Dementia and Essential Tremor

May 31, 2018

Dementia and Essential Tremor are both somewhat mysterious ailments that have deep rooted cognitive impairment elements that are not fully understood. While Essential Tremor has been categorized as a motor disease, studies of patients 65 years and older with Essential Tremor show that there may be an increased risk for cognitive impairment and dementia. The underlying causes of Essential Tremor still remain highly uncertain, but there are studies that show that cognitive changes that trigger Essential Tremor may also trigger other diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Essential Tremor patients should be aware that these risks are associated with Essential Tremor, and go to their doctors to be screened for possible signs or symptoms of these types of impairments. Early screening/ diagnosis of dementia can allow for early treatment and slowing of the disease. As of late, doctors were not screening patients for this because there was not any research on their association with each other, but after further research there may be a connection between them. There is still much research that needs to be done to prove causation, but there appears to be a link between Essential Tremor and other brain dysfunctions.

Dementia and Essential Tremor affect very different aspects of a person’s day to day life, but can go hand in hand and effectively show symptoms at the same time. Dementia is not a specific disease, rather a term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory/ ability to perform everyday activities. Symptoms can be chronic or can last for years and be a lifelong battle. Dementia, like Essential Tremor requires a medical diagnosis that may require lab tests and imaging of the brain. 7 stages from no impairment to very severe cognitive decline are associated with the symptoms of dementia. There is treatment for dementia to help slow down/ stop symptoms, but there is no treatment. Symptoms include forgetfulness, limited and impaired social functions and skills and lack of memory and using reasoning or judgement. Dementia is usually very gradual, and slowly takes over the brain, causing lack of functionality and potentially severe and life threatening impairment.

Dementiapatients are very likely to get Essential Tremor along with Dementia. Essential Tremor was linked with increased odds of prevalent dementia and increased risk of incident dementia. Dementia is more likely to affect and older patients, and so older patients should be screened for dementia as well as Essential Tremor to assess a possible treatment plan.

As mentioned before, Dementia and Essential Tremor are similar because they both have no cure or successful antidote. Once a patient has been diagnosed, the only thing that can be done is symptom management and lifestyle planning/changes. Similar to Essential Tremor, Dementia symptoms are commonly managed with natural and holistic therapies, along with medication and dietary changes. Essential Tremor and Dementia are both said to be treated with things like Tumeric, Fish Oil, B12, nuts and relaxation/ meditation techniques. Though these are two very different conditions, someone experiencing both symptoms could find relief through treatments that may potentially influence both.