It is sometimes difficult, even for a trained neurologist, to tell the difference between Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor when it is in the early stages, as they can share similar symptoms (such as resting tremor). A new Taiwan-based study investigated changes in brain volume in people with essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease, searching for a pattern that might help differentiate between to the two conditions more easily.
The study found that although both ET and PD patients showed a decrease in brain volume in areas involved with movement and muscle control, it also showed increases in other distinct areas. Researchers speculate that this is due to the ability of the brain to compensate for damaged areas by developing and strengthening new pathways, thus increasing the size of those areas.
Although further study is needed, it appears that looking specifically at the areas of the brain that increase in volume, along with other diagnostic and assessment tools, may allow physicians to more accurately differentiate between ET and PD.
How does ET make you feel? A new video centers on the ways ET can make life challenging. Featuring six individuals who share personal stories about their life with ET, Essential Tremor is more than a tremor aims to broaden awareness and understanding about ET among healthcare providers and the general public.
We had so much fun at the Omaha Education Seminar and we all learned a lot from Drs. Torres-Russotto and Follett. We want to give both of them a huge thank you for sharing their time and expertise about ET. To learn more about the Movement Disorders Center at the University of Nebraska in Omaha go to http://www.unmc.edu/neurologicalsciences/movement_disorders.htm.
Please join us in Irvine, CA for the upcoming event on Saturday, April 27. You can learn more at http://www.essentialtremor.org/Seminars. I would love to meet and share in the experience with you.
NBC News – Los Angeles
Roger’s passion is the violin, but a neurological disorder called essential tremor (ET) makes it nearly impossible to play. To steady his hands, Roger underwent brain surgery for a procedure called deep brain stimulation that allowed him to play the violin while doctors fired signals into his brain to target the tremors.