Tremor

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A tremor can be described as a rhythmic, trembling or shaking movement that you cannot control voluntarily.

Up to 75 per cent of people with MS experience tremor at some time.

Tremor may be experienced as small, shaking movements or as larger movements. If tremor develops, it tends to be some years after people’s first symptom of MS, typically between five and 15 years. 

There are two kinds of tremor - intention tremor (that comes on when you want to reach for something) and postural tremor - when you have a tremor as you sit or stand. 

Find out more about tremor.

 

MS tremors are most often caused by damage to myelin in an area of the brain called the cerebellum and the nerve pathways leading to or from it. 

Some people may experience tremor during relapses and, like other symptoms, it will often lessen when a relapse is over.

Find out more about the causes of tremor.

Tremor might be so mild that no one else notices it, or it might be more pronounced, causing a drink to spill when a cup is full, for example, or affecting handwriting.

 

For a small percentage of people, it is more severe, causing limbs to shake so that you need help with everyday tasks like eating and drinking.

Specialists like physiotherapists and occupational therapists can assess the problems that tremor and other movement difficulties are causing you.

There are no drugs specifically for treating MS tremor. However, some people have found that drugs licensed for treating other conditions can be beneficial in reducing tremor.

Few of these drugs have been evaluated in trials or studies for tremor in MS and none have been tested in large-scale clinical trials for MS tremor.

Find out more about treating and managing tremor.

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