4 Types of MS-Related Tremors

Tremors are a common symptom of multiple sclerosis, experienced by around three-quarters of people with the condition, and one that often makes sufferers feel quite self-conscious. For most, the tremors will be mild and occur infrequently, but for some, the tremors may be more severe.

There are four different types of tremors associated with multiple sclerosis, which are often referred to as cerebellar tremors:

MORE: MS patients may show signs of the disease five years before symptoms appear.

Intention Tremors
According to emaxhealth.com, these common tremors tend to occur when a person is towards the end of an act such as reaching for something or placing their foot and their finger or foot will begin to shake.

Postural Tremors
These are tremors that appear when a person is either sitting down or standing up, and the body is working against gravity. They will stop if the person lays down.

Nystamus Tremors
Nystamus tremors affect the eyes and cause jerking movements.

Resting Tremors
According to everydayhealth.com, resting tremors tend to occur more in people who have Parkinson’s disease, but it is not uncommon for those who have MS to also suffer from them. As the name suggests, the tremors occur when a person is resting.

Although there is no cure for tremors, there are ways that MS patients can manage them.  Lifestyle changes such as avoiding stress, getting plenty of rest and not drinking caffeinated drinks may help those who suffer from mild tremors or help prevent them from beginning in the first place.

Some patients may be prescribed drugs such as beta blockers, anti-nausea, anti-anxiety, botox, and anti-seizure medications, although none have been approved for the treatment of tremors. Many find that occupational therapy and physical therapy helps with practical solutions for coping with tremors. In extreme cases, deep brain stimulation may be recommended.

MORE: Seven things people with MS want you to know about the disease.

Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

3 comments

  1. Judy Wardlow says:

    I have a Tremor that has been diagnosed as Intentional Tremor or Familial Tremor. My initial diagnosis was in 1982 when I was 38. In the beginning I was prescribed Inderal, a beta-blocker. Over the years as my Tremor got progressively worse Topamax was added. My dosage has been upped but neither works very well any more.

    In December 2013 I was diagnosed with Primary Progressive MS. I was 69 years old, a bit old than most people when they are diagnosed. Naturally I wonder if my Tremor for all these years was an early sign of my MS, but my doctor assures me it was not. I have had several MRIs over the years and none has given any indication that further testing might be indicated. I am currently taking Ampyra which has been very helpful and I am hopeful I will be able to start a course of Ocrevus soon. I am also hopeful that if Ocrevus works as intended it may help with my Tremor as well. Lots of hope.

    • Dianne Roncal, DMD says:

      So sorry to hear that, Judy. We are also very hopeful that things work out really well for you. 🙂 Keep fighting, you are strong. 🙂

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