Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Familial Tremor Overview

Another name for Familial Tremor is Benign Essential Tremor Syndrome.

What is benign essential tremor syndrome?
A person with benign essential tremor syndrome has rhythmic muscle activity that mainly affects the hands, head, and voice. The onset of the tremor usually begins in middle age. Essential tremors tend to increase with voluntary movement. The cause of benign essential tremor syndrome is unknown, although over half of the cases are inherited.

What are the symptoms of benign essential tremor syndrome?
Common symptoms of benign essential tremor syndrome include mild to moderate tremors and fine shaking movements. Tremors in the arms, head or voice may occur while moving or while at rest. Tremors may worsen with stress, emotion, fatigue, and exposure to cold. Tremors usually worsen with movement.

How does the doctor treat benign essential tremor syndrome?
General measures for benign essential tremor syndrome include avoiding stimulants, drinking alcohol only in moderation, and medications to control tremor.

Continue to Familial Tremor Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 6, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Familial Tremor References
  1. Chouinard S, Louis ED, Fahn S: Agreement among movement disorder specialists on the clinical diagnosis of essential tremor. Mov Disord 1997 Nov; 12(6): 973-6. [9399223]
  2. Ferreira J, Sampaio C. Essential tremor. Clin Evid. 2005 Jun;(13):1608-21. [16135304]
  3. Jain S, Lo SE, Louis ED. Common misdiagnosis of a common neurological disorder: how are we misdiagnosing essential tremor? Arch Neurol. 2006 Aug;63(8):1100-4. [16908735]
  4. Louis ED, Ford B, Lee H: Diagnostic criteria for essential tremor: a population perspective. Arch Neurol 1998 Jun; 55(6): 823-8. [9626774]
  5. Louis ED, Vonsattel JP, Honig LS, Ross GW, Lyons KE, Pahwa R. Neuropathologic findings in essential tremor. Neurology. 2006 Jun 13;66(11):1756-9. [16769958]
  6. Wasielewski PG, Burns JM, Koller WC: Pharmacologic treatment of tremor. Mov Disord 1998; 13 Suppl 3: 90-100. [9827602]
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