Wednesday, February 21, 2024

How To Tell Difference Between Parkinson’s And Essential Tremor

How Can I Better Cope With Having Parkinson’s Disease

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

The most important step you can take is to seek help as soon as you feel less able to cope with Parkinson’s disease. Taking action early will enable you to understand and deal with the many effects of your condition. A mental health care provider can design a treatment plan to meet your specific needs. Strategies can be designed to help you regain a sense of control over your life and improve your quality of life.

Other steps you can take include the following.

  • Find out as much as you can about the illness.
  • Talk to your friends and family about it. Don’t isolate them. They will want to be involved in helping you.
  • Do things you enjoy.
  • Do not be afraid to ask your doctor, nurse, or other health care provider to repeat any instructions or medical terms that you don’t understand or remember. They should always be available to answer your questions and address your concerns.
  • Make use of resources and support services offered by your hospital and in your community.
  • Learn to manage stress. This will help you to maintain a positive physical, emotional, and spiritual outlook on life. Being stressed out will only make the situation worse. You should try to organize a daily routine that will reduce stress, with down time for both you and your family members.
  • If you are depressed — and this is more than just feeling sad occasionally — antidepressants can be prescribed to help lift your mood.

Clinical Situation #: Pd Or Pd+et

Clinical summary

A 65-year-old man with rest tremor and rigidity in the right arm is diagnosed with PD. Five years later, he develops a postural tremor of his right arm, which occurs after a latency of 10 s and a frequency similar to his 4-Hz rest tremor.

A re-emergent tremor with similar frequency to the patients rest tremor is consistent with a diagnosis of PD. There are no additional features to suggest ET.

What Is The Difference Between Essential Tremor And Parkinsons Disease

Essential tremor is a neurological disease with autosomal dominant inheritance, which is characterized by the development of bilateral, low amplitude tremor prominently seen in the upper limbs. On the other hand, Parkinsons disease is a movement disorder characterized by a decline in the dopamine level of the brain.

Furthermore, essential tremors can affect patients of any age, but the peak incidence is in the early decades of life. However, Parkinsons usually occurs in the elderly people. Moreover, essential tremors have an autosomal dominant trait while Parkinsons disease is not known to have a genetic trait. The below infographic presents more details on the difference between essential tremors and Parkinsons disease.

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Essential Tremor Vs Parkinsons Tremors: A Guide To The Major Differences

When people think of Parkinsonsdisease, they may picture the shaking hands commonly associated with thecondition. Persistent shaking of hands and limbsalso known as tremorcan makeit difficult to write a grocery list, hold a cup of tea, button a shirt andapply makeup, among other routine tasks. When tremors interfere with dailylife, it can be very disruptive. While tremors are a hallmark of Parkinsonspatients, there are other diseases similar to Parkinsons that can causetremors.

Cognitive And Psychological Differences In Patients With Essential Tremor

Benign essential tremor is probably the most common of all movement disorders. Someone with essential tremor has increased shakiness, usually of the hands or arms, whenever the limb is being used.?? This distinguishes the tremor from that of classical Parkinsons disease, which is usually worse when the arm and hand are at rest.

What Is The Difference Between Essential Tremor And Parkinsons Disease

When assessing the health of a person with a trembling disorder, medical professionals must look for certain key aspects that differentiate this condition from Parkinsons disease, as up to 30% of people with the latter initially receive a wrong diagnosis. The main differences between essential tremor and Parkinsons disease concern the following aspects:

Parkinsons Disease Vs Essential Tremor Early Symptoms How They DifferKelsey Drain

Disease Or Functional Problem

9 Fundamental Differences Between Parkinsons Disease and ...

For a person with ET, its not much comfort to call tremors a functional problem. When tremors are severe and incapacitating, it feels like a disease condition. However, in medical terms, a disease is an organic or pathological state with cellular changes that can usually be identified or diagnosed by physical tests. Such tests include blood and tissue analysis that may reveal distinct cellular changes or biomarkers, and various types of imaging for abnormalities . Also, many diseases lead to death if left untreated, or if there is no known cure. Thus, ET does not qualify as a diseasebut this is of little comfort if tremors become so severe that life is no longer normal.

However, ET is sometimes incorrectly diagnosed as Parkinsons disease . One of the main symptoms of PD is tremors, usually starting in the fingers or hands, but which can also affect other parts of the body as the disease progresses. In addition, PD brings stiffness and rigidity, slowness of voluntary movements, facial and postural drooping, balance and gait problems, skin abnormalities, cognitive and emotional difficulties, and eventually near-total disability. Thus, a diagnosis of PD is devastating.

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What Is Guided Imagery

Guided imagery is a proven form of focused relaxation that helps create harmony between the mind and body. Guided imagery coaches you in creating calm, peaceful images in your mind — a “mental escape.”

This technique, which can aid any treatment or procedure, provides a powerful psychological strategy that enhances a person’s coping skills. Many people dealing with stress feel loss of control, fear, panic, anxiety, helplessness, and uncertainty. Research has shown that guided imagery can dramatically counteract these effects. It can help people overcome stress, anger, pain, depression, insomnia, and other problems often associated with illnesses and medical/surgical procedures. It is clear that stress and depression can worsen the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. By using guided imagery, you can stay calm.

What Is The Difference Between A Parkinsons Disease Patient With Dystonia And A Dystonia Patient With Parkinsons Symptoms

Parkinsons disease is a neurological movement disorder with a wide array of symptoms that includes slowness of movement, rigidity of muscles, tremor, loss of balance, memory impairment, personality changes, and others. The movement symptoms of Parkinsons disease may be called parkinsonism. Parkinsonism is one aspect of Parkinsons disease.

Symptoms of dystonia and parkinsonism can occur in the same patient because both of these movement disorders seem to arise from involvement of the basal ganglia in the brain. Both parkinsonism and dystonia can each be caused by a great many disorders, and some of these disorders includes features of both parkinsonism and dystonia.

For example, there are the disorders known as dopa-responsive dystonia and x-linked dystonia-parkinsonism . DRD commonly begins in children as a dystonia predominately affecting the feet and being first manifested by an abnormal gait. In these children, features of parkinsonism tend to develop such as slowness of movement and also decreased muscle tone.

When DRD begins in adults, it usually appears first as parkinsonism and can be mistaken for Parkinsons disease. XDP can also first develop as either dystonia or parkinsonism, and the symptoms of other disorder may occur.

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Parkinson’s Disease Vs Essential Tremor: How Often Do The Tremors Come Along And How Bad Are They

People with Essential Tremor typically experience a higher tremor “frequency” than those with Parkinson’s disease their tremor shows up more often and sticks around for a longer period of time.

The strength of the tremors seen in Essential Tremor are also more variable, ranging from “barely there” to “is my body experiencing an earthquake?”. Parkinson’s disease patients, on the other hand, are more likely to experience much stronger tremors that come along less frequently.

How Do I Know If I Am A Candidate For Deep Brain Stimulation

Differences Between Essential Tremor and Parkinson’s Disease

Deep brain stimulation works for people with PD who have responded to levodopa but now have developed dyskinesias or other off symptoms like a return of tremors, rigidity and slowness of movement. DBS doesn’t seem to help people with atypical Parkinson’s syndromes that also don’t seem to improve with Parkinson’s meds.

There are many important issues to be addressed when considering DBS to treat Parkinson’s disease. These issues should be discussed with a movement disorders expert or a specially trained neurologist. A movement disorders expert is someone who has trained specifically in movement disorders.

One of the most important criteria is that you try drug treatment first. Surgery is not recommended if medications can adequately control the disease. However, surgery should be considered if you do not achieve satisfactory control with medications. Talk to your doctor to see if deep brain stimulation is right for you.

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Clinical Situation #: Et+pd

Clinical summary

A 45-year-old woman develops a bilateral action tremor than progressively worsens over the ensuing 15 years. Kinetic tremor is more severe than the postural tremor and she subsequently develops a postural head tremor. At 60 years of age, she develops a rest tremor in the right arm accompanied by bradykinesia .

The bilateral, progressive action tremor of long duration suggests ET and the subsequent development of a postural head tremor supports the diagnosis. The patient subsequently develops two parkinsonian signs, satisfying criteria for a clinical diagnosis of PD. The patient thus has a combination of ET+PD.

What Is Essential Tremor

Essential tremor is a neurological disease with autosomal dominant inheritance. The development of bilateral, low amplitude tremor, prominently in the upper limbs, is a characteristic clinical feature of this disease. Also, there are associated head movements and voice changes as well.

Moreover, this condition can affect patients of any age. Nevertheless, the tremor progresses slowly but rarely becomes severely debilitating.

There is a poor response to treatment most of the time, and drug treatment is often not necessary. However, stereotactic thalamotomy is used in severe cases.

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Is Head Tremor The Same As Essential Tremor

Head tremor is often described as an oscillation of the head, causing it to move side to side or up and down. The tremor can be rhythmic like a pendulum or irregular and more pronounced. While head tremors can be one of many types of tremors experienced by those with essential tremor, they are also seen in patients with dystonia.

Can Something Be Done About Voice Tremor

Differences between Parkinsonian tremor and essential ...

Botulinum toxin injections are generally the most effective treatment for voice tremor. Deep brain stimulation using bilateral stimulation may also help voice tremors, but will often cause slurred speech as well. For those with essential tremor, DBS is most often placed unilaterally , at least initially.

Chou, K, Grube, S, Patil, P. Deep Brain Stimulation. A New Life for People with Parkinsons Dystonia, and Essential Tremor. New York: Demos Medical Publishing, 2012.International Essential Tremor Foundation. . ET vs. Parkinsons: How do they differ? Retrieved January 15, 2015, from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. . Tremor Fact Sheet. My head shakes: is it dystonia? .

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Is It Parkinsons Or Essential Tremor

As we go on through life, a lot of incurable diseases and disorders emerge while we move on and try to adapt to change. Sometimes it feels as if theres no escape from these dilemmas and as if technology is the reason for these crises. Well, thats not true because the human species doesn’t stand aside and do nothing. On the contrary, we take a stand and use technology to help us find cures and results for every obstacle we face.

It wont be easy but its not impossible!As time passes, we find ourselves facing a huge obstacle in illnesses. We have come across multiple disorders like Parkinsons disease and essential tremor that have put us in quite a bubble. Conditions like these havent proven yet for a cure nor have they been analyzed for causes as well. But how can we tell disorders like these apart?First, lets take a quick look at both of these conditions and what they are.


What Is The Difference In Treatment

At times, it can be difficult to distinguish between dyskinesia and tremor, so it is essential to find a doctor with enough expertise to do so. Making the correct diagnosis is critically important, as it can profoundly alter treatment decisions.

If a person with Parkinsons is having dyskinesias that are bothersome and/or present most of the time, one option is to reduce the levodopa dose or other related Parkinsons medications. However, if doing so would adversely affect the control of your chief Parkinsons symptoms, your doctor may prescribe treatment to specifically target the dyskinesia. An extended-release formulation of amantadine has been approved by the FDA specifically for the treatment of levodopa-induced dyskinesia in people with Parkinsons and has been demonstrated to also reduce OFF time, when Parkinsons symptoms re-emerge. Another option is to consider other forms of amantadine, which are approved to treat Parkinsons and may be prescribed off-label to treat dyskinesia.

In short, making the wrong decision such as increasing levodopa when the person with Parkinsons actually has bothersome dyskinesias or decreasing the dose when the person with Parkinsons actually has tremor, can significantly compromise normal movement and quality of life.

For people with Parkinsons who are good candidates and willing to undergo surgery, deep brain stimulation can be a successful treatment option for controlling Parkinsons dyskinesia and parkinsonian tremor.

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How Does One Get Parkinsons Disease

A patient gets Parkinsons disease due to degeneration or destruction of the nerve cells which produce dopamine. Absence of the neurotransmitter called dopamine makes it difficult for the brain to control and coordinate muscle movements which in turn produces symptoms of tremors. It must be remembered that Parkinsons disease is a progressive neurological disorder.

How Is Dyskinesia Diagnosed

What is the difference between Essential tremor and Parkinson Disease tremor?

Parkinsons dyskinesia is most often diagnosed via a physical examination and clinical history review. Movement disorder specialists and neurologists are best equipped to make this diagnosis. To help confirm the diagnosis more objectively, your doctor may also suggest that you video yourself when youre at home or use a wearable device that can detect movements over time.

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Misperception #: Head Tremor Occurs In Et But Not In Pd

Head tremor is observed in patients with ET, with the reported prevalence being dependent on the ascertainment of the cases. One study noted head tremor in 12% of patients in the community, 37% in a tertiary referral center and 54% in a brain repository . Two studies evaluating factors associated with head tremor found that women with ET were four to six times more likely to have head tremor than men with ET . The head tremor of ET is typically a postural tremor that resolves at rest . Yet head tremor is not unique to ET. Head tremor has also been described in PD patients one study reported head tremor in 17% of clinically diagnosed PD cases . Head tremor was described in detail in five clinically diagnosed PD cases . The head tremor was present at rest , had a frequency similar to the 46-Hz rest tremor of the limbs and responded to levodopa . None of the cases had voice tremor.

Clinical pearl #4: Head tremor often occurs in patients with ET but can on occasion also be seen in patients with PD. The head tremor of ET is typically one that resolves at rest , in contrast to what has been reported in PD.

Do I Have Parkinsons Disease Or An Essential Tremor

2 Minute Read

Medically Reviewed by UPMC Susquehanna

While you may be familiar with Parkinsons disease, essential tremor is much less known, yet much more commoneight times more common, in fact.

Parkinsons disease is a progressive disease of the nervous system noticeable by resting tremor, balance issues, muscular rigidity, and slow movement. It typically affects middle-aged and elderly people. In addition to motor symptoms, Parkinsons patients can also experience depression, sleep disorders, loss of smell, constipation. In Parkinson plus syndrome, patients can also have autonomic dysfunction, cognitive impairment, and hallucinations. Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinsons disease every year. The cause of Parkinsons disease is unknown.

Essential tremor is one of the most common movement disorders in the world that seems to strike people over age 40. It is a progressive condition which starts with an uncontrollable movement of the hands when trying to reach something. Essential tremor can happen in the vocal cords, the head, and the legs. Even the early stages, essential tremor can make life difficult. You may have trouble writing, holding things, putting key to the lock, and preforming fine movement in your job. Tremor can stop after drinking alcohol. Essential tremor is believed to be caused by a genetic mutation can be inherited.

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Parkinson’s Disease Vs Essential Tremor: The Diagnostic Process


  • Patient reports on their symptoms
  • Diagnostic checklists
  • Physical examinations of various kinds, such as being asked to complete certain activities
  • A look at your family history

Your doctor may also:

  • Order a dopamine transporter imaging test Parkinson’s disease patients gradually lose dopamine, so test results indicative of this suggest Parkinson’s disease.
  • Use techniques such as accelerometry to look at the severity and patterns of your tremors.
  • Test your sense of smell, something that is often affected in people with Parkinson’s disease.

  • Fekete R, Jankovic J. Revisiting the relationship between essential tremor and Parkinsons disease. Mov Disord 2011,26:391-398.

Distinguishing Essential Tremor And Parkinsons Disease

85 best Essential Tremor images on Pinterest

While most people are familiar with Parkinsons Disease , Essential Tremor is much more common1.

If you are experiencing shaking of your hands, a neurologist specializing in movement disorders can perform testing to diagnose your condition. This may include holding your arms straight out in front of your body, touching your finger to your nose, and drawing spirals on a piece of paper. Additional testing or imaging scans may also be required as part of the diagnosis.

While only a qualified physician can provide a diagnosis, there are several key symptoms that differentiate Essential Tremor from other conditions such as Parkinsons Disease.

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