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Movement Disorder

I started having a tremor six weeks ago.  There’s no resting tremor, but can hear a pulsation (7Hz) in both ears when there is low pitch background noise. My tongue and jaw have the tremor, and I occasionally stumble on words because I can’t control my tongue quite as well.  I have gotten uncoordinated as my fingers, arms, and hands overshoot targets and over-rebound.  Typing and playing the piano are very difficult.  The tremor is in my back and both arms, and my legs feel a bit wobbly.  I also get random twitches and short small occasion involuntary movements throughout my body.  Finally, I feel oversensitive to touch, and I am tired most of the time.  Also, it takes more concentration to focus my eyes, and my balance (even when I sitting) does not feel right.

I have been to a neurologist who diagnosed me with Benign Essential Tremor.  He sent me for extensive blood work, an MRI, and an EEG.  There were no abnormalities in these test results.  He told me that I do not have the right symptoms of any of the really bad stuff (like Parkinson’s, ALS, MSA, or MS).  He put me on 400mg Gabapentin, 75mg Lamictal, and 0.25mg Xanax.  He has referred me to the Cleveland Clinic for a second opinion, but says he is 95% certain that I don’t have a life threatening condition.  Needless to say, I am scared as hell.  I find it hard to concentrate, and am low energy.  I do not know if the concentration problem is from the underlying condition, the medications, or my anxiety.  Also, I was referred to an ENT to look at my throat as the tongue tremor makes it a little difficult to eat some foods (I find pieces of lettuce or seeds in my mouth (not in my teeth) long after I have eaten).

Has anyone out there had these symptoms and had it resolve to either Essential Tremor or Benign Fascilation Disorder?  Are there any experts who have seen a case like mine before?  The neurologist assures me that I am not going to die, but I may scare myself to death.

Thank you for your help.
1 Responses
Avatar universal
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.

Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.

Essential tremor is a movement disorder that does have a genetic component to it, meaning usually a family member has it as well. The good news about it is that besides the tremor, which is of course very bothersome, it does not have other consequences (it is not neurodegenerative) in the majority of patients do not develop Parkinson’s disease. It can be treated with medications such as propranolol. Others include primidone, toprimate and gabapentin. It is best for your neurologist and you discuss the side effects of each medication and find the one best for you.

Benign fasciculation syndrome is a condition in which there are involuntary twitches (not a tremor) of various muscle groups, most commonly the legs but also the face, arms, eyes, and tongue. If the diagnosis is confirmed and other causes are excluded, it can be safely said that the likelihood of progression or occurrence of a serious neurologic condition is low. When this condition is present but not particularly bothersome or disabling, treatment is not necessary. If severe and it requires treatment, there are a few medication options though this condition is not very common, and the research that has been done on its treatment is limited. Minimizing caffeine and stress, and treating anxiety if it is present, will improve your symptoms.

I recommend continued follow-up with your neurologist.

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.

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