Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) have some form of tremor, or shaking they can’t control, in different parts of their bodies.
There are several types:
- Postural tremors. You shake when you sit or stand, but not when you lie down.
- Intention tremor. There’s no shaking when you’re at rest. It starts when you try to reach or grasp something or move your hand or foot to a precise spot. This is the most common form of MS tremor, and it usually causes the most problems in day-to-day life.
- Nystagmus. This type causes jumpy eye movements.
What Causes Tremors in Multiple Sclerosis?
Tremors happen because of damage to nerves that control body movement.
Treatment for MS Tremors
These problems are one of the hardest MS symptoms to treat. Drugs don't work well for everyone with tremors. Some people have found relief from medicines for other conditions, such as:
- Acetazolamide (Diamox), which treats a type of glaucoma and altitude sickness
- Anti-anxiety drugs buspirone (Buspar) and clonazepam (Klonopin)
- The antihistamine hydroxyzine (Atarax, Vistaril)
- Isoniazid (INH), a drug for tuberculosis
- Primidone (Mysoline), a seizure medicine
- Propranolol (Inderal), which treats heart problems, high blood pressure, and migraines
Other Ways Tremors Can Affect You
Tremors can be tough to handle in social situations. People who have them may feel they need to isolate themselves. That can lead to depression. A psychologist or counselor can help you find ways to feel more comfortable in public and keep the tremors from changing how you live your life.