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Treating Essential Tremors at Mercy Health

Posted at 11:23 AM, Mar 16, 2017

Does shaking make it difficult for you or a loved one to write, shave, dress, drink, or any other everyday activity? The shaking could be a medical condition known as Essential Tremor.

Dr. Steve Klafeta, neurosurgeon at Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences, discusses treatments for essential tremor, including Deep Brain Stimulation.

Essential Tremor (ET) is an action tremor, unlike the resting tremor associated with Parkinson’s Disease.  ET affects tasks like eating, drinking and writing, causing social embarrassment for patients.

One way to lessen the shaking of Essential Tremor is avoiding caffeine and stress, but sometimes that isn't enough so patients need to take medication.

Beta blockers such as propranolol or anti-epileptics such as primidone may help, but can cause sedating side effects. Sadly only 30 percent of essential tremor patients have little or no response to medications, so surgery becomes an option if medication doesn't work.

Deep Brain Stimulation is that top surgery for patients that don't respond to medication. A device is placed in the body connecting to the brain, resulting in less severe tremors.

Mercy Health is the best place to seek treatment for Essential Tremor; they have the first multi-disciplinary movement disorders center in Michigan, and have implanted nearly 500 Deep Brain Stimulation devices in patients, giving them the most experience.

To learn more about Essential Tremor, visit StopTheShakes.com.