Riboflavin – New Treatment for ET?

According to a pilot study presented at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, high doses of riboflavin may improve ET without any adverse effects. This news is encouraging, but more investigation is needed, according to Esther Baldinger, MD, a researcher at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center and Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, NY.

During the study, 16 patients (four with head tremor and 12 with hand tremor) aged 50-90, were given 400 mg of riboflavin and were evaluated at four-week intervals. If no improvement was observed, then dosage was increased to 600 mg at four weeks and then 800 mg at eight weeks.

Participants subjective evaluations and the Fahn-Tolosa-Marin Clinical Tremor Rating Scale were used to determine change in tremor during tasks such as pouring water from one cup to another, eating with a spoon, shaving and applying makeup.

Riboflavin decreased tremor severity in eight patients with hand tremor and two patients with head tremor. In more than half of the participants, riboflavin was linked to an enhanced ability to write, eat, drink and pour liquids. Physician ratings and patients’ own self evaluations were consistent with measured improvements in tremor.

No adverse effects were observed, but researchers caution that high-dose riboflavin in certain patients could cause some forms of eye disease or skin sensitivities to light, and riboflavin is poorly absorbed when taken with certain medications.