Tremor: how to treat this pathology?

Tremor is the most common movement disorder and can be highly disabling. Current technology has provided an opportunity for new approaches, new surgical procedures and pharmacological innovations, which is promising for the treatment of tremor. However, today Neurology specialists emphasize that this pathology continues to have a basically clinical diagnosis, to which complementary explorations (CT or MRI) should be added only in cases in which the clinical features are not clear. In addition, performing a DAT scan can help to differentiate an atypical or complex parkinsonian tremor from another type of tremor.

Treatment and drugs for tremor

All treatments are aimed at reducing as much as possible the presence of tremor, since there is no curative treatment. The more the medical diagnosis is narrowed down, the more efficient the treatment will be.

The main drugs used, within a long list, are: Propanolol (beta-blocking agent) and Primidone (which metabolizes with a barbiturate). Both have beneficial effects but can also develop side effects that the patient should be aware of and assess.

In case of pharmacological therapeutic failure, surgical treatments such as deep brain stimulation (DBS) have been used for years. It consists of modifying the action of the ventral intermediate nucleus of the thalamus through electrical stimulation by a microelectrode introduced to this site, or the lesion of the same nucleus by applying ultrasound (HIFU), which avoids direct manipulation of the skull and brain.