About Essential Tremor
What is Essential Tremor?
Once known as familial tremor, benign essential tremor or hereditary tremor, essential tremor (ET) is a neurological condition that causes a rhythmic trembling of the hands, head, voice, legs or trunk. Some even feel an internal shake. It is often confused with Parkinson’s disease although ET is eight times more common and affects an estimated 10 million Americans alone. Because of stereotypes and a lack of awareness, many people with ET never seek medical care though many would benefit from treatment.
You are not alone. Millions are affected by ET, even some pretty well-know celebrities and politicians: actress Katharine Hepburn, the late U.S. Senator Robert Byrd, John Adams (2nd U.S. President), John Q Adams (6th U.S. President), Jonathan Diefenbaker (13th Prime Minister of Canada), playwright Eugene O’Neill, and perhaps even General Douglas MacArthur.
National ET Awareness Month
March is National Essential Tremor Awareness Month. This year we are asking everyone to participate in a national walk on Saturday, March 22. Grab your walkin’ shoes and some friends, and let’s raise awareness around the globe. Not a walker? No worries! There are lots of other ways you can help raise ET awareness in your community.
Free Educational Downloads
Download and print these documents about essential tremor for reference. All materials are reviewed by a member of the IETF’s Medical Advisory Board.
Request a Free Information Packet
The IETF is happy to provide educational information to all who request it, at no charge. Learn more about this neurological condition including common medications, coping skills, surgical options, and more.
Narrated by some of the top movement disorders specialists in the field, this series of webinars cover everything you need to know about essential tremor, from the diagnosis process, treatment options to current research and more.
Learn more about the many facets of essential tremor from this selection of prerecorded educational seminars.
This six-minute video entitled “Essential Tremor is More Than a Tremor” tells the story of people living with ET, in their own words. This moving video goes beyond diagnosis, medications and surgery to explore the very personal ways essential tremor makes people feel.
Find past editions of Tremor Talk, our member magazine, and TremorGram, the IETF’s free, monthly, electronic newsletter.
Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Movements Journal
(TOHM) is a fully open access peer-reviewed journal that publishes clinical and scientific papers on tremor and hyperkinetic movements. Because TOHM is open access, all articles are available in full text format online, free of charge. In contrast to other publications focusing on disorders of hypokinesia (i.e., mainly Parkinson’s disease), TOHM emphasizes the non-Parkinsonian movement disorders, giving center stage to clinical observations and research in this area.
Other Tremor Disorders
Learn more about other conditions that can cause tremor or tremor-like symptoms, such as Restless Leg Syndrome, Orthostatic Tremor, Post-Traumatic Tremors and Dystonic Tremor.