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Parkinson's Disease

Shaking

09/27/2006

Question:

Why do they shake when there not thinking? but when there consintrating they stop

Answer:

The physiological basis of Parkinson's tremor is not completely understood.  There are many different circuits in the brain that use different brain chemicals to work.  As these chemicals change in PD, specific rhythmic firing of circuits or cells may occur causing the PD associated tremor. 

The area of the brain affected is different than seen in other tremor conditions, giving it the unique qualities of being a "resting" tremor.  The resting tremor by definition is one that occurs when relaxed.  Therefore, when not "thinking" about the part of the body that has tremor, it tends to be more relaxed (such as with sitting in a chair or when walking).  

It should be noted that some PD patients have such a predominant tremor that it occurs even when holding the part in a posture or moving, as well as at rest.

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Response by:

Karen M Thomas, DO Karen M Thomas, DO
Formerly:
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University