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Behavioral Relaxation Training for tremor disorders in older adults

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Two adult men, aged 86 and 63, with essential tremor and Parkinson's-disease-related tremor, respectively, were provided Behavioral Relaxation Training in reclined and upright seated positions. Multiple measures were recorded, including the Behavioral Relaxation Scale (BRS), clinical and self-rated tremor severity, informant ratings, ratings of disability in activities of daily living (ADL), and forearm EMG. Results showed increased relaxation skills on the BRS, with reductions in EMG, tremor ratings, and some ADL disabilities. Upright BRS scores did not change during reclined training, but improved rapidly during upright training. The second man was found to suffer from dyskinesia when he relaxed during baseline, which declined markedly during training. A two-week follow-up indicated that most improvements were maintained by both men. Statistical analyses of data for each man showed significant changes. These results suggest that relaxation may be useful in the treatment of idiopathic and pathologic tremor disorders in older adults.

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Correspondence to Roger Poppen.

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Chung, W., Poppen, R. & Lundervold, D.A. Behavioral Relaxation Training for tremor disorders in older adults. Biofeedback and Self-Regulation 20, 123–135 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01720969

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Descriptor Key words

  • relaxation
  • essential tremor
  • Parkinson's disease
  • older adults