How is essential tremor diagnosed?

If you are having symptoms of essential tremor (ET), you should seek the care of a qualified neurologist. During this evaluation, your doctor will ask you questions about your health, your family medical history, medicines you may be taking, and any surgeries you have had. The evaluation also will be important to determine if there are any factors that worsen or alleviate the tremor.

The doctor will perform a thorough evaluation, noting what part of your body is affected by tremor, when it occurs, and if there is evidence of other features that could indicate a movement disorder other than ET. Imaging tests such as MRI and CT scans are not helpful in diagnosing essential tremor, but may be performed to rule out other possible tremor causes.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/20/2019.

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