Treatment of Dystonic Tremor
Oral Medications: Oral medications can be effective in relieving dystonic tremors in some patients. They work by interrupting the neurotransmitters, which are responsible for sending messages within the brain. Some medicines act by relaxing the muscles and thus reducing the dystonic tremors. These medicines need to be taken continuously and they also have side effects.
Botulinum Toxin Injections: This treatment can be given if the dystonic tremor is localized to one or two areas of the body. Botulinum toxin injections work by weakening the overactive muscles and they need to be taken every three months or so. If the patient is not having any improvement from the Botulinum Toxin Injections, then it may mean that the dose needs to be adjusted or the injections have not been accurately targeted. Ultrasound or electromyography (EMG) machine can be used to identify the affected muscles which need to be injected. Dystonic head tremors especially benefit from botulinum toxin injections and arm tremors do not benefit as much by them.
Surgery for Dystonic Tremor: Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure which can be done if the patient has severe dystonic tremor and if they do not respond to other treatment methods. In Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), electrodes are planted into the brain so they can help in rebalancing the movements of the patient and controlling the posture. A battery implanted in the chest provides power to the electrodes.
Occupational Therapy for Dystonic Tremor: If the patient has been having difficulty with daily activities of living, such as driving, cooking or eating, then special equipment can be used upon advice from the occupational therapist, which will assist the patient in managing his/her daily tasks.