A constituent found in perfume could be a new way to treat tremor or shakes in people. This condition affects, one in twenty-five people those above the age of forty. It is a disorder of brain which triggers inflated shaking that happens only at the time of movement but not at rest.
Tremor usually affects arms and hands, even if face, head and feet can also be affected. The condition can affect individuals of all ages, but it becomes more frequent after the age of forty. In about half of the cases there is family history of the condition. Other causes of tremor symptoms include an over-active thyroid, anti-epileptic medication and drugs used to treat psychiatric disorders.
At present there is no cure for the disease but there are a few treatments, including beta blockers and anti-convulsants which could lessen the tremor, but do not eliminate the disease. Such treatments have numerous side-effects including nausea, fatigue and memory loss. Electrodes are implanted in the brain, in rare cases, which overrules the brain signals that cause shaking.
Octanol, a colourless fluid, used to create artificial flavours as well as scents, is a type of alcohol. Research started examining its use for tremor after observing that when sufferers drink alcohol, the symptoms reduce significantly. They begin use the safe form of alcohol that does not cause the harm associated with alcoholic drinks.
In one study researchers in Minneapolis, gave patients a single dose of one milligram of octanol for each kilogram of their weight. They found a significant drop in tremor for up to ninety minutes. In another small study by researchers from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, patients who had octanol had less symptoms of tremor after five hours than those given a placebo.
Nearly eighty percent of patients have significant reduction in tremor or shakes after drinking alcohol. Previous study has also shown that octanol can be effective in lessening symptoms, sometimes for hours. Researches believed tremor is caused by impulsive activity in nerve cells in the brain region that control movement.
One hypothesis is that alcohol may help diminish this activity. According to Dr Nicholas Silver, consultant neurologist from The Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery, and NHS hospital in Liverpool, some patients find they get useful benefits from alcohol, but this can induce regular drinking above the safe limits.
Drinking above safe limit can harm nerve cell and escort to irreversible neurological problems. Therefore, the possible appearance of a safe and non-intoxicating alternative is of great interest, concluded Dr Silver.