The Atlanta Center for Medical Research is currently seeking adult volunteers to participate in a clinical study of essential tremor.
According to the International Essential Tremor Foundation, essential tremor, also known as benign tremor, is a neurological condition that causes a rhythmic trembling of the hands, voice, legs, or trunk. Some people may also feel an internal shake. Though it is often confused with Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor is eight times more common and affects an estimated 10 million Americans. Because of a lack of awareness, many people suffering from essential tremors never seek medical care though they would benefit from treatment.
Both essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease have tremors present. Also, both can worsen with emotional stress or anxiety. However, symptoms of essential tremor, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, include:
- Tremors have low amplitude and higher, faster frequency
- Tremor is the primary symptom; slowness, stiffness, walking, and balance problems are not commonly seen
- Tremors mostly seen when the person is active
- Usually affects both sides of the body initially (bilateral; symmetrical)
- Family history of tremor reported in the majority of patients
- Tremors in the tongue or voice box that make your voice sound shaky when speaking
Although there is no medication specifically designed to treat essential tremor, several medications are available to treat the symptoms. Treatments options include common medications, surgical options, assistive devices, and FDA approved injections. Further research will help health care providers better understand how to treat those suffering from essential tremors.
ACMR also conducts medical research studies for Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is not as common as essential tremors and the tremors have high amplitude and lower, slower frequency. Tremors for Parkinson’s disease are mostly seen at rest. In addition to tremors, slow movements, stiffness, and problems with walking or balance are involved with Parkinson’s disease. More information about Parkinson’s disease is available.