International Essential Tremor Foundation

International Essential Tremor Foundation
Toll Free 1-888-387-3667

Essential Tremor Fact Sheet

Do you have trouble with the "Shakes" when drinking, eating, writing or speaking? There's help available for Essential Tremor or ET.

Tremor refers to the rhythmic shaking of a body part. There are more than 20 different kinds of tremor, ET, is the most common. People with ET become disabled at worst, and frustrated or embarrassed at best by this incurable condition.

Experts estimate that up to 10 million Americans, including the late Katharine Hepburn, suffer from ET - more than double the estimated 4.6 million people with Alzheimer's disease.

ET is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease, which affects as many as 1.5 million people in the United States.

Tremor is not confined to the elderly. In fact, newborns and infants have been diagnosed with the condition, although the average age of onset for ET is 45.

Essential tremor is due to abnormal communication between certain areas of the brain., The cause of this movement disorder is unknown. There is evidence that the tremor is genetic, giving each child of a parent with ET a 50% chance of inheriting a gene that causes ET. Sometimes, however, people with no family history of tremor develop ET.

Effective treatments are available for ET, including medications and surgery. Unfortunately, many experts believe that only a small percentage of people with ET seek medical assistance.

There is help for people with ET. The non-profit International Essential Tremor Foundation has a web site at or call toll free 1-888-387-3667. There are also local support groups across the county. Visit the website for more information.