Abnormalities of Movement: Tremor and Ataxia
Most people notice some tremor of the hands when they are held out, and this normal tremor can get worse when people feel stressed, angry or anxious.
Essential tremor is more severe than normal tremor and it gradually gets worse over time, and can become so severe that everyday activities can become difficult.
It can be made worse by tiredness, lack of sleep, smoking, caffeine and certain medicines. Essential tremor can run in families and appears to be due to a faulty gene.
A number of medical conditions may cause tremor, including hyperthyroidism, alcohol withdrawal in alcoholics, and a series of neurological conditions. Prominent amongst these are Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke and Peripheral Neuropathies.
Observation of patients with tremors results in a division of tremors caused by neurological disease into two categories- Intention Tremor and Non-Intention Tremor, depending on whether the tremor starts when the patient attempts a voluntary movement (Intention Tremor), or whether it occurs at rest.
Ataxia is a disorder in wihch the patient has difficulty in movement and balance and a failure to coordinate muscle movements.