March is National Essential Tremor
Essential Tremor is a neurological condition that causes a rhythmic trembling of the hands, head, voice, legs or trunk. It is often confused with Parkinson’s disease although essential tremor is eight times more common.From essentialtremor.org website
Throughout the month of March the Foundation has been posting News, Facts and Stories about essential tremor to raise awareness of ET. I have gathered some of those and share them with you here.
Tremor News and Facts
- ET is an action tremor and most commonly occurs while performing activities like eating, writing, typing, dressing, shaving, etc. Being a writer and blogger with ET is challenging.
- How common is ET? 1,000 new cases arise in Americans age 65 and older each day. ET affects people around the world.
- The cause of ET is unknown, but thought to be related to an abnormal functioning of the cerebellus or brain chemical GABA.
- ET is often inherited from a gene from one or his/her parents. Studies have shown there is a strong possibility that ET is hereditary.
- 5.79% to 8% of people 65 and older have ET, while 20% or more over 90 have ET.
- Severity can vary greatly from very mild tremor to some so severe they cannot perform daily taks.
- Approximately 2.2% of the American population has ET.
- There are no medical tests to confim ET. It is diagnosed by a medical history and neurological evaluation.
- Adults with ET often notice that drinking alcohol reduces tremor for 1-2 hours; however, more severe rebound may occur after the effects wear off.
- ET can occur at any age. In fact, 5% of patients see symptoms before adulthood. I spoke with a young girl recently who said she has had it since birth,
- In medical terms “essential” refers to “a symptom that is isolated and does not have an underlying cause.” Some doctor’s have also referred to it as a “familial tremor.”
Mary Kay and Mike talk Living with ET on YouTube. See what they had to say to Kickoff the Month.
Donna writes, “having a sense of humor is helpful when you have ET. Read her story here.
The star of iTV soap’s Coronation Street Rob Mallard was diagnosed at age 14, but says “he didn’t quite realise how serious it was until” he was in his mid-20’s. Read his interview with the hosts of This Morning.
If you didn’t see My Story with ET, you can read it here.
Since I posted that story I have had friends say,”we knew something was wrong and were worried” or “we thought if you wanted to talk about it you would” or “I thought it was Parkinson’s.” After all these years living with ET I am happy I was now able to open up and let everyone know I am okay.
I welcome any comments or questions you might have. Please comment below.
Thank You for reading!