Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery

Most patients able to stop medication for essential tremor

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Essential tremor is a hereditary neurological disease that causes hand, head and mouth tremors.  This condition is significantly more prevalent than Parkinson's Disease.

Medications are available to alleviate the shaking symptoms associated with these conditions, but over time these medications become either intolerable because of side effects or lose their impact on the tremors they are intended to address.

"Deep brain stimulation is effective for essential tremor."

University of South Florida neurologist Theresa Zesiewicz, MD and her team followed 31 patients who had essential tremor for 10 or more years and who had opted to have the deep brain stimulation surgery.

Of these 31 patients, 13 were still taking medication to control their tremors. Ten of these 13 patients were able to discontinue their tremor medicine as the surgery alleviated their symptoms.

The only reason the remaining three stayed on the anti-tremor medication was because the anti-tremor medicine also reduced their blood pressure.

Before the sursgery, 54 percent of the original 31 patients had already discontinued their medications for essential tremor because of side effects including drops in blood pressure and cognitive impairment.

All of the patients receiving deep brain stimulation received benefits but it is not known how long these benefits will last.

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Review Date: 
April 9, 2011
Last Updated:
April 17, 2011