What is essential tremor?
Essential tremor is one of the most common neurological movement disorders. With essential tremor, the hands, arms, legs and head are usually quiet at rest, but performing a simple task, such as picking up a glass of water, can be difficult. Essential tremor can interfere with many normal activities including signing checks, buttoning clothes, combing hair and cutting food with a knife and fork. In essential tremor, the movement disorder is the only aspect of the disease.
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Facts about essential tremor
- It is one of the most common neurological conditions.
- It has a strong genetic component — children of those with essential tremor have a 50 percent chance of inheriting the condition. Since it is a dominate trait, it only requires a gene from one parent.
- Onset typically occurs when a person is in their 20s or in their 60s.
- Tremor usually occurs when resisting gravity or when in motion.
- Stress can worsen tremor.
- Four to six million people in the United States have essential tremor.