Botulinum toxin is effective and safe for palatal tremor
Palatal tremor (formerly palatal myoclonus) is an extremely rare, but potentially treatable cause, of objective tinnitus. The tinnitus is thought to be secondary to rhythmic involuntary movements of the soft palate. Its aetiology is variable and it remains difficult to treat. Many different medical and surgical remedies have been tried but none have demonstrated reproducible success. Botulinum toxin has been used in sporadic cases and seems to produce good results. Ten patients with palatal tremor have presented to this department over the last three years. After discussion with the patients with regard to the management of this condition and possible complications, five opted for botulinum toxin therapy and five declined further intervention. Clinical diagnosis was made on the confirmation of soft palate movements synchronous with an audible clicking noise. Five patients underwent botulinum toxin injection into the insertion of the levator and tensor veli palatini muscles. Of the five that were treated with toxin, four showed complete resolution of symptoms after a course of treatment. Only one patient reported transient side effects. This would suggest that botulinum toxin is a safe and effective first line treatment for palatal tremor.