UW Health's Movement Disorders Program, based at University Hospital, treats patients with tremor.
What is a tremor?
Tremor is a type of involuntary shaking movement which can affect arms, legs, head or voice.
What causes tremors?
Tremors are often caused by the abnormal processing of brain centers. They can also result from metabolic abnormalities and as side effects of medications. Essential tremor is the most common tremor disorder. It is frequently referred to as "familial tremor." This form of tremor may occur at any age and may gradually worsen over time.
- Tremors may be occasional (sporadic), temporary (episodic) or occurring at different intervals
- A shaking or quivering sound in the voice
- Head nodding
- Tremors may worsen with voluntary movement or emotional stress
- Tremors usually disappear during sleep
Treatments may not be required if the symptoms are not severe and don't interfere with daily activity. If medication is used, success varies. It depends on the individual response. Medications used to stop tremors could include propranolol, primidone, other anticonvulsants and mild tranquilizers. Additionally, deep brain stimulation, a surgical treatment which uses electrodes to stimulate targeted regions of the brain, may be considered to help reduce abnormal movements.