriting a gene that causes ET.  Sometimes, however, people with no family history of tremor develop ET.

Who Does Essential Tremor Affect?

Essential tremor may appear at any age but is most common in older adults.   While the average age of onset is mid-to-late 40s, children, even infants, can be affected by ET. 

What are the Symptoms of Essential Tremor?

Symptoms of essential tremor are small, rapid movements felt constantly, frequently, or occasionally.  ET may be aggravated by a number of factors including:

  • Emotional stress
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Hunger
  • Too much caffeine
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Very cold or very hot temperatures

Expert Treatment for Essential Tremor (ET) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Effective treatments are available for ET, including medications and surgery. Unfortunately, because of stereotypes and a lack of awareness, many people with ET never seek medical care. You should never be embarrassed by a tremor and there’s no reason to afraid to ask for help. If you are experiencing essential tremor symptoms, you should seek the care of an experienced movement disorder neurologist at The NeuroMedical Center.  Although there is no medication designed specifically to eliminate essential tremor, there are several treatment options for managing essential tremor. Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery is an effective approach to treating the neurological symptoms of ET. The NeuroMedical Center offers Baton Rouge’s first and only DBS program for the treatment of essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease, performing over 400 successful surgeries to date.  There is also a variety of assistive devices and technologies available that can help you perform daily tasks with greater ease. Call The NeuroMedical Center today (225) 768-2050 or request an appointment online and allow us to help you find the right treatment options to effectively treat you ET symptoms and improve your quality of life.