Essential Tremor While at Rest

August 25, 2018

Since essential tremor has been classified as a kinetic tremor, it is unlikely that symptoms of essential tremor while at rest will be present. Kinetic tremors mostly affect those with the condition when they make directed muscle movements in their upper body. But, there is a chance that those with essential tremor suffer from isolated rest tremor. Tremors at rest are a much more common characteristic of Parkinson’s Disease. This condition has been observed in some patients with essential tremor, but not all. It poses a very difficult diagnostic challenge, and there is not much information about it available. The phenomenon has been examined in a few studies, but is still very poorly understood. 

In one of the studies of essential tremor while at rest, 64 patients with essential tremor cared for at a referral center underwent neurological examination. Five of the 12 patients with rest tremor also underwent computerized tremor analysis and handwritten spiral analysis. After the study was complete, the findings showed that the 12 patients with essential tremor that also had tremors at rest, had a longer duration of the disease and it was much more severe. It was also shown that the 12 with rest tremors had a more widely affected area, with more experiencing frequent head tremors. 

In other samples, it is found that 1 in 5 people with essential tremor also show essential tremor while at rest. When tremors at rest manifest themselves in people with essential tremor, the disease is much more severe, covers more area of the body, and has been present for much longer. The precise prevalence of essential tremor while at rest is unknown, though it probably is more common than we think. There have not been any studies performed about the frequency or the severity of these tremors, so it is widely unknown how they may even manifest themselves in the body while at rest. 

There is not much information about why essential tremor while at rest occurs. The basis for the rest tremor could be basal ganglia involvement, raising the possibility that the pathologic processes that also cause essential tremor may also affect other structures in the body and how they interact. Since there is not much information about what causes essential tremor alone, the causes for a somewhat rare symptom of the condition are also unknown. More studies need to be performed on essential tremor while at rest to truly understand what causes it and potential treatments for those who suffer. 

Overall, though it seems to be fairly common, experiencing essential tremor while at rest can be a symptom of the essential tremor condition. Though essential tremor is mostly a kinetic disorder, there are cases where it affects those while at rest as well. It seems that severity as well as length of condition can somewhat indicate if a person is more likely to have essential tremor while at rest or not. 


Information about essential tremor while at rest studies and other supporting information came from