Treatment Options for Essential Tremor

Although there is no cure for essential tremor, there are a number of treatment options.

Drug Therapies

Most people with essential tremor benefit from drug therapy. The approach to the treatment needs to be balanced, taking into account the patient’s history, response to previous treatment, coexisting diseases, and other factors. The initiation of drug treatment is based on the evaluation of the benefits and side effects of particular medications.3


A type of brain surgery that involves making a lesion (controlled destruction of brain tissue) in the area of the brain that produces tremors. Thalamotomy has been shown to effectively reduce tremor in some people. The potential complications may include problems with speech, balance and numbness.

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Therapy for Essential Tremor Control

DBS therapy for essential tremor is a surgical treatment that may reduce the severity of the tremor in your arms and hands associated with essential tremor (ET).2

The treatment uses an implanted medical device similar to a pacemaker to deliver electrical stimulation to precisely targeted areas of the brain. This stimulation blocks the brain signals that cause the symptoms of essential tremor.


  1. Approaches to Treatment. Available at: Accessed July 15, 2008.
  2. Schuurman PR, Bosch DA, Bossuyt PMM, et al. A comparison of continuous thalamic stimulation and thalamotomy for suppression of severe tremor. N Engl J Med. 2000;342:461-468.


Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 27 Sep 2010

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