Understanding essential tremor

Essential tremor — what you need to know

Essential tremor is a disorder of the nervous system that causes rhythmic shaking in part of the body, most commonly in the hands. It can also affect your head, voice, arms, or legs.

Symptoms often begin gradually, then get worse over time and may become severe. 

Some people cope with symptoms on their own. Some feel increasingly frustrated, begin to avoid certain situations, become concerned about losing dignity or independence, or worry about the impact on their family.

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There are treatment options that can bring relief. 

Sometimes symptoms are controlled by medication. When medication doesn’t work, an option called deep brain stimulation (DBS) may be able to help.

Getting DBS involves having a small device called a neurostimulator implanted under the skin. The neurostimulator sends signals through the wire to the part of the brain that manages movement, reducing symptoms of tremor.