Elizabeth DeCicco via Crowdrise
January 06, 2012
BENEFITING: International Essential Tremor Foundation
Katharine Hepburn had it. Bill Clinton has it. John AND John Quincy Adams had it. Samuel Adams did, too. Sandra Day O'Connor, Eugene O'Neill, Magnus Berg...most of you will have it. You can have it young or it can show itself as you get older. It can make drinking a cup of coffee impossible. It can make writing very difficult. It can change your voice or make it hard to eat. Many people will leave their house. It's called Essential Tremor and it can stop you from performing daily activities. It can bring your career to a halt. ET can cause severe disability. It can ruin your life.
The condition, which affects the muscles of the hands, head, and voice, is often mistaken for Parkinson’s patients. But essential tremor is 5-10 times more common than Parkinson’s disease.
Misdiagnosis of essential tremor is a problem. Doctors don’t have a definitive test, so some people are given Parkinson’s medication when they shouldn’t be.
There is no definitive cure for essential tremor.
What Is essentIal tremor?
• Essential tremor (ET) is a neurological movement disorder that causes rhythmic, involuntary and uncontrollable shaking of the hands, but can also affect the head, voice, legs and trunk.
• ET is thought to be due to abnormal communication between certain areas of the brain, including the cerebellum, thalamus and brain stem. The exact cause is unknown.
• The tremor associated with ET is kinetic, meaning it presents itself during voluntary movement and disappears during rest.
• The tremor may be a rhythmic “back-and-forth” or “to-and-fro” movement produced by involuntary (unintentional) contractions of the muscle.
• Severity of the tremor can vary greatly from hour to hour and day-to-day.