(Gloucestercitynews.net)(Dec. 10, 2019)--If you’re not fully clued up with the condition, essential tremor is a nerve disorder that is characterized by uncontrollable shaking in different areas or sides of the body.
The most commonly affected areas include the hands, arms, head, larynx (voice box), tongue and chin and, although rare, the lower body can also be affected.
The condition is not life-threatening providing that the affected individual is not restricted in their ability to care for themselves.
Most of those suffering will be able to live normal lives, although difficulty in everyday tasks may be found (eating, dressing, writing etc.).
If the case in which tremors become severe, disability may be caused and full-time carers may be required.
What causes essential tremor?
Prevention and treatment of essential tremor are difficult without first knowing what causes the condition and, although mountains of research have been conducted, the true cause is not fully understood.
As of current, it is thought that abnormal electrical brain activity that causes tremor is processed through the thalamus, a structure deep in the brain responsible for coordination and muscle activity. Genetics is thought to be responsible for approximately half of all of those suffering from the condition with children born to a parent suffering essential tremor having a 50% chance of inheriting the gene responsible, although they may never experience any of the symptoms.
Essential tremor does become more pronounced with age, most notably between the ages of 40 and 50, although it can strike at any age, affecting up to 10 million people in the US alone.
What are the symptoms of essential tremor?
The symptoms of essential tremor are the most likely areas that CBD will be able to improve with consistent CBD dosages.
Some of the most noteworthy symptoms surrounding essential tremor include the following:
- Uncontrollable shaking occurring for brief periods of time
- Shaky voice
- Nodding head
- Tremors worsening during emotionally stressful periods
- Tremors worsening with purposeful movement
- Tremors lessening with rest
- Balance problems (in some rare cases)
However, the characteristic uncontrollable shaking found with those suffering from ET is not unique to the condition and many others can also cause tremors. With Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), brain tumors, metabolic abnormalities, and drug withdrawal, just to name a few - it can be very difficult to pinpoint the condition.
Typical essential tremor treatments
As of current, for those looking for treatment for essential tremors, there are three main options to choose from with medication, surgery and MRI-guided focused high-intensity ultrasound.
The first choice of treatment comes in the form of medication and, specifically oral drugs can significantly reduce the severity of essential tremor.
Some typical medications include:
- Propranolol (Inderal)
- Primidone (Mysoline)
- Gabapentin (Neurontin)
- Topiramate (Topamax)
- Benzodiazepines Lorazepam (Ativan)
- Clonazepam (Klonopin)
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Botox injections - particularly effective for those suffering vocal and head tremors.
If and when it comes to surgery, patients have the option to choose a Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) procedure.
The surgery, a treatment option for those suffering from severe tremors involves the implantation of electrical leads into the thalamus. This area of the brain, responsible for coordination and muscle control, is the area thought to be responsible for the tremors felt.
MRI-guided focused high-intensity ultrasound
Finally, MRI can be used to focus ultrasound with the goal to destroy the tissue in the thalamus.
Patients will remain awake during the procedure, something that isn’t comfortable for many of those suffering who opt against.
CBD oil to treat essential tremor
This moves us on to the alternative treatment of CBD to treat essential tremor and with evidence surrounding the potential for the treatment of MS, Parkinson’s and substance withdrawal, it’s something that has perked the interest of health professionals around the world.
When it comes to the power of CBD, it’s the direct connection to the endocannabinoid system (ECS) that comes with the most interest. The ECS and the endocannabinoid receptors are the main regulators of the majority of the body’s functions (pain, hunger, emotions etc.). That means that when there’s a problem with the body, it’s up to that system to begin the healing processing and, when consuming CBD, this healing process is enhanced with the increased production of endocannabinoids.
When the CBD oil is used for the purpose of treating essential tremor, the cannabinoids within the oil are able to both target and regulate the ESC receptors, located in both the brain and throughout the body, responsible for muscle movement. These receptors can be regulated by the CBD oil that enables relaxation, reduces inflammation and, as a result, eases the symptoms of tremors and confirming CBD can effectively act as a neuroprotectant - something that studies have confirmed.
The University of California in San Diego Research has officially begun an FDA approved trial to view the effects of CBD and THC on essential tremor. Although we’re still waiting on the outcome at this current moment in time, the lead investigator, Dr. Fatta Nahab, is one individual that’s very excited about the prospect of a symptom reliever:
“Essential tremor is 10 times more common than Parkinson’s and yet nobody really knows about essential tremor. That we’re finally getting to a potential therapeutic option in an area that is untapped is a big deal.”
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