Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Effective methods for detecting early signs of tremor

Date:
October 4, 2010
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Sensitive new quantitative methods could be used to detect small signs of increased tremor and impaired motor skills caused by exposure to certain metals, and to follow up the treatment of neurological disorders, reveals new research.

Sensitive new quantitative methods could be used to detect small signs of increased tremor and impaired motor skills caused by exposure to certain metals, and to follow up the treatment of neurological disorders, reveals a thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Related Articles


"The aim was to investigate whether quantitative measurement methods, in other words sensitive computer-based methods, could be used to detect small changes in tremor or other motor functions resulting from exposure to low levels of neurotoxic metals," says Gunilla Wastensson, doctoral student at the Sahlgrenska Academy's Occupational and Environmental Medicine Unit.

The thesis looked at former welders from the Gothenburg shipyards, who had been exposed to manganese from welding fumes. When tested for fine motor skills -- in other words manual dexterity and motor speed -- the welders came out worse than other shipyard workers.

"We interpret this as a residual effect of manganese exposure from the welding fumes, even though they'd stopped welding 18 years ago on average," says Wastensson.

A second study looked into whether quantitative measurement methods can be used to follow up the treatment of certain neurological disorders, such as essential tremor, which is a common neurological complaint where individuals are affected by involuntary shaking of the hands.

"Some essential tremor patients have such shaky hands that they find it hard to manage day-to-day activities," says Wastensson. "Such cases can be treated with a neurosurgical intervention known as deep brain stimulation."

For optimum effect, the stimulator must be programmed, which takes time and requires specially trained staff. Essential tremor patients treated with deep brain stimulation were both examined by an experienced neurologist who estimated the degree of tremor on a scale of 0 to 4, and assessed using quantitative measurement methods. The effect of the stimulation was very prominent, and the quantitative measurement methods were slightly more sensitive at detecting changes, particularly where the tremor was less pronounced.

"The results show that quantitative measurement methods are more sensitive than clinical assessments, and that they can be used to detect small changes in tremor or other motor functions caused by neurotoxic metals," says Wastensson.

She also believes that quantitative measurement methods could be used to complement clinical assessments when determining the impact of treatments for various neurological disorders.

Metal Poisoning

It has long been known that metals such as mercury and manganese can damage the nervous system. Descriptions of the typical symptoms of mercury poisoning can be found as far back as the 16th century for hatters in the UK who used mercury nitrate in the production of felt hats -- hence the term "mad hatters." Inhalation of high doses of manganese for extended periods, in connection with welding for example, can cause a clinical picture that resembles Parkinson's disease, "manganism." Improvements in working conditions have resulted in lower quantities of these substances in the workplace.

Title of thesis: Quantitative methods for evaluation of tremor and neuromotor function: application in workers exposed to neurotoxic metals and patients with essential tremor.

The thesis has been successfully defended.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Effective methods for detecting early signs of tremor." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101004101328.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2010, October 4). Effective methods for detecting early signs of tremor. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101004101328.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Effective methods for detecting early signs of tremor." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101004101328.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins