New guidelines explain how to treat essential tremor, which often involves… (Benjamin Reed / Los Angeles…)
Essential tremor is the most common type of tremor disorder. The trembling of the hands, head or voice can be insignificant and require no treatment. But other people have severe symptoms and can benefit from medical intervention.
New guidelines published Wednesday by the American Academy of Neurology should help doctors explain treatment options to their patients and spur more research into the condition, which affects an estimated 10 million Americans.
The condition, which usually starts after age 40, can be treated with the high blood pressure drug propranolol and the seizure drug primidone. Other medications that might help include the seizure drugs topiramate and gabapentin, the anxiety drug alprazolam and other medications for high blood pressure.
In addition, deep-brain stimulation and a type of brain surgery called thalamotomy may help people who do not respond to medications.
"For people who are not benefiting from these drugs, it's important that they work with their neurologist to explore other types of treatments," said Dr. Theresa A. Zesiewicz, a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, in a news release.
The guidelines appear online in the journal Neurology.
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