Essential tremor (ET) is a progressive neurological disease characterized by tremors or shaking of particular body parts. It is associated with various psychosocial issues and can affect social interactions and interfere with physical activities. While ET doesn’t have a cure, early diagnosis by a neurologist in Leesburg and expert-guided management can mitigate its symptoms and restore the quality of life.
As its name implies, ET manifests through tremors. The affected body part shakes wildly, often at random times, regardless of whether the patient is at rest or doing something. The condition rarely affects the regions below the torso.
Since tremors are a common symptom, it can be challenging to determine if an individual has ET or not based on its most prominent indication. Neurologists recommend paying attention to the conditions and effects of the shaking. ET-specific symptoms include:
- Trembling in the hands, arms, head, and in rare cases, legs and feet
These symptoms are typically triggered when the voluntary muscles in these areas are stressed. Common prompts include being in motion, suspending the arms forward against gravity, and sustaining weight or pressure for a long time. For diagnosis, Dulles neurology specialists often ask patients to describe what they are doing every time they experience tremors.
- Shaking voice
This symptom happens when tremors cause rhythmic changes in the pitch and volume of a person’s voice. There is no specific trigger; a trembling voice can occur while the individual is whispering, shouting, or speaking. Most ET patients whisper when communicating since it doesn’t trigger significant vibrations in the voice box to produce sound, thus diminishing the effects of the tremor.
- Having trouble writing, using eating utensils, and other daily activities
ET can turn tasks that require a certain level of control into a challenge. Due to the uncontrollable tremors, most patients struggle with daily activities, such as nodding, typing, tying shoelaces, drawing, and more
Stress, movement, extreme temperature changes, fatigue, and caffeine can aggravate these symptoms.
The tremors of ET are the result of an abnormality in the region of the brain that’s responsible for muscle movement. Doctors have yet to pinpoint the exact cause of the condition. However, recent research indicates that it may be an offshoot of a parent’s neurodegenerative disorder.
Experts found that approximately half of the recorded cases seem to be a product of genetic mutation, wherein one or both of the ET patient’s parents have such a condition. Age also appears to play a role in ET’s development, since it’s more common in people who are 40 years old and above.
A neurologist in Leesburg can prescribe the following procedure to mitigate the symptoms of ET and improve the patient’s quality of life:
- Medication – Medical professionals typically prescribe medication to alleviate severe ET symptoms. Botox can also help to diminish head and vocal tremors.
- Therapy – Regular physical therapy can improve muscle control and coordination.
- MRI-Guided, Focused High-Intensity Ultrasound – Also known as Neuravive, it can eliminate the small amount of the thalamus that’s responsible for the tremors.
- Surgery – This involved integrating electrical implants into the thalamus to control the occurrence of tremors.
Visit a Neurologist Immediately at the First Possibility of Essential Tremor
Don’t let ET keep you or your loved one from having the best life possible. Like other neurological disorders, early detection is critical to keep the effects of ET in check. Consult a neurologist in Leesburg, VA, at the first occurrence of tremors. Once detected, the neurology expert can prescribe treatment to help you or your loved one fight the symptoms of this life-altering condition.