A tremor is a trembling of the body which cannot be controlled by the sufferer. It can affect any part of the body, but it most frequently affects the hands. The condition is commonly found in people over 40, but it can strike at any age. Once affected, the sufferer normally finds that the condition progressively worsens over time.

Everybody, whatever their age and health status, will notice slight movement if they hold their hands out in front of them. However, it becomes a medical concern if it becomes severe enough to interfere with everyday activities. The loss of control can be quite upsetting for the sufferer, causing them to seek treatment.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to cure a tremor completely. In fact, if the condition is mild then your doctor may not recommend treatment at all, instead opting to monitor the problem until the symptoms get worse. But if the tremors are moderate to severe, there are ways you can improve the symptoms so that they do not affect your daily activities.

In more severe cases, a doctor may prescribe a drug such as primidone and propranolol to lessen the trembling. These medications work in up to 70 percent of cases and noticeably reduce tremors for up to 8 hours after each dose. However, they cannot be considered a complete cure because the symptoms will return as soon as the patient ceases to take their medication.

Another medication which can potentially be used is an anticonvulsant, which will often be prescribed alongside primidone. Anticonvulsants are usually used to treat medical problems such as epilepsy, but because the drugs act on the brain they also have other effects such as lessening shaking. These cannot be taken by people with blood pressure problems as one of the side effects is low blood pressure.

Sometimes, sedatives such as alprazolam can be effective for reducing tremors. However, this is only true of patients for whom anxiety is exacerbating the symptoms. Doctors also tend to view sedatives as a short term solution because they are addictive. Which is why many people consider more natural alternatives such as herbal supplements like extracts of skullcap.

Around a quarter of patients do not respond to medication. If their tremor is very severe, this means that a doctor may recommend surgery instead. Usually this will involve deep brain stimulation, where electrodes are connected to the thalamus region of the brain. These create a constant pulse which modifies the brain waves and reduces the shaking. Although the results are not always perfect, most patients find that the tremor is reduced by around 90 percent.

An alternative to deep brain stimulation is thalamotomy. This is a more permanent solution as a small incision is made in the thalamus, rather than controlling the brain via electrodes. Because the procedure cannot be reversed it is considered riskier than deep brain stimulation, but it does negate the need for battery changes and follow up appointments.

A tremor can be a very distressing condition. If you find that a tremor is affecting your daily life, speak to your doctor about treatment options.

Have you ever given any thought to the idea that your mind is made up of a great deal of ideas? Many people never stop and think about this. It seems as cyclical as thinking about thinking. However, at the root of this question and questions like it, ultimately lies a very valuable treasure trove of wisdom. Today I’ll talk a bit about something our brain does regarding what it considers “normal”.

What’s normal was mostly automatically rejected by my authority figures growing up. It was considered bad, and the good opposing thing was to be “unique”. This was preached non-stop during my childhood by teachers and such. Mainstream media and movies and music also seemed to embrace this idea. But what’s interesting about it is this… I believe the idea of being or acting or exhibiting anything which seems “normal” is a facade. An illusion.

In fact, it rather seems that what’s going on is people are judging ideas and people together. Rather than looking at the ideas and criticizing those, people are also lumped into the equation and that’s that. No more inspection beyond something their brain is doing automatically. It might look like looking at Joe the mailman and how he seems so normal and un-original. Such as an artist I once met who seemed hellbent on breaking out of these norms by always acting contrarian in every way. Interestingly enough, she based all of her moves, everything she decided beyond that original idea, off of what she considered “normal”.

What’s actually happening in our own minds, is that our brain operates off of “normal” whether we like it or not.

Some people may refuse to believe it, such as the contrarian artist I just described. She may have believed that she was anything but normal. That her brain was more creative and some loosely strung together reasoning to the conclusion that she wasn’t basing her life off of norms.

But norms do exist. They are always in play with everything you’re doing in your daily life. The amount of money you want to make. The quality of the relationships you have. Where you live. How well you live. How well others treat you and how well you treat them. It doesn’t matter. Your brain has a norm, a normal construct it’s built for what it believes is “normal” and it’s constantly adapting to it.

So how does this affect the quality of your life? Simple. Change the norms and change your life.