For people living with essential tremor, the condition’s rhythmic and involuntary shaking which occurs upon movement can be frustrating. While it primarily affects the hands, the voice, head, and arms may also be impacted. Treatment options for the condition are limited, with beta blockers, Botox injections, and anti-seizure medications among the few methods available to help. More frustratingly, a mere 60% or less of patients found medication helpful. The potential ineffectiveness and side effects of these drugs often make them an unpopular option among people with essential tremor.
Recently, however, researchers have discovered an alternative treatment option which could help. A study published by the British Medical Journal showcases the results of two individuals with essential tremor who received high-dose vitamin B1 injections over the course of three years. The patients were treated with two extremely high doses of the vitamin (100 times the daily recommended dose) twice per week.
Results were astonishing, with patients experiencing noticeable improvement after three months of the vitamin injections. Tremors improved significantly, which could suggest a highly effective, and affordable solution may soon be available to patients.
Doctors advise patients to proceed with caution when taking vitamins, however. It’s particularly important to receive physician oversight when pursuing mega-doses such as these, as there is always a risk for adverse health effects including interactions with other medications. With that said, B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning any that aren’t used by the body is excreted with urine. Fat-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, could cause toxicity if taken in excess. Unlike water-soluble vitamins, these are retained in the body’s fat stores and could, therefore, lead to serious health complications if taken in high doses.
Because of the study’s limited scope, more research will likely need to be conducted before physicians can begin administering vitamin treatments for patients with essential tremor. Nonetheless, the results we’ve seen appear to hold promise, especially considering the shortcomings of existing treatment methods.
Stem cell therapy has shown potential benefits for those with Parkinson’s disease in helping manage tremors. Contact a Care Coordinator for more information on how regenerative medicine could be an option for helping manage your condition.