Are my tremors Parkinson's?
Tremors, those involuntary rhythmic movements of the body, can be unsettling. When people think of tremors, the first association that often comes to mind is Parkinson's disease. However, the reality is far more nuanced. Tremors can stem from various causes, and not all of them are linked to Parkinson's. In this article, we will delve into the world of tremors, exploring their types, causes, and shedding light on the fact that tremors are a symptom rather than a condition themselves.
Types of Tremors
Tremors come in different flavors, each with its own underlying cause. It's important to differentiate between them to better understand their origins.
Essential Tremor: This is one of the most common tremor types and often mistaken for Parkinson's. It's characterized by involuntary shaking, usually affecting the hands, head, or voice. Unlike Parkinson's tremors, essential tremors are usually more pronounced when a person is in motion and tend to run in families.
Parkinsonian Tremor: While this type is associated with Parkinson's disease, not all tremors experienced by individuals with Parkinson's fall into this category. Parkinsonian tremors are usually seen when the muscles are at rest and may decrease or disappear with purposeful movement.
Dystonic Tremor: These tremors are often seen in conjunction with dystonia, a movement disorder. They tend to be more irregular and may be triggered by specific actions.
Physiological Tremor: This is the type of tremor that everyone experiences to some degree, especially during times of stress or when consuming too much caffeine. It's usually not a cause for concern and disappears once the triggering factors are addressed.
Causes of Tremors Beyond Parkinson's
Tremors can be a result of a wide array of factors, each shedding light on the complexity of the human body:
- Medications: Certain medications, like those used to treat asthma, seizures, and mood disorders, can lead to tremors as a side effect.
- Hyperthyroidism: An overactive thyroid gland can lead to physiological tremors.
- Stress and Anxiety: Emotional factors can trigger tremors, showcasing the intricate connection between the mind and body.
- Caffeine Intake: Excessive consumption of caffeine can lead to temporary tremors.
- Neurological Conditions: Apart from Parkinson's, conditions such as multiple sclerosis and stroke can also result in tremors.
What to do if you suspect Parkinson’s?
It's crucial to recognize that not all tremors are indicative of Parkinson's disease. Self-diagnosis based solely on tremors can lead to unnecessary anxiety. A proper medical evaluation by a qualified healthcare professional is vital to determine the underlying cause.
PD-Monitor for the diagnosis of Parkinson’s
The PD-Monitor is an easy-to-use desktop device designed to measure hand movements, including finger tapping. The clinically validated software enables PD-Monitor to discriminate the movements of Parkinson’s patients from those of neurologically healthy individuals.
What's even better is that we offer a home testing service, bringing the equipment to your doorstep and conducting the test in the comfort of your own home. Our rapid response time allows patients to take the test while awaiting a specialist appointment. You will receive a test report, providing your healthcare professional with valuable additional information for their diagnosis.
PD-Monitor test is currently only available in Auckland and Nelson.