Essential Tremor Support Group

Essential Tremor (ET) is a neurological disorder characterized by shaking of hands (and sometimes other parts of the body including the head), evoked by intentional movements. The incidence is unknown, but is estimated to be as common as one person in 20, and it is the most common type of tremor and also the most commonly observed movement disorder.

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I'm asking this question because of my husband. A couple of years ago my husband began shaking in his hands. It isn't that noticeable unless you hold a piece of white paper above his hands. To the naked eye you can't see his hands shaking. From what I read about ET the shaking is a lot more pronounced, is that correct?

The docs have done MRI's two and a third one on the way in a couple of weeks. The general practiciner, nor the neurologist see to be able to give him an answer except they think it's ET. I want answers not suggestions because you don't know.

Any advice is welcomed.



I first noticed ET in my hands and arms when I was in Junior High school in the 1950's. It gets more severe with time, and was diagnosed as ET in about 1980 when it became quite bad, such that I could hardly write my name or hold a glass of water. My doctor at the time in Wichita KS prescribed Inderal which worked somewhat until the past couple of years. I had Deeep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery by Dr Desaloms in Dallas TX in April of 2011. Results are marvelous !!!
Best wishes and God's oversight on your venrtures with ET.

Hi, I was diagnosed at the age of 10 (1979), from the onset of my diagnosis, my tremor has always been visible to the naked eye. It has gotten worse with age and can be aggravated by stress, being tired, drinking caffeine and the day after having alcohol. The shaking in my hands is very pronounced. You can tell I have a tremor when I eat, drink, try to use fine motor skills, and write.

Many doctors fail at diagnosing ET. They confuse the symptoms with Parkinsons. Here's the facts: ET shows it's ugly face ONLY when attempting to DO hold a cup, brush your teeth, eat with utensils. Thus "Essential". Parkinson's is a steady shaking and is continual, without effort. ET is GENETIC and Parkinson's IS NOT! Thus "Familial". It is time to get another neurologist if the one you have disagrees with any of the above.

I understand the difference between intentional (Essential) tremor and resting tremor. My grandfather had Parkinson's and his right hand shook constantly when at rest. My tremor is only visible when attempting fine motor movements, I'm worried that I might develop Parkinson's in the future because I thought that Parkinson's was also hereditary?
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