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What is Benign Essential Tremor?
Benign essential tremor is a movement disorder, meaning it affects parts of the brain that control body movement (motor function).
The tremor, or involuntary shaking, is very rapid, generally more than five times a second.
Essential tremor is the most common type of tremor and is mainly found in people over age 65. An Eessential tremor is not dangerous or life-threatening, but it can be annoying and embarrassing for many people.
In some cases, it may be dramatic enough to interfere with:
Several treatment options can help control symptoms of benign essential tremor. People whose symptoms have not responded well to medication alone may be candidates for deep brain stimulation at UPMC.
Causes for benign essential tremor by abnormal electrical fluctuations in the brain. These fluctuations send incorrect signals to the muscles, causing the body to contract.
There are several regions of the brain linked to essential tumor, including the cerebellum, globus pallidus, thalamus, and cortex.
Genetics may be one a factor in the development of essential tremors. This disorder is more common in the elderly and tends to become more pronounced with age. An benign essential tremor causes is not dangerous or life-threatening, but it can be annoying and embarrassing for many people.
Treating essential tremors
Several treatment options can help control symptoms of essential tremor. People whose symptoms have not responded well to medication alone may be candidates for deep brain stimulation at UPMC.
Benign essential tremor treatment may not be needed unless tremors and their symptoms are interfering with daily life or causing embarrassment.Experts at UPMC offer many state-of-the-art treatments to alleviate the symptoms of movement disorders and allow patients to lead fuller and more independent lives.
UPMC is a leader in treating movement disorders such as essential tremor with deep brain stimulation, and now offers both standard and MRI-guided asleep DBS, depending on your condition.
Deep brain stimulation delivers electrical stimulation to targeted areas in the brain that control movement, blocking the neuronal signals that cause abnormal movement. DBS gives significant benefit in 80-90 percent of people who undergo the procedure for essential tremor.
Gamma Knife® radiosurgery
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a painless procedure that uses hundreds of highly focused radiation beams to target deep brain regions to create precise functional lesions within the brain, with no surgical incision. Gamma Knife may be a treatment option for patients with essential tremor who are high risk for surgery due to medical conditions or advanced age.