Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor
What is essential tremor?
Also known as, familial tremor, benign essential tremor or hereditary tremor, essential tremor (ET) is a progressive neurological condition that causes a rhythmic trembling of the hands, head, voice, legs, or trunk.
About 10 million Americans have Essential Tremor. That's about 5% of all people in the United States. For comparison sake, 7.8% of the population have some type of diabetes. Most people though haven’t heard about Essential Tremor and we are adamant to bring attention to the world
An estimated 10 million Americans have ET. People with ET are often stereotyped as being nervous, withdrawn, anxious, and elderly.
ET is not confined to the elderly. Children and middle-aged people can also have ET. In fact, newborns have been diagnosed with the
There is evidence that ET is genetic. Each child of a parent who has ET has a 50% chance of inheriting a gene
that causes the condition. However, sometimes people with no family history of tremor develop ET.
Can I Be Cured Of Benign Essential Tremor?
There is currently no cure or any specific laboratory test for Essential Tremor but the severity of the shaking, in many cases, can be reduced with the use of prescribed drugs. The treatment of Essential Tremor depends on the severity of the tremors and the impact they have on the quality of life of the patient.
Prescribed drugs to reduce the shaking include Beta Blockers, tranquilizers, or anticonvulsant drugs used to control epilepsy but these do not work for all patients.
The medications most commonly prescribed to control Essential Tremor are Primidone, an anti convulsant and Propranolol, a beta blocker more commonly associated with heart conditions and high blood pressure. Propranolol has been extremely effective in my case and so far has had no adverse side effects, however, it is known that patients with certain illnesses such as asthma, diabetes or heart problems may not be able to take drugs prescribed for tremor. Reducing caffeine intake and reducing stress levels, avoiding extreme temperatures and even using wrist weights to strengthen muscles is said to help.
Botulism toxin injections (Botox) are sometimes administered into the affected muscles in more severe cases. In a patient with a hand tremor the botulism would be injected into the forearm while botox would be injected into the muscles of the neck for a head tremor.
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