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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 33669
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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My 8 year old son started having tremors about 18 months ago.

Resolved Question:

My 8 year old son started having tremors about 18 months ago. These involve shaking in the head, limbs and body. They appear to be seasonal, getting much worse in Winter and fading steadily to virtually nothing in the Summer. Essential tremors has been suggested but the tremors seem worse when he is relaxed (e.g. sitting while I read to him at bedtime) and I can find no reference to essential tremors having a seasonal aspect. He is autistic but this is definitley not stimming (seen enough of that to know the difference).
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
Hi--how often do these happen and I assume he is fully conscious when they do happen?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Frequencie varies from maybe every ten minutes (at their worst) to one or none a day (at their best). He is fully conscious when they happen.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
And between the episodes he's fine and just after they happen and then stop he seems perfectly normal John?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Yes to both.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
Just one more question John--has the Topomax been effective in stopping these or at least in making them less frequent?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Really has been impossible to tell as they're so infrequent at the momnet anyway. I have seen one since he started taking it (but he's only been on it a week and I don't know if it takes time for the body to acclimatise to the medication) and that's about what I'd expect to see if he wasn't taking it.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
Sorry for just one more question John--where is he on the autistic spectrum as regards XXXXX XXXXX?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


He has good gross motor skills but some difficult with fine motor. He understands simple questions and instructions but would not be conversational. Can read, count and do addition and is getting to grips with subtraction. Hope that helps.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
OK--and we can continue with this for as long as you'd like. Essential tremors, for the most part, are constant and not intermittent and certainly the person with them wouldn't have absolutely no tremor at any time. Assuming this isn't just part of his autistic spectrum--and I very much doubt that--it does sound like a partial, non grand mal, seizure disorder. There are other medications besides Topomax like Tegretol and Keppra that might more agree with him so I suggest you discuss those with his doctors
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Any ideas as to why that would vary through the seasons? Are there known triggers for the seizures?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
That's not easy to answer John. It could be related to the seasonal depression that some people have with less sunlight in the winter time for example and even to vitamin D fluxes with that
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Could we be looking at Tourettes? Or even just some sort of cortisol overload?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 3 years ago.
Tourettes is a thought although this doesn't strike me as typical for that. I don't think it's a cortisol situation. I would however check thyroid function and vitamin levels.
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