Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Head Tremors Parkinson’s Disease

What Treatments Are Available

Differences Between Essential Tremor and Parkinson’s Disease

Treatment depends on the symptoms and extent of disability caused by the tremor. If the tremor is mild, lifestyle adjustments may be all that are needed. As the condition progresses, medications or surgery can be used to relieve the symptoms.

Lifestyle changes

Caffeine and stress should be avoided, and good sleep is recommended. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy, which can improve your muscle strength. Adaptive devices, including wide-grip pens and eating utensils, may help you compensate for your tremor. Alcohol, used in moderation, can reduce tremor for short periods of time.


Your doctor may prescribe certain drugs or injections to help reduce the tremors. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Propranolol, a beta-blocker that is primarily used to treat high blood pressure
  • Anti-seizure medications, including primidone, gabapentin, and topiramate
  • Anti-anxiety medications, including clonazepam, diazepam, lorazepam, and alprazolam
  • Botulinum toxin injections for head and voice tremors

Surgical treatments

The goal of surgery is to reduce symptoms by modifying the abnormal signals that cause the tremor. This can be done with deep brain stimulation or with radiosurgery.

DBS surgery involves implanting electrodes within the brain and connecting them to a stimulator device that resembles a pacemaker. The stimulator delivers electrical pulses to regulate brain activity. Radiosurgery creates a small, permanent lesion in the brain without a permanent implant.

Your Cat Has Ear Infection Or Ear Mites

In most cases, cats shake their heads like Parkinsons due to ear infections, parasites, or ear mites. It can cause extreme itching that leads your cat to shake its head repeatedly.

Ear infections in cats may occur due to two types of bacteria cocci and rod-shaped bacteria. Mites like Otodectes cynotis also cause severe discomfort inside the ears of your cat. As a result, it can shake its head like Parkinsons to show pain and discomfort.

In this situation, you should immediately have an appointment with your vet to diagnose the reasons behind head shaking. Your vet will check your cats ear canals, membranes, and eardrums with an otoscope and prescribe the necessary medication.

Cat Head Shaking Like Parkinsons Causes & Treatments

Cats are famous for their unpredictable yet adorable behavior but shaking heads like Parkinsons is a clear sign that something is wrong with your feline partner. Continuous and unusual head-shaking indicates that your cat has some diseases or discomforts in its body. So, when this happens in your cat, you must pay attention and take the actions necessary to treat your cats condition.

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Theory : Ocular Tremor Is Inherent In Pd

Several pieces of evidence from these and other studies support an inherent role of ocular tremor in PD, including:

  • The lack of a direct relationship between resting limb tremor and amplitude of ocular oscillations in the Duval and Beuter study pointing to independent mechanisms between the two
  • Duval and Beuter had participants bite down on a tongue depressor attached to the chair in order to stabilize the head, which could have caused activation of the VOR and that would have explained their findings of asymmetrical oscillations between the eyes
  • All patients in the Gitchel study, including those who were not medicated, showed evidence of ocular tremor
  • Using a magnetic tracker to detect head movement in a subset of 62 patients, the Gitchel study did not identify any evidence of motion
  • A second study by Gitchel et al4 identified ocular tremor in PD, irrespective of whether the head was fixed
  • No evidence of ocular tremor was found in patients with essential tremor5

Consult A Vet Immediately When You See Unusual Head Shaking

5 Stages of Parkinson

When you see your feline partner is shaking heads unusually and for a long time, you must immediately book an appointment with your vet. Its an obvious sign that there is something wrong with your cats body.

So, to make your feline friend healthy and active, always observe its behavior closely and take prompt actions if anything unusual happens.

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What Is Essential Tremor

Essential tremor is a neurological disorder that causes your hands, head, trunk, voice or legs to shake rhythmically. It is often confused with Parkinson’s disease.

Essential tremor is the most common trembling disorder. Everyone has at least a small degree of tremor, but the movements usually cannot be seen or felt because the tremor is so small. When tremors are noticeable, the condition is classified as essential tremor.

Essential tremor is most common among people older than 65, but it can affect people at any age. Some experts have proposed considering ET that starts earlier in life as essential tremor and ET that begins later in life as age-related tremor, because the conditions may have different symptoms and may respond differently to treatments.

Other Tremors And How It Differs

A Parkinsonian tremor has a few distinct characteristics, though it may be easy to confuse with other types of tremors depending on the other symptoms a person shows. Doctors will look for and rule out other types of tremors to confirm their diagnosis.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke notes that some common tremors include:

Dopamine is an important neurotransmitter that plays a critical role in a number of bodily functions, such as movement and coordination. People with Parkinsons disease produce less dopamine, which may cause them to experience movement-related problems, such as rigidity, slowness of movement, poor balance, and tremors.

Low levels of dopamine may disrupt the way the brain processes movement, which can result in movement problems. Evidence suggests that many people with Parkinsons disease lose 6080% of dopamine-producing cells in the brain by the time they present symptoms.

Other causes of tremors unrelated to Parkinsons disease can include:

  • certain medications

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Defining The Condition: Parkinsons Vs Essential Tremor

Parkinsons Disease: According to the Parkinsons Foundation, Parkinsons disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects predominantly dopamine-producing neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra. Parkinsons itself is not a fatal disease, however, it can have serious complications that can be.

  • At what age does Parkinsons usually manifest? Typically Parkinsons typically manifests in individuals 50 years or older. However, Young Onset Parkinsons , affects 2% to 10% of individuals in the U.S. with Parkinsons.
  • What is the prevalence of Parkinsons disease? According to, approximately 1.8% of adults 65 and older suffer from Parkinsons disease.

Essential Tremor: As defined by John Hopkins Medicine, essential tremor disorder is a neurological condition that causes your hands, head, trunk, voice, or legs to shake rhythmically. Generally, these tremors are worse when moving than when at rest. However, tremors can be severe enough to interfere with regular daily activities such as eating, speaking, and even using the restroom independently. Essential tremor is considered benign, or non-life-threatening.

  • At what age does essential tremor usually manifest? Essential tremor typically affects individuals over the age of 65, however, it can develop at any age.
  • What is the prevalence of essential tremor? According to, approximately 4.67% of adults 65 and older suffer from essential tremor.

Action And Rest Tremor

How to distinguish Parkinson’s disease from Essential Tremor – New Day Northwest

Essential Tremor and Essential Tremor Plus

One of the key proposals of the tremor task force was the introduction of a new definition of ET. Accordingly, ET is defined as an isolated tremor syndrome manifesting as an action tremor of bilateral upper extremities for a minimum of 3 years duration, in the absence of any other neurological signs such as parkinsonism, ataxia, or dystonia . This may or may not be associated with tremor involving the voice, head, and lower extremities. Previously, several neurological soft-signs such as tandem gait impairment, subtle dystonic posturing, and memory problems were considered to be in the clinical spectrum of ET. However, as per the new classification scheme, ET patients with any such neurological soft signs are now categorized as ET plus. The validity of this nomenclature has remained a matter of debate in recent times and we have elaborated on this issue in the latter part of this article .

Tremor in ET patients tends to worsen over time in terms of severity as well as in the number of body parts involved and, as discussed below, may become associated with parkinsonism, dystonia, ataxia and other motor disorders . In addition to tremor, patients with ET may develop several non-motor symptoms such as cognitive impairment, anxiety, depression, apathy, and sleep disturbances . Hence, neurologists should evaluate all ET patients for both motor and NMS.

Pathogenesis of Essential Tremor

Other Isolated Action Tremor Syndromes

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What Are Idiopathic Head Tremors

This condition is considered idiopathic because the cause is still unknown. There are many possible causes for head shaking such as seizures, nervous system disorders, or head injuries, but when those conditions are not present, it is called ‘idiopathic’. This condition is usually seen more often in immature to middle aged dogs and some breeds are more susceptible than others. Head tremors have also been suspected as being reason for the condition called white dog shaker syndrome.

Idiopathic head tremors in dogs are characterized as an involuntary side to side or up and down movement of the head. The movement has been referred to as a head bob like a bobble head doll. Head tremors have also been compared to Parkinsons disease in humans. It is not a voluntary shake of the head such as is seen with ear itching or infections. Some of the breeds most often reported as having head tremors include Boxers, Spaniels, Chow Chows, Samoyeds, Doberman Pinschers, Labrador Retrievers, Dalmatians, Pitbulls, and Bulldogs.

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Who Is Affected By Tremor

About 70% of people with Parkinsons experience a tremor at some point in the disease. Tremor appears to be slightly less common in younger people with PD, though it is still one of the most troublesome symptoms. People with resting tremor usually have a more slowly progressing course of illness than people without tremor.

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Can A Glutathione Deficiency Cause Anemia

Remember earlier when I said that Janice had a glutathione deficiency? High homocysteine is a sign of glutathione deficiency and so is high levels of potassium in the serum. I love it when various markers on blood tests agree!

Interestingly enough, glutathione is the main protector of red blood cells . Red blood cells contain hemoglobin which carries oxygen. Oxygen is negatively charged which means that it can cause free radical damage.

Red blood cells live 120 days. After they die, they are broken down and recycled by the liver. While they are alive, they carry oxygen throughout the entire body.

A glutathione deficiency can cause free radical damage to the red blood cells and cause them to die early.

When red blood cells die too early, it can cause a condition where people can have immature red blood cells circulating in the blood instead of mature red blood cells that are capable of carrying higher levels of oxygen.

Doesnt this sound like anemia? Anemia is when you dont have enough oxygen carrying components in the blood. Premature destruction of red blood cells can cause hemolytic anemia .

So yes, a glutathione deficiency can cause anemia!

Guess what? Type 2 Diabetes and Insulin Resistance can also cause high potassium levels. Potassium follows sugar into the cells. When someone is a Type 2 Diabetic , sugar wont go into the cells properly and stay in the blood. Therefore, potassium wont be able to get into the cells and can go high in the blood serum.

How Do You Treat Head Twitching

New symptoms of early

If youre experiencing any involuntary head twitching, its best to make an appointment with your doctor. If you dont already have a provider, our Healthline FindCare tool can help you connect to physicians in your area. They can evaluate you and set up a treatment plan based on the root cause of your head twitching.

For treating chorea:

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Treatments For Essential Tremor

According to, there are several actions that can be taken to help manage your essential tremor and minimize how they impact your daily life. First, lets cover treatment options:

  • Oral Medications: Propranolol and primidone are considered to be the most effective treatments for essential tremor, reducing tremors as much as 50%. Propranolol is a beta-blocker and primidone is an anti-seizure medication.
  • Surgical Treatment: In cases where essential tremor does not respond to medication, surgery may be recommended. There are invasive techniques, such as deep brain stimulation, that can be used to help reduce tremors. However, brain surgery is not without its serious risks.
  • Non-Invasive Therapy with Cala Trio: Cala Trio is a wrist-worn non-invasive therapy device that is calibrated to relieve hand tremors. It works by delivering surface stimulation at your wrist, which is believed to disrupt the central tremor network in your brain. In one clinical study, 64% of patients reported tremor relief and the average reported time was 94 minutes. Available only by prescription, the Cala Trio wrist-worn device provides on-demand tremor relief.
  • As each patient is different, you and your doctor will need to decide what the best course of action is for you. You must weigh the pros and cons of each treatment option based on your lifestyle and how you think theyll impact your quality of life.

    What You Need To Know

    • Essential tremor disorder is a neurological condition that causes your hands to shake rhythmically. The head, trunk and voice might also be involved, but hand shaking is most prominent. The cause is not known, but it is often passed down from a parent to a child.
    • Essential tremor is sometimes confused with other types of tremor, so getting the right diagnosis is important.
    • Tremors tend to be worse during movement than when at rest. The tremors can be disabling and can slowly worsen over time.
    • Some things might make tremors worse, and avoiding them may be helpful. Medicines can also help control or limit tremors in some people. Severe tremors can sometimes be treated with surgery.

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    Medications For Essential Tremor

    Propanolol and primidone are two of the medicines often prescribed to treat essential tremor.

    Propanolol blocks the stimulating action of neurotransmitters to calm your trembling. This beta blocker is effective in 40% to 50% of patients and is less useful in reducing head and voice tremor. It is usually avoided in patients with asthma, emphysema, congestive heart failure or heart block, and should be used with caution by people with diabetes who are on insulin. These drugs may reduce exercise tolerance, lower blood pressure or heart rate, exacerbate depression and cause impotence. Other adrenergic blockers with fewer side effects include atenolol, nadolol, metoprolol and timolol.

    Primidone controls the actions of neurotransmitters. Some patients starting primidone may experience a first dose phenomenon during which they have transient feelings of unsteadiness, dizziness and nausea during the beginning stages of treatment. This is usually short-lived. Sedation is another common side effect and can be reduced by following a slowly escalating dose schedule. Most patients are able to tolerate the side effects, and studies have shown that 60% to 100% of patients respond positively.

    If primidone or propranolol are not effective by themselves, a combination of both may provide relief for some patients.

    What Is Parkinsons Disease

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    Parkinsons disease is a nervous system disorder where a part of the brain degenerates over time. Tremors, slow speech and movement, and an altered or festinating gate are common symptoms.

    I have worked with many patients who had resting tremors and also patients who truly had Parkinsons disease. Resting tremors are when your hands shake without doing anything.

    Some people who have resting tremors will be told that they might have Parkinsons disease. Of course, many of them do but some of them dont.

    I have seen a strong correlation with over activation of the Sympathetic Autonomic Nervous System and tremors.

    The Parasympathetic Autonomic Nervous System is the Rest and Digest side of the nervous system. It is what keeps us calm. When you eat a large meal, it is what gets activated and causes you to want to rest.

    When the two sides of the Autonomic Nervous System are out of balance, it can create health problems.

    The best way that I can explain it is when you have a car accident, a physical altercation or a really bad argument, what tends to happen? Your blood pressure will rise and for about 10-20 minutes or so, your hands shake.

    Some people can get stuck in a chronic Sympathetic state where the Sympathetic nervous system overpowers the Parasympathetic.

    For some people, this can cause them to have resting tremors or the shakes while others will experience anxiety, depression, night sweats, excessive sweating during the day, poor digestion, hot flashes, etc

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    Cause Of Essential Tremor

    Essential tremor is the most common type of tremor, and affects more people than Parkinsons disease. Some estimates suggest that around 1 in 5 people over the age of 65 years is affected.

    There is no known cause, but a genetic link is strongly suspected. Each child of a person with essential tremor has a 50% chance of inheriting the disorder themselves. If a person with essential tremor has other affected family members, then the disorder is called familial tremor.

    Essential Tremor Vs Parkinsons Disease

    Essential tremor and Parkinsons disease are both adult-onset tremor disorders that can be characterized by shaking that affects daily life. If you have one of these conditions, you may find it difficult to hold onto items, struggle to write normally, and notice your hands shaking uncontrollably. However, beyond that, there are many key differences.

    If you believe you may suffer from one of these conditions, this guide can help you better understand the signs that you may have Parkinsons disease or essential tremor, how each is diagnosed, and what the treatment process entails. If you have questions about a certain aspect of these conditions, use the links below to navigate to its specific section:

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