Friday, May 17, 2024
HomeEditor PicksIs Shaking Hands A Sign Of Dementia

Is Shaking Hands A Sign Of Dementia

Cause Of Essential Tremor

Tremor Disorder or Parkinson’s?

Essential tremor is the most common type of tremor, and affects more people than Parkinsons disease. Some estimates suggest that around 1 in 5 people over the age of 65 years is affected.

There is no known cause, but a genetic link is strongly suspected. Each child of a person with essential tremor has a 50% chance of inheriting the disorder themselves. If a person with essential tremor has other affected family members, then the disorder is called familial tremor.

Which Dementias Cause Hallucinations

Hallucinations are most common for people with Lewy body dementia, an illness caused by the buildup of proteins called Lewy bodies that disrupt communication between brain cells throughout the brain or kill the cells altogether. Visual hallucinations will often occur in the early stages of the disease, though they eventually stop somewhere in the middle stages and wont recur. People with Lewy body dementia often fluctuate between good days, when theyre thinking normally or at least fairly well, and bad days. In the early stages, those bad days are likely to include visual hallucinations.

Hallucinations will also occur for people with Parkinsons disease with dementia, and for people with Alzheimers. Both those diseases are also associated with a buildup of proteins in the brain. With these dementias, though, hallucinations are more likely to be associated with hearing or feeling. Someone might have conversations with an imaginary person, for example, or think theyre being touched by something that isnt there.

What Are The Complications Of Parkinson Disease

Parkinson disease causes physical symptoms at first. Problems with cognitive function, including forgetfulness and trouble with concentration, may arise later. As the disease gets worse with time, many people develop dementia. This can cause profound memory loss and makes it hard to maintain relationships.

Parkinson disease dementia can cause problems with:

  • Speaking and communicating with others
  • Problem solving
  • Forgetfulness
  • Paying attention

If you have Parkinson disease and dementia, in time, you likely won’t be able to live by yourself. Dementia affects your ability to care of yourself, even if you can still physically do daily tasks.

Experts don’t understand how or why dementia often occurs with Parkinson disease. Its clear, though, that dementia and problems with cognitive function are linked to changes in the brain that cause problems with movement. As with Parkinson disease, dementia occurs when nerve cells degenerate, leading to chemical changes in the brain. Parkinson disease dementia may be treated with medicines also used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, another type of dementia.

Recommended Reading: Neurotransmitters Involved In Alzheimer’s

Embargoed For Release Until : 00 Pm Et Wednesday April 13 2005

Miami Beach – People with essential tremor, a movement disorder that causes shaking of the hands, head, voice, or body, are more likely to develop dementia, according to research that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology 57th Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, Fla., April 9 16, 2005.People with essential tremor were more than two times more likely to develop dementia than people who did not have the movement disorder.This is the first study to suggest that essential tremor is associated with the development of dementia, said study author Julián Benito-Leon, MD, PhD, of Mostoles General Hospital in Madrid, Spain. We dont yet know whether the dementia is due to the same underlying problem that is causing the essential tremor or whether it is caused by another problem.The study involved a door-to-door survey of elderly people in central Spain. The study followed 202 people with essential tremor and 3,541 people with no dementia or movement disorders for an average of three years. Over that time, 15 of the people with essential tremor developed dementia, or 7.4 percent, compared to 126 people in the control group, or 3.5 percent.Essential tremor is a common condition, affecting up to 1 in 5 people over age 65.

What Are The Treatments For Alzheimer’s

5 Obvious Signs of Dementia I Missed in My Own Mother

Tremors may be quite likely in a patient with Alzheimer’s disease, but that does not mean no treatment options can be of use to them. Because the tremor is caused by a problem along the muscle signaling pathway, drugs that help regulate this symptom can be useful.

In the early cases of the disease, patients may be able to live with the tremor without trying any additional therapy. This may be the best choice early on, because many of the therapies that we will cover soon have some side effects that may not be well-tolerated in most patients.

For essential tremors, some of the best treatment options would come in the form of beta blockers, antipsychotic medications or L-dopa, a dopamine drug. Dopamine is a drug that is typically used in patients who suffer from Parkinson’s disease, but as Alzheimer’s disease becomes more severe in various parts of the brain, the motor system that is significantly damaged in Parkinson’s will start to show severe damage in Alzheimer’s disease patients as well. This is why the same treatment can be helpful in these types of patients.

Don’t Miss: Margaret Thatcher Dementia

What Is Parkinson Disease

Parkinson disease is a movement disorder. It can cause the muscles to tighten and become rigid This makes it hard to walk and do other daily activities. People with Parkinsons disease also have tremors and may develop cognitive problems, including memory loss and dementia.

Parkinson disease is most common in people who are older than 50. The average age at which it occurs is 60. But some younger people may also get Parkinson disease. When it affects someone younger than age 50, it’s called early-onset Parkinson disease. You may be more likely to get early-onset Parkinson disease if someone in your family has it. The older you are, the greater your risk of developing Parkinson disease. It’s also much more common in men than in women.

Parkinson disease is a chronic and progressive disease. It doesn’t go away and continues to get worse over time.

What Are The Medications For Dementia With Lewy Bodies

Medications can be used to relieve depression, treat agitation and hallucinations, and improve cognition and/or alertness. There is a great deal of controversy about whether or not acetylcholinesterase inhibitors may slow the rate of cognitive decline or slow the need for nursing home placement.

Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors: These drugs increase the level of acetylcholine in the brain, which is low in dementia with Lewy bodies. These drugs can decrease fluctuations in cognition, increase alertness, and improve memory. Examples include:

Dopamine-promoting drugs: These drugs work in various ways to increase the level of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain. Although low dopamine level is partly responsible for the motor symptoms of dementia with Lewy bodies, these drugs often cannot be tolerated because of the side effects. They can, for example, worsen hallucinations. Examples include combined levodopa and carbidopa , which combines a dopamine precursor with a drug that maximizes its usefulness in the brain, and pramipexole and ropinirole , which mimic the effects of dopamine.

Antioxidants: These agents counteract excess oxidation, which may contribute to the brain cell damage in dementia with Lewy bodies. Formal studies are lacking to determine their usefulness in slowing the disease progression. The only example now in widespread use is alpha-tocopherol, or vitamin E .

You May Like: What Is The Difference Between Senility And Dementia

Lewy Body Dementia Research

Many avenues of research are being explored to improve our understanding of LBD. Some researchers are working to identify the specific differences in the brain between the two types of LBD. Others are looking at the disease’s underlying biology, genetics, and environmental risk factors. Still other scientists are trying to identify biomarkers , improve screening tests to aid diagnosis, and research new treatments.

Scientists hope that new knowledge about LBD will one day lead to more effective treatments and even ways to cure and prevent the disorder. Until then, researchers need volunteers with and without LBD for clinical studies.

NIH and other groups help people learn about clinical trials and studies and find research opportunities near them. Visit the following websites for details:

Exercise And Outdoor Activities For Dementia

Senile Tremors || Resting Tremors

Exercise and outdoor activities can have numerous benefits for people with dementia. They can help improve brain function and thinking skills, regulate their sleep, and can help maintain a positive mood in dementia patients and lower the risk of them developing depression. Physical activities help overall cardiac and breathing health as well.

Exercise and outdoor activities dementia patients can engage in include:

Don’t Miss: Dementia Ribbon

Stage : Moderate Dementia

Patients in stage 5 need some assistance in order to carry out their daily lives. The main sign for stage 5 dementia is the inability to remember major details such as the name of a close family member or a home address. Patients may become disoriented about the time and place, have trouble making decisions, and forget basic information about themselves, such as a telephone number or address.

While moderate dementia can interfere with basic functioning, patients at this stage do not need assistance with basic functions such as using the bathroom or eating. Patients also still have the ability to remember their own names and generally the names of spouses and children.

Outlook For Dementia With Lewy Bodies

How quickly dementia with Lewy bodies gets worse varies from person to person.

Home-based help will usually be needed, and some people will eventually need care in a nursing home.

The average survival time after diagnosis is similar to that of Alzheimer’s disease around 6 to 12 years. But this is highly variable and some people live much longer than this.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, remember that you’re not alone. The NHS and social services, as well as voluntary organisations, can provide advice and support for you and your family.

Recommended Reading: Progressive Aphasia Dementia

Stage : Mild Dementia

At this stage, individuals may start to become socially withdrawn and show changes in personality and mood. Denial of symptoms as a defense mechanism is commonly seen in stage 4. Behaviors to look for include:

  • Difficulty remembering things about one’s personal history
  • Disorientation
  • Difficulty recognizing faces and people

In stage 4 dementia, individuals have no trouble recognizing familiar faces or traveling to familiar locations. However, patients in this stage will often avoid challenging situations in order to hide symptoms or prevent stress or anxiety.

Sensory Toys And Activities For Seniors With Dementia

Signs Your Shaky Hands Are Due to Parkinson

Sensory stimulation challenges the 5 senses in new ways in dementia patients and this can help spark old memories. Sensory activities and toys can help dementia patients recall positive emotions and memories.

Here are some of the sensory toys and products that dementia patients can enjoy:

  • Stroking an animal

Read Also: Does Diet Coke Cause Dementia

What Is Vascular Dementia

Dementia is a general term for issues with memory, reasoning, planning, and judgment. The causes for dementia vary depending on the symptoms and the underlying condition.

The most common type of dementia is Alzheimers disease, followed by vascular dementia.

While experts believe Alzheimers is caused by a buildup of abnormal proteins in the brain, vascular dementia is caused by brain damage from impaired blood flow in the brain.

This may occur after a stroke, or from any other condition such as a transient ischemic attack , that damages blood vessels in the brain and deprives it of oxygen.

As with many other types of dementia, vascular dementia can develop gradually, and the progression of the disease generally falls into seven stages.

What Are These Hand Tremors

When people see a person whose hands are slightly shaking, they often think of Parkinsons disease. But in most cases, the shaking is due to what is called essential tremor.

Essential tremor is the most common neurologic disorder affecting adults. Despite this prevalence, its not well understood. The likely cause is a disruption in the normal functioning of the cerebellum, but researchers arent sure if its due to degeneration. And they dont know what causes the interruption.

In those with essential tremor, the shaking cant be controlled and occurs in the hands, arms, head, and sometimes even the vocal cords .

Essential tremor is different than Parkinsons. People with Parkinsons experience hand tremors when their muscles are at rest. Unlike essential tremor, this shaking decreases when a person with Parkinsons uses their muscles. When a person with essential tremor uses his or her muscles, the tremors become more pronounced, such as when extending an arm. The tremors usually dont occur when the muscles are at rest.

Read Also: Does Neil Diamond Have Alzheimer’s

How Do You Make A Dementia Patient Happy

If a person with dementia gets suitable surroundings, they can lead productive, satisfying, and most importantly, happy lives for many years after the initial diagnosis. The happier they are the less likely they are to get angry or start exhibiting worrisome behavior. Here are some effective tips for making a dementia patient happy:

  • Providing emotional support and a relaxed environment
  • Helping the person feel safe and comfortable
  • Spending time talking to them and relaxing with them
  • Adding fun activities
  • Adding meaningful activities

Why Are My Hands Shaking Nerves Or Medical Problem

Range of Symptoms in Essential Tremor

Youre nervous about a big presentation. Your heart begins to race, your throat gets dry and your hands start to tremble. Deep breaths can help calm your nerves, but what if you cant shake off your trembling hands?

Nerves arent the only thing that can make your hands tremble. There are a number of reasons hands shake, but interesting fact: Your hands actually shake way more than you realize.

To be certain, everyones hands have a little movement even when were trying to keep them very still, said Ryan Barmore, MD, a movement disorders specialist with Banner Health Clinic in Colorado. This is broadly known as a physiologic tremor, and while some have subtle movement, others can have a little more.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a tremor is a rhythmic or unintentional muscle contraction that can cause shaking in one or more parts of the body. It most often can affect your hands but can also occur in your arms, head, vocal cords, torso and legs.

Our bodies are sure full of surprises, but if your shakiness concerns you, here are eight potential reasons its happening and when you should talk to your health care provider.

Recommended Reading: Dementia Ribbon Color

Stooping Or Hunching Over

Are you not standing up as straight as you used to? If you or your family or friends notice that you seem to be stooping, leaning or slouching when you stand, it could be a sign of Parkinson’s disease .

What is normal?If you have pain from an injury or if you are sick, it might cause you to stand crookedly. Also, a problem with your bones can make you hunch over.

What Treatments Are Available

Treatment depends on the symptoms and extent of disability caused by the tremor. If the tremor is mild, lifestyle adjustments may be all that are needed. As the condition progresses, medications or surgery can be used to relieve the symptoms.

Lifestyle changes

Caffeine and stress should be avoided, and good sleep is recommended. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy, which can improve your muscle strength. Adaptive devices, including wide-grip pens and eating utensils, may help you compensate for your tremor. Alcohol, used in moderation, can reduce tremor for short periods of time.


Your doctor may prescribe certain drugs or injections to help reduce the tremors. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Propranolol, a beta-blocker that is primarily used to treat high blood pressure
  • Anti-seizure medications, including primidone, gabapentin, and topiramate
  • Anti-anxiety medications, including clonazepam, diazepam, lorazepam, and alprazolam
  • Botulinum toxin injections for head and voice tremors

Surgical treatments

The goal of surgery is to reduce symptoms by modifying the abnormal signals that cause the tremor. This can be done with deep brain stimulation or with radiosurgery.

DBS surgery involves implanting electrodes within the brain and connecting them to a stimulator device that resembles a pacemaker. The stimulator delivers electrical pulses to regulate brain activity. Radiosurgery creates a small, permanent lesion in the brain without a permanent implant.

Read Also: Pathophysiology Of Dementia Disease

You Might Be Taking A Certain Medication

Many medications may cause your hands to shake as a side effectfrom mild to severe.

Some of the most common medications include those used for various aspects of mental health treatment, such as antidepressants of various types, Dr. Barmore said. As well, inhalers used for asthma and other lung diseases can also cause tremors.

Treatment Of Hallucinations & Delusions

Shaking elderly hand stock photo. Image of health, affection

Be sure to consult with a doctor in order to best understand why your loved one is hallucinating or having delusions and whether medication is indicated. For both delusions and hallucinations, medications called antipsychotics are sometimes prescribed. Antipsychotics, also called neuroleptics, are prescribed for health conditions including schizophrenia, and have been shown to help people with dementia who struggle with these symptoms.

Doctors may prescribe any of a number of antipsychotics after evaluating your loved one, but the drug most often used to help dementia-related hallucinations and delusions is Risperidone, which has been shown to alleviate symptoms in the short term. The side effects of risperidone and other antipsychotics can be severe including muscle tremors, weight gain, fatigue, and dizziness and non-drug treatments are typically preferred. A doctor may, however, conclude that medication is necessary.

Don’t Miss: Bob Knight Health

Alcohol Abuse Or Withdrawal

Hand tremors can be a symptom of excessive alcohol consumption as well as a withdrawal symptom. These tremors can begin as soon as 10 hours after your last drink and may last for weeks. This is one of the many reasons recovering alcoholics should reduce their alcohol intake only under the guidance of a healthcare provider and addiction specialist. Rehab and detox programs can offer medications to help manage tremors and other signs of alcohol withdrawal.


Most Popular