Hereditary essential tremor is a movement disorder that causes involuntary shaking, most often in the hands. Unlike other tremors, this type does notusually occur with other neurological symptoms. Essential tremor can occur during different types of activity, including eating, drinking, or writing. Tremors may also occur in the arms, trunk, face, head, and neck. Stress, fatigue, caffeine, cigarette smoking, or extreme temperatures can make these symptoms worse. Essential tremor is most common in the elderly.
Hereditary essential tremor is believed to be caused by a combination of environment and genetic factors, although no specific gene has been linked to the condition.
Doctors diagnose a person with hereditary essential tremor mainly by observing their ability to do movements, by testing the nervous systems' ability to coordinate muscles, and by measuring muscle strength. Doctors may ask an individual to hold a glass in their hands, hold their arms outstretched, or draw a spiral on a piece of paper. Doctors may conduct urine and blood tests for metabolic problems that may be the cause.
There are treatments available to help manage the symptoms of hereditary essential tremor including medications and therapies for muscle strength and coordination.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with hereditary essential tremor, talk with your doctor about the most current treatment options. Support groups are also good resources of support and information.
Description Last Updated: Sep 03, 2018