The information found below comes directly for the NMSS Archives.
Many people with MS experience some degree of tremor, or uncontrollable shaking. It can occur in various parts of the body.
There are several types of tremor:
Intention tremor—generally is greatest during physical movement; there is no shaking when a person is at rest. The tremor develops and becomes more pronounced as the person tries to grasp or reach for something, or move a hand or foot to a precise spot. This is the most common and generally most disabling form of tremor that occurs in people with MS.
Postural tremor —generally is greatest when a limb or the whole body is being supported against gravity. For example, a person who has a postural tremor will shake while sitting or standing, but not while lying down.
Resting tremor —generally is greatest when the body part is at rest and is diminished with movement. More typical of Parkinson's disease than MS.
Nystagmus —produces jumpy eye movements.
Tremor occurs because there are plaques—damaged areas—along the complex nerve pathways that are responsible for coordination of movements. People with MS who have tremors may also have associated symptoms such as difficulty in speaking (dysarthria) or difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia)—activities that are governed by many of the same pathways involved in coordinating movement.
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