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Minor's disease (i.e. essential tremor) is considered to be the most common movement disorder. The most common, however, does not mean that this entity is well understood - the underlying cause of essential tremor is still a mystery to medicine. What is the mysterious and not uncommon Minor's disease, the symptoms of which may subside after consuming … alcohol?

Tremors are one of the so-called involuntary movements. One of their forms are those that occur in the course of Minor's disease. The entity is also known as essential tremor and can occur at any age, but the most common disease starts around 35-40. age. Minor's disease occurs with similar frequency in patients of both genders. The prevalence of an individual in the world is differently estimated, according to statistics, even more than 5 percent of people in the world may suffer from essential tremor.

Minor's disease (essential tremor): causes

In 50 percent of cases, Minor's disease runs in a family, prompting scientists to look for the genetic basis of the disease. Genes whose mutations are responsible for the occurrence of essential tremor have been detected, and the method of inheritance of an individual has also been discovered (Minor's disease is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner - this means that if one of the parents suffers from this entity, the risk of its occurrence in a child is as high as 50 percent) However, only half of the cases of essential tremor are mentioned above. So what are the causes of the disease in the remaining patients? It is not known to this day, in addition, even in the case of people with Minor's disease, who are burdened with the mutation responsible for the disease, it is not possible to find any deviations in the nervous system that would arise as a result of the disease.

Minor's disease (essential tremor): symptoms and course

Essential tremor most often affects the upper limbs, and it usually also occurs in the head. Tremor in Minor's disease is of a postural-kinetic nature: it does not appear at rest, but only when performing some activity (it can be observed, for example, while stretching out a hand or grasping an object). The described involuntary movement (which is typical of Minor's disease) is symmetrical.handicaps patients' lives in a significant way. This is possible because involuntary movements in the course of this individual rarely increase in intensity - tremors may be slight, even for many long years. However, there are factors that may increase the intensity of essential tremor, including stress and other strong emotions, consumption of large amounts of coffee and smoking.

Minor's disease (essential tremor): diagnosis

In theory, it could be easy for doctors to diagnose Minor's disease - the diagnosis of the disease includes conducting a medical history and assessing the nature of the patient's tremors. However, vigilant specialists follow a more complicated path and perform additional tests to exclude other causes of tremors in the patient. It is because Minor's disease should be differentiated with such units as:

  • Parkinson's disease
  • psychogenic tremors
  • tremors associated with withdrawal syndrome after withdrawal of a psychoactive substance
  • drug tremors (caused by taking medications such as lithium, thyroid hormones, hormonal contraceptives or metoclopramide)
  • tremors resulting from organic diseases, e.g. caused by hyperthyroidism or hepatic encephalopathy,
  • Wilson's disease

If you are sure that the patient's problem is actually essential tremor, there is no need to perform imaging diagnostics - because if the patient suffers from Minor's disease, imaging tests do not detect any abnormalities . The extended diagnosis is usually indicated when tremor is uncharacteristic for essential tremor (e.g. it is asymmetrical) and when the patient develops some other ailments.

Minor's disease (essential tremor): treatment

One of the hallmarks of Minor's disease is that the tremors are relieved when patients consume small amounts of… alcohol. It is understandable that the chronic use of ethanol could lead to addiction and the negative effects of this condition, and therefore alcohol is not a treatment for ET, but medicine offers other, much safer methods of treating Minor's disease. . Pharmacotherapy is used when the occurrence of tremors disturbs the functioning of the patient in some way. For the first-line treatment of Minor's disease, propranolol (a drug withgroup of beta-blockers) and primidone (representative of antiepileptic agents). In the case of propranolol, patients may be offered both long-term therapy and intermittent use of the drug (e.g., taking propranolol before speaking in public). Other medications that can help patients with essential tremor include other anti-epileptics (e.g. topiramate, gabapentin) and benzodiazepine substances (e.g. clonazepam). improving the course of Minor's disease. Tremors in such patients may be significant, which may make it difficult for them to perform basic activities, such as eating food. In such a situation, it is possible to offer patients surgical treatment. There are treatments that are performed within the thalamus (this is one of the structures of the brain that is involved in motor activity). One of them is thalamotomy, which ablates centers that may generate tremors. Another treatment is deep brain stimulation (DBS), which consists in inserting an electrode which - by generating its own impulses - eliminates the presence of those nerve signals that cause essential tremors. The surgical treatment of Minor's disease, however, is associated with the possibility of side effects (e.g. after DBS procedures, patients may experience impaired motor functions and headaches), therefore these treatment options are reserved for those patients whose disease is resistant to classic pharmacological treatment. .

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