Essential Tremor (ET)


This is a form of shaking you can't control. Often, we see it in the hands. It can make it hard for you to do everyday tasks like writing, typing, eating, and fixing small things. Essential tremor is most common in people age 40 and older, but it can affect you at any age.


What causes essential tremor? Well, we don't always know. It may be linked to a problem in the parts of your brain that control movement. Some forms of this disorder are inherited. It can also be caused by neurological problems like multiple sclerosis, stroke and diseases that affect the brain. It can result from a traumatic brain injury. It can also be linked to things like medications, alcohol use, anxiety and mercury poisoning. Ask your doctor for a full list of causes.


What are the symptoms? You have shaking movements you can't control. It's most noticeable in the hands. It can also affect the arms, head, legs or torso. It can make your voice quiver. Essential tremor may affect one side of your body more than the other. It may start as mild shaking and worsen over time. And, things like fatigue, stress and caffeine can make the shaking worse.


How do we treat it? We can use a variety of methods. We can give you medications. We can give you injections of botulinum toxin. You may benefit from things like focused ultrasound or deep brain stimulation. And, we may recommend lifestyle changes and various therapies. Your doctor will create a plan that's right for you.