calming tremors

Eric Wassermann ewass at helix.nih.gov
Mon Oct 4 15:51:14 EST 1993

In article <28akd1INNsgf at darkstar.UCSC.EDU>, stigs at cats.ucsc.edu (Jacob
Akira Sarasohn) wrote:
> A general question for those up to date in Neurology,
> Particularly recent advances in drugs or techniques
> that can calm tremors.
> Several years ago, I was in a car accident that
> caused a stroke in my rt. occipital lobe blah blah.
> I regained most of my left side movement but severe
> low frequency but high amplitude tremors took over
> my left arm, mostly in my shoulder.  All the nerves
> are fine, it's all from the brain.  It seems to be
> coming more of a problem as I near the graduation date
> of my college years and am experiencing more stress??
> perhaps... I don't know, but sitting in classes listening
> to lectures and concentrating more on pinching my arm 
> between the desk and the wall to stop it from shaking than
> the lecture is extremely annoying.  I'm wondering
> if anyone knowledgable in the area has any suggestions,
> drugs that might help, procedures short of throwing the
> arm underneath a train.  It's not good for anything but
> keeping me from falling asleep and embarrasing me in
> public, as it doesn't move so well.  I saw a neurologist
> several years ago and he just smiled a lot and asked if
> the whole thing depressed me.  I don't hope for much,
> but you never know what can happen in a year or two.
> Thanks for your time.

A good neurologist, especially a movement disorder specialist, would have a
reasonable chance of reducing the movement in that arm with medication. 
Treatment of unusual tremors of this type tends to be by trial and error,
but there are lots of potentially helpful drugs out there.  Stereotaxic
surgery--making very small lesions with a thermal probe in the
thalamus--has also been extremely effective and safe in certain hands.  I
would encourage you to seek help at a high level academic movement disorder
                                      As far as I know,
Eric Wassermann                       The opinions expressed are not
Human Motor Control Section           those of the Federal Government,
NINDS, NIH                            the U.S. Public Health Service
                                      or the National Institutes of Health

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