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Hi Meredith. Tremors are very common. Sometimes they are a symptom of another neurological disorder or a side effect of a drug, but the most common form occurs in otherwise healthy people. Some forms are inherited and run in families, while others have no known cause.
In some cases, excessive alcohol consumption or alcohol withdrawal can kill certain nerve cells, resulting in tremor. Other causes include an overactive thyroid and the use of certain drugs. Tremor may occur at any age but is most common in middle-aged and older persons.
Essential tremor (sometimes called benign essential tremor) is the most common form of abnormal tremor.The hands are most often affected but the head is also a fairly common site, as are the voice, tongue, legs, and trunk.
There is no cure for most tremors. The appropriate treatment depends on accurate diagnosis of the cause, if one is identifiable. Essential tremor may be treated with propranolol or other beta blockers (such as nadolol) and primidone, an anticonvulsant drug.
Eliminating tremor "triggers" such as caffeine and other stimulants from the diet is also important. Physical therapy may help to reduce tremor and improve coordination and muscle control.
He would be wise to see a neurologist, both to confirm the diagnosis and rule out more rare causes, but also to get on an appropriate treatment plan. Most individuals can be helped to one degree or another. Surgical intervention, such as thalamotomy and deep brain stimulation, are sometimes performed when the tremor is severe and does not respond to drugs or other conservative measures.
You're welcome. Hope all works out for the best for your son.