Symptomatic management of multiple sclerosis-associated tremor among participants in the NARCOMS registry

William Meador, Amber R. Salter, John R. Rinker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Tremor affects 25% to 58% of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and is associated with poor prognosis and increased disability. MS-related tremor is difficult to treat, and data regarding patientreported characterization and response to treatment are limited. We describe the symptomatic treatment of tremor in 508 enrollees in the North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis (NARCOMS) Registry who self-reported tremor. Methods: From 777 surveys sent to NARCOMS participants who indicated mild or greater tremor using the Tremor and Coordination Scale, we compiled data regarding disability, tremor severity, symptomatic medication use, and reported response to medications. Results: Symptomatic medications reported to reduce tremor were used by 238 respondents (46.9%). Symptomatic medication use was associated with increased rates of unemployment and disability, and many other characteristics were similar between groups. Symptomatic drug use was more likely in participants reporting moderate (53.9%) or severe (51.3%) tremor than in those with mild (36.6%) or totally disabling (35.0%) tremor. This disparity held true across multiple tremor severity scores. The most commonly used drug classes were anticonvulsants (50.8%) and benzodiazepines (46.2%), with gabapentin and clonazepam used most often in their respective classes. Conclusions: Tremor in MS remains poorly treated; less than half of the participants reported benefit from symptomatic medications. Patients with moderate-to-severe tremor are more likely to report tremor benefit than are those with mild or disabling tremor. ?-Aminobutyric acid-active medications were most commonly reported as beneficial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-153
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of MS Care
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2016


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