Can age tremors be prevented

Expert chat - Remedies for the tremors of old age

Everyone trembles once - out of nervousness, out of fear or after intense physical exertion, for example. This has nothing to do with the essential tremor, also known as age tremor, because the tremor stops the moment the trigger disappears. With essential tremor, however, the tremor persists. It usually starts at 60, but for some it starts earlier. The uncontrollable tremor increases over the years. At some point, even the smallest everyday actions become a shiver: drinking from a glass, entering a phone number, eating with a fork. By then, at the latest, medical solutions must be found. Medication can help relieve symptoms. Deep brain stimulation, a surgical intervention in the brain, can almost completely stop the tremors. However, until the decision to have such an operation is made, many questions remain unanswered. Prof. Alain Kaelin and Dr. Oguzkan Sürücü answered them in the chat - you can find five of them here.

  • Question from N. H., Engelberg: My mother (85) has had an essential tremor for four years. I have found that if she is distracted and not focused on the action, she can even drink an espresso from the original cup or eat soup! What's going on in your head?
    Answer from Dr. Oguzkan Sürücü:Automated movements and postures (e.g. cycling) work very well unconsciously. When the attention is consciously drawn to an action, additional brain centers are activated to give it the high priority. However, in the case of disturbed control loops in the area of ​​targeted action, the symptoms can then be intensified. We are just beginning to understand the brain better ...
  • Question from U. F., 7112 Duvin: What is the proportion of patients who recovered or partially recovered during the operation?
    Answer from Prof. Alain Kaelin:& nbsp; A significant improvement in tremors occurs in> 90% of patients. Sometimes this is accompanied by side effects such as slurred speech or slight balance problems, and the patient may be slightly disturbed as a result. A serious complication such as a cerebral haemorrhage during the operation is very rare.
  • Question from A. N., Gelterkinden: Idea as an exercise? Would it be of any use to play pantomime? Imagination plays an essential role and the muscle power to be transferred can be varied.
    Answer from Dr. Alain Kaelin:& nbsp; Personally, I have no experience of pantomime therapy for tremors. However, our experience as neurologists is that, in the case of strong tremor, no therapy based on imagination, relaxation exercises, training, etc ... can bring about an effective improvement in everyday function.
  • Question from E. G., 1212 Grand-Lancy: My friend is 73 years old and his right thumb is trembling particularly badly, most of the day. What can he do?
    Answer from Dr. Oguzkan Sürücü:It sounds like a tremor under resting conditions, typically in the thumb area, which is more likely to occur in Parkinson's disease. If he still has a disturbed sleep, slows down, leans forward and shows few facial expressions, has blockages or can no longer write well, these could be further indications for Parkinson's disease. I would recommend going to a neurologist if you see any of the symptoms mentioned above. Something could only be done when a diagnosis is made.
  • Question from T. H., Bern: Hello, I'm 50, my mother and some deceased female relatives suffer / suffered from the tremors of old age. I also notice a fine tremor in my hands in tense situations. Can that be a first sign, what can I do preventively?
    Answer from Dr. Oguzkan Sürücü:& nbsp; Although a familial cluster is known, there is still no genetic testing due to a lack of detected mutations. Your tremors may actually be the beginning of what is known as essential tremor. But trembling under tension is far from being a diagnosis; it is often within the standard deviation of the normal. It is therefore advisable to consult a neurologist with experience in the field of movement disorders if the symptoms increase, especially when holding and guiding objects.

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On the «Pulse» expert hotline, information was provided by: Dr. Stefan Haegele-Link, Dr. Markus F. Oertel and Dr. Gaby Schoch


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