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Parkinson’s Tremor: Everything you need to know

Parkinson’s Tremor: Everything you need to know

Parkinson’s Disease is a chronic and progressive brain disorder that impairs the coordination and balance of the human body. Muscle control and movement are severely affected as the disease advances. 

One of the most easily identifiable motor symptoms of Parkinson’s is having shaky hands and/or feet. This is a tremor that occurs due to involuntary muscle contraction in the limb(s).

Through this blog, we will help you understand Parkinsonian tremor, how to manage its severity, and also throw light on the best treatment for Parkinson’s in India.

Let’s understand Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the degeneration of the basal ganglia. Over a period of time, the neurons in the brain start to malfunction and eventually stop working altogether.

As the disease progresses, it affects movement and gait, and can lead to psychological symptoms such as paranoia or hallucinations. 

Regenerative Rehabilitation Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Speech Therapy is the recommended treatment for Parkinson’s.

What is a tremor?

A tremor is the uncontrollable and unintended shaking that affects a body part. It is one of the main symptoms of Parkinson’s, and is also the most common.

The tremor usually begins with your thumb and index finger shaking in a manner that looks like you are trying to roll a pill.

As your condition advances, the tremors begin to affect other limbs and body parts too. Tremors can even be felt/seen in the jawline.

The tremor in PD is commonly referred to as Parkinsonian tremor. A typical Parkinsonian tremor occurs mostly when the body is at rest. It is known as resting tremor. For example, the patient’s hand may shake while they’re seated. However, this tremor is visibly less when the same patient stretches out their hand to shake hands with another person. The tremor also lessens when asleep, or when the particular body part is actively in use. 

While most Parkinsonian tremors are resting tremors, there are instances where the patient may even experience the action tremor or essential tremor. These tremors occur when the body is in motion. For instance, while moving the hand to the face. 

What differentiates the Parkinsonian tremor from other tremors (symptoms of other diseases) are:

  • They are rhythmic in nature: slow and continuous; there are no random tics, sudden jerks, etc.
  • They start as asymmetric tremors: experienced only in one side of the body in the initial stages, but they can spread to both sides of the body as the disease advances

 

Body parts affected by Parkinsonian tremor

Parkinsonian tremors can typically be felt in five main body parts:

Hands

This tremor is the pill-rolling action of the thumb and index finger.

 

Foot

This tremor is most likely to happen when your foot is at rest (while sitting/lying down); appears like your whole leg is shaking

Foot tremors while walking may be indicative of another condition.

Jaw

When experiencing these tremors, the patient looks like they’re shivering. These can also make dentures shift or fall out because of the continuous chatter.

Chewing lessens the tremors in the jaws significantly. So, chewing gum may help once in a while.

Tongue

A rare tremor, a tongue tremor can cause your entire head to shake.

Internal

Some patients with Parkinson’s feel a shaking sensation in their chest or abdomen. This tremor is not visible from the outside. 

Causes of Parkinsonian tremor

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in motor control, cognitive abilities, motivation, arousal of pleasure, etc. It is often touted as the feel good hormone. Since PD interferes with the brain’s ability to produce dopamine, patients experience problems in movement and coordination.

Rigidity, slowness of movement, balance issues, gait, and even tremors in PD are a result of low dopamine levels.

Stress, fatigue, and rest inhibitors like caffeine can adversely affect the tremors making them more pronounced.

Diagnosis

To diagnose Parkinsonian tremor involves observing the patient and their symptoms, and also ruling out other plausible causes of the tremor.

The tremors are usually identified while making a Parkinson’s diagnosis.

Managing tremor and other Parkinson’s symptoms

The first course of treatment for PD is prescribing dopaminergic medications to help restore (to some extent) the brain’s ability to produce dopamine. Levodopa is the most commonly prescribed medication to manage PD symptoms, including Parkinsonian tremors.

If the patient does not respond well to Levodopa, other dopamine agonists may be prescribed to manage PD symptoms.

Mesenchymal stem cell transplantation uses stem cells to treat several motor neuron diseases, slowing the rate of degeneration caused by MND, Parkinson’s and other illnesses. This regenerative treatment is becoming more and more popular in the field of neurorehabilitation

Plexus Parkinson’s Disease Rehabilitation Program

Founded by Dr. Na’eem Sadiq, India’s best Parkinson’s neurologist, Plexus is India’s first ISO-Certified stem cell research center. Stem cell therapy has proved to be extremely beneficial in the treatment and care of patients with PD. 

Stem cells are injected directly into the basal ganglia. These injected cells have the potential to develop into dopamine-secreting neurons thereby slowing down the progression of Parkinson’s, reducing the severity of Parkinsonian tremors, and giving the individual with a fighting chance to not let the disease get the better of them.

At Plexus Neuro and Stem Cell Research Center, we use only autologous stem cells taken from the patient’s own body. As India’s leading stem cell specialists, we assure you of a safe treatment with absolutely no adverse effects.

With the primary intent to restore and enhance functionality, stem cell therapy improves the quality of lives of patients with PD. 

At Plexus, we believe Parkinson’s shouldn’t come in the way of you leading a purposeful life. And that is our Parkinson’s Rehabilitation Program works towards reducing the severity of symptoms and progression of PD.

Apart from stem cell therapy, our regenerative program also includes physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and cognitive rehabilitation therapy.

Book an appointment with Dr Na’eem Sadiq today.

Call +91 89048 42087 | 080-2546 0886

080-2547 0886 | 080-2549 0886

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FAQs

What are the 3 hallmark signs of Parkinson’s?

Tremor, muscle stiffness, and slower movements are the three most common telltale signs of Parkinson’s.

What is the difference between essential tremors and Parkinson’s tremors?

Essential tremors are those felt while the body is in motion. Parkinson’s tremors are experienced when the body is in resting mode, like lying down, sitting, etc.

Is Parkinson’s treatable?

Though chronic, the progression of Parkinson’s disease can be slowed down by managing its symptoms. Medication, exercise, regenerative therapy, etc. contribute towards slowing down the rate of progression of the disease.

What helps with Parkinson’s tremors?

Dopaminergic medication (levodopa), dopamine agonists, anticholinergic medication (that inhibit secretion of acetylcholine) help with Parkinson’s tremors.

Where do Parkinson’s tremors start?

The Parkinsonian tremor usually begins with your thumb and index finger shaking in a manner that looks like you are trying to roll a pill.

How do doctors diagnose Parkinson’s?

A neurologist will make a Parkinson’s diagnosis based on 

  • The patient’s medical history
  • Type and extent of the patient’s symptoms

A Parkinson’s diagnosis can only be made after other diseases with similar symptoms are ruled out.

What is the new treatment for Parkinson’s?

Regenerative treatments like stem cell therapy are the newest prognosis plans for Parkinson’s. Stem cells are injected directly into the basal ganglia. These injected cells have the potential to develop into dopamine-secreting neurons thereby slowing down the progression of Parkinson’s, reducing the severity of Parkinsonian tremors, and giving the individual with a fighting chance to not let the disease get the better of them. 

How long does Parkinson’s last?

Patients with Parkinson’s have gone to live for 20+ years after the diagnosis.

Can you live a normal life with tremors?

While tremors are not dangerous per se, they can make certain kinds of situations hazardous for the patient. For instance, driving may be risky for a patient with Parkinson’s. However, with the right treatment to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s, patients are able to lead normal lives.

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