Differentiation between Dystonic Tremor & Essential Tremor

Essential tremor is the most common type of tremor3 and it is very important to differentiate it from dystonic tremor. Essential tremor commonly affects the hands, arms, or fingers. The primary differences between dystonic tremor and essential tremor are:

  • The movement or tremor of dystonic tremor is often irregular; whereas, in essential tremor, patient has regular movements or oscillation of the affected part.
  • Dystonic tremor appears with dystonia; whereas essential tremor does not appear in combination with dystonia.
  • Sensory trick can temporarily relieve a dystonic tremor; whereas, essential tremor cannot be relieved with this.
  • In majority of the patients with essential tremor, the arms, fingers or hands are affected symmetrically; whereas, other parts of the body, such as the head can be affected with dystonic tremor without the involvement of the arms or hands. However, in some cases, dystonic tremor can also affect the hands.

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