Are these tremors or seizures? - Parkinson's Movement

Parkinson's Movement
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Are these tremors or seizures?


I've gotten significantly worse in the last few months and would like some advice. My primary symptom that resulted in diagnosis, other than milder arm and leg tremors, was jaw tremors. In the last few months I started having daily episodes that would start as vibrations in my legs, then move up to contractions in my torso, then always to violent jaw tremors and wild shaking of my head. Lately my left hand is involved and sometimes I yawn a number of times during the episode. I don't lose consciousness. They last about 5 minutes. My friends who have witnessed this say I have bounced up and down in my chair and they thought I was having a seizure. I feel totally out of control during this period, although I am conscious. I'm just waiting for it to be over, and for the pain in my face to stop. Afterwards I am utterly drained and have to lie down and rest or sleep for 15-20 minutes. I can't talk, or can talk only in a low voice with much effort.

I can't drive anymore because of these. I was just diagnosed in August, but recently my neurologist said he thinks maybe the tremors are from depression. I think he's really inadequate. I've treated hundreds of cases of depression myself as a psychologist and I absolutely know this is not depression.

My question: is this just what a really severe tremor is like? I've asked for a referral to a movement disorders specialist but have to wait for 2 months.

Am waiting for an MRI and an EEG.

I'd be thankful for any advice you can give me. My family is really worried. It's a stressful time.


14 Replies

I've not heard of anything like these symptoms as PD. Sound more like seizures or possibly drug reactions. Are you on a lot of meds? I'd definitely pursue diagnostics ASAP.

Leilani23 in reply to etterus

I'm on a few meds for cholesterol and migraine but none for PD. I'll be going to the mainland to Stanford Univ. Hospital to an epilepsy specialist for an opinion re: seizures in 2 weeks, since my general neurologist has not quite gotten it yet. He did refer me for an MRI and EEG after I asked for a referral to his partner, who is one of only 3 movement disorder specialists in the whole state of Hawaii and is the only one who uses the major hospital here.

Thank you so much for your response, Etterus. I really thought it might be just a major tremor but the sleepy period afterwards seemed more like a seizure.

Ditto etterus

It doesn't appear to be PD. Seek medical advice soon.

Leilani23 in reply to RoyProp

Thanks a lot for responding, RoyProp. I'm going to the mainland to Stanford Univ. Hospital's epilepsy clinic soon for an evaluation. I hope it'll be helpful. I'm not sure how much time that doctor will have for me but he'll at least give me some guidance.

Your neurologist thinks the tremors are from depression. SMH. How incompetent.

Marion, what does "SMH" mean?


dmariel in reply to Leilani23

SMH means shaking my head

In the past I had a period of violent surges as I relaxed towards sleep. The only conclusion arrived at by a GP was that the Sciatic bundle in the thigh muscle had withheld and stored nervous energy, which was then released in a massive surge that thumped my brain, while my leg did weird uncontrollable running motions and a buzzing sensation left me dry in the mouth.

Turns out that I have a childhood spinal injury that distorted and stopped lumber bone growth which squeezes both central nerve and the sciatic nerves (contributing to possible cause for PD)

Exercise to stretch and decompress the spine helps and I now rarely get the body jerks.

I would ask for a scan of the spine and pelvic girdle paying particular attention to the areas where main nerves pass through bone tissue.

Do your best to stay relaxed and I hope you get it sorted.



Thank a lot, Andy. It sounds like you had quite a journey to figure out what caused the problem. I appreciate your input. Hope I'm lucky finding an answer to what's going on. I was able to move my EEG up to today after a particularly bad episode yesterday.

Hope you're doing well today,


You are welcome.

I have to admit I thought I was having seizures when it first kicked off way back in the 1980's (at the time I was unemployed, under a lot of stress, not doing regular exercise and producing hard stools).

Now, when I get the first hint (usually a jerking of the right leg or a gentle nervous rush up the spine) I know what parts of the body needs attention to avoid further problems.

Anxiety and stress never help and I try not to forget to wear a back support when doing heavy lifting.

Stay merry in being.


Leilani, I am a layperson, but that sounds like a seizure to me, and I don't think having to wait two months to see someone knowledgeable is reasonable.

Depression leading to tremors? That sounds just plain whacky. Can you see another neuro?

Beckey in reply to Beckey

And let me add I'm very glad to hear you'll be seeing someone at Stanford! Keep us posted.

Leilani, Thanks for sharing. As a Psychologist, you would know that depression does not cause tremors. I agree with you. I once had a 'neurologist' tell me that my neurologically proven symptomology was because of my varicose veins. Totally illogical. He was let go from his position for incompetence, a few months later. I went to another neurologist, who found out what the real problem was. Absolutely, you need to see a movement disorders specialist, sooner, rather than later. I have tremors, but nothing like the severity you are talking about. The jaw tremors, I have not heard of having that before. Also, I have had seizures before, for which I take medicine. I am not a medically trained person, but, just from what you are saying, in order to give yourself peace of mind, if you could get an appointment earlier, with a movement disorders specialist, it would be a good thing. When my symptoms seemed to get much worse, my GP got me into the neurologist, within two weeks. Good luck to you, and I hope you can get an answer soon. Keep us informed. We are here to support and help each other.

I have epilepsy and PD. Three different neurologists told me I was depressed. I'm not. It's really, really hard to find good medical care out their. I don't think what you are describing sounds like either PD or epilepsy. The guy who mentioned spinal issues might be in the right track, I have issues with that as well.

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