Treatment Options for Essential Tremor

Unlike some treatment options for essential tremor that involve brain surgery, such as thalamotomy, with permanent side effects, Medtronic Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Therapy for essential tremor is reversible and adjustable. And it may give you greater control over your movement, making it easier for you to eat, dress, and write.

Although there is no cure for essential tremor, Medtronic Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Therapy for essential tremor has a favourable safety profile and is effective when used for appropriate patients,1 and has been proven to reduce tremors associated with ET.2

Drug Therapies

Most people with essential tremor benefit from drug therapy. The approach to the treatment needs to be balanced, taking into account the patient’s history, response to previous treatment, coexisting diseases, and other factors. The initiation of drug treatment is based on the evaluation of the benefits and side effects of particular medications.3


Thalamotomy is a type of brain surgery that involves making a lesion (controlled destruction of brain tissue) in the area of the brain that produces tremors. Thalamotomy has been shown to effectively reduce tremor in some people. The potential complications may include problems with speech, balance and numbness.

Medtronic DBS Therapy for Essential Tremor Control

Medtronic DBS Therapy for essential tremor is a surgical treatment that has been proven to reduce the severity of the tremor in your arms and hands associated with essential tremor (ET).2

The treatment uses an implanted medical device, similar to a pacemaker, to deliver minute electrical stimulation to precisely targeted areas of the brain. This stimulation blocks the brain signals that cause the symptoms of essential tremor.


  1. Zesiewicz TA, Elble R, Louis ED, et al. Practice parameter: therapies for essential tremor: report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 2005;64:2008-2020.
  2. Schuurman PR, Bosch DA, Bossuyt PMM, et al. A comparison of continuous thalamic stimulation and thalamotomy for suppression of severe tremor. N Engl J Med. 2000;342:461-468.
  3. Approaches to Treatment. Available at: Accessed July 15, 2008.


Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 22 Sep 2010

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