What to Expect During Consultation for Essential Tremor
There are multiple goals for your consultation for essential tremor, including:
- Confirming your diagnosis of essential tremor
- Many disorders can cause tremor, so the diagnosis can sometimes be confusing.
- To understand if your tremor is indeed due to essential tremor, we will ask you several questions, including but not limited to, the history of your tremor, whether your tremor bothers your more at rest or with movement, whether you have a family history of tremor, whether your tremor improves with alcohol, and several additional questions.
- Evaluate your past treatments for tremor
- In many cases, medications can provide significant relief of tremor.
- First line medications include propranalol and primidone. If you haven't yet tried these, we may recommend a trial of these medications before considering a surgical therapy. In some cases, these medications may help but your tremor may still be incapacitating or bothersome. In these cases, we may still recommend treatment with MR Guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS), Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), or Stereotactic Radiosurgery.
- Document the severity of your tremor
- Best clinical practice is to provide detailed clinical documentation of your tremor and how it impacts your quality of life.
- We will administer a standard rating scale, which will include a physical examination of your tremor, tests of your writing and drawing, and finally questions about how your tremor impacts your quality of life.
- Understand how your tremor impacts your life and how treating your tremor will improve your life
- In addition to asking standardized questions, we want to get to know you and understand your personal and individualized goals, to make sure that the treatments we offer can help you in a meaningful way.
Once we recommend a treatment, we will discuss in detail the expectations from the procedure, including both benefits and risks. We will also review the procedure for making sure you're a candidate for the procedure (which will require a specialized CT scan) and for scheduling your treatment.