Essential Tremors

Essential tremor is a movement disorder that is characterized by shaking that you can’t control.

Often, it starts in the hand or fingers and may progress to involve other parts of the body over time. While it is mostly considered “benign",  it can be life-altering and can make work or other activities difficult.


Symptoms

The main symptom is shaking (tremors) that you cannot control. It usually happens on both sides of your body. It often starts in the hands but can also affect the arms, head or torso. Your voice may be shaky as well. The shaking happens when trying to use that body part.


Screening & Diagnosing Essential Tremor

There is no known cause of essential tremor but the shaking may be a result of changes in certain parts of your brain. You are at a higher risk if one or both of your parents had it.

There is no test to diagnose essential tremor. Rather, your doctor will ask about your family history and how long you have had the shaking. Your doctor will watch your movements and do a full neurologic examination. You may have lab or imaging to rule out other causes.


Treating Essential Tremor

There are some medicines, such as beta-blockers or anticonvulsants that may help to reduce tremors. Treatment may include physical therapy to help improve strength and balance and also occupational therapy to help with daily activities. Surgery may be an option for some people while others will not require any treatment.

New, cutting-edge treatment

High Intensity Focused Ultrasound

Patients return home tremor free after a two-hour incisionless, outpatient procedure

In August 2024, Hartford HealthCare will be first in the state of Connecticut, and the fourth institution in all of New England, to offer high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), a non-invasive procedure for patients with essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease [tremor]. Ideal for patients that have not responded optimally to medications, and are either not candidates for or fearful of undergoing surgery, focused ultrasound uses sound waves to treat specific areas of the brain that induce the most troublesome symptoms of their condition. The ultrasound is applied while the patient is in an MRI machine enabling the neurosurgeon to precisely monitor and confirm where the energy is delivered.

The two-hour outpatient procedure doesn’t require surgical incisions or anesthesia, thus minimizing potential side effects, and many patients experience immediate and significant reduction in hand tremors and other symptoms which may have impaired their activities of daily living. It does not require any implants or long-term maintenance.

Learn more about treatments we offer >>



Meet our Essential Tremor Specialists:

Elena Bortan

 

Neurology

Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Mystic, CT 06355
Michelle Dagostine

 

Neurology

Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Cheshire, CT 06410
Benjamin Dorfman

 

Neurology

Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Cheshire, CT 06410
More Locations
Torrington, CT 06790
Anna Dzilenski

 

Neurology

Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Cheshire, CT 06410
Christopher Hillery

 

Neurology

Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Mystic, CT 06355
Lauren Just

 

Neurology

Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Cheshire, CT 06410
Jeffrey Lahrmann

 

Neurology

Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Vernon, CT 06066
Jessica Lawton

 

Neurology

Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Mystic, CT 06355
Duarte Machado

 

Neurology

Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Cheshire, CT 06410
Joseph Mascolo

 

Neurology

Medical Group Chase Family Movement Disorders Center
Vernon, CT 06066

Movement Center

Conditions We Treat

Chase Family Movement Disorders Center

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