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Essential Tremor misdiagnosed?

I do not know whether the diagnosis of Essential Tremor still fits my case:

When I was around the age of two my mother noticed that when I would stand to walk I could barely take a step before one leg would collapse under the other. She presented me to several doctors who x-rayed my hips and did various physical tests and could not explain my inability to walk. I was eventually referred to a pediatric neurologist who suggested that I had a mild form of cerebral palsy; however as I began to write and eat independently they noticed and action tremor within my arms/hands as well. To cope I began to switch hands while writing, using the left to complete some letters and dot ‘i’ and cross ‘t’, the same went with eating I would switch hands in mid bite (scoop with one hand bring to mouth with another). After a few months the limpness and the stagger in my leg went away and only the tremor remained and I was diagnosed with essential tremor. But it was never characteristic of essential tremor rather it was always an inconsistent tic. The tic has gotten slightly worse over the years (I am now 18) and has more or less moved it has become less evident in my hands and now lies mainly in my torso, lower neck, shoulder and head and barely noticeable in my hands and arms. It is almost like an entire body spasm which I think is inconsistent with essential tremor because it is not rhythmic at all but it is action and slightly postural tremor/tic. It is not Parkinson’s or Tourette’s my neurologist ruled these out recently and is now confused because the inconsistent tremor suddenly turned into an inconsistent tic. I have never had an MRI or any kind of scan of my brain or nervous system or any other tests to rule out any other possibilities. My great-grandfather had a similar problem but occurred much later in his life (around 65) and was thought to be Parkinson’s all my mother knows however is that he had problems writing possibly contributed to old age. Another odd thing, I do not know if this correlates with anything, but when my first molars erupted they had absolutely no enamel on them and were basically “stubs”. My first molars developed around the time when the limpness and tremors took place. I also developed severe anxiety as a child and had frequent panic attacks and a social phobia of sorts. I still have this anxiety today paired with depression (depression runs in family) and is controlled with Paxil. I do not have any learning disabilities or delays.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hi,

It is good that Parkinsons and Tourettes are already ruled out from the differentials. Essential tremors are postural tremors that can occur at any age, and may become progressively more severe with time. Tremors are not to be confused with tics, which are rapid, involuntary movements of the body. All true tremors are greatly reduced or disappear altogether during sleep.

It would be helpful to have imaging modalities to rule out structural or musculoskeletal causes.  If there is a family history of seizures, an EEG may also help rule this out. I would not say this as misdiagnosed because at the start, the symptoms were different. This is why further evaluation by your doctor  is recommended to determine the underlying cause. Take care and keep us posted.
Avatar universal
I have recently noticed tremors in my left leg which does not happen all the time.  Doesn't hurt, just moves.  At times it is worse than at other times.  It was looked at by a neurologist, and of course, it did not happen when I was there.  It seems to be coming more and more.  I do know that nerves cause it to worsen.  Any advice....Thanks.
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