IETF Funded Research
Each year researchers with an interest in studying the various aspects of essential tremor are encouraged to submit scientific proposals for grant funding from the IETF. To date, the IETF has distributed more than $685,000 in research grants, to fund 27 promising studies, in the search for the cause of ET.
The Driving Need for Essential Tremor Research
By Ludy Shih, MD
As a clinician investigator, Dr. Shih sees two things driving the need for essential tremor research: A) the need for more effective and better tolerated medications for tremor, and B) the ways that the common clinical features of ET should lend us clues to the understanding of tremor.
2013 IETF Funded Research
Clinical Characteristics of Essential Tremor and Enhanced Physiological Tremor in Childhood
Erika Augustine, MD, University of Rochester, Rochester NY was awarded $25,000 for her proposal entitled, “Clinical characteristics of essential tremor and enhanced physiological tremor in childhood”. Dr. Augustine will work with children between the ages of 5 and 18, focusing on the similarities and differences between ET and Enhanced Physiological Tremor (ePT), another common form of tremor in children.
An Innovative Damping Exoskeleton Approach to Essential Tremor Treatment
Carlo Menon, PhD, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, CANADA was fully funded with a $24,992 grant for his proposal entitled, “An innovative damping exoskeleton approach to essential tremor treatment”. This project explores a new assistive device for ET that utilizes state-of-the-art wearable robotics to suppress tremor symptoms.
Essential Tremor Brain Bank at the Arizona Study of Aging and Neurodegenerative Disorders
A grant award in the amount of $35,000, for the second year in support of the project “Essential Tremor Brain Bank at the Arizona Study of Aging and Neurodegenerative Disorders” was awarded to Holly Shill, MD, Director, Christopher Center for Parkinson Research, Cleo Roberts Center for Clinical Research, and to Charles H. Adler, Co-PI and Clinical Core Director of the Arizona Parkinson’s Disease Consortium (APDC)and Professor of Neurology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Scottsdale, AZ. The researchers expect to find that those with ET have no greater risk of developing dementia or have cognitive impairment than the general public. They will also compare the clinical findings of early onset ET and ET beginning after age 65. The team will continue to examine the brain tissue of those with ET and other neurological disorders after death, searching for a greater understanding of how ET changes the features of the brain, and hopefully leading to more effective diagnostic tools.
2012 IETF Funded Research
Feasibility study for an Essential Tremor Brain Bank at the Arizona Study of Aging and Neurodegenerative Disorders
A joint project between Banner Sun Health Research Institute and Mayo Clinic Arizona.
The Arizona Study of Aging and Neurodegenerative Disorders (ASAND) based at Banner Sun Health Research Institute has been given funding to add additional cases of ET into its longitudinal study.
IETF Support Bishop Kelly Engineering Students Develop Tools for ET
The International Essential Tremor Foundation (IETF) has donated funds to help underwrite travel expenses for the Bishop Kelly High School’s Engineering Design team, based in Boise, Idaho, when they participate in the 2011-2012 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam program at the EurekaFest held at MIT in Boston. The student team is developing two tools that may one day assist people with essential tremor (ET).
2011 IETF Funded Research
Brain Biochemistry in Patients with ET
Researcher Dr. Holly Shill, Director of the Christopher Center for Parkinson Research at Sun Health Research Institute, recently published the article “Brain Biochemistry in Autopsied Patients with Essential Tremor” in Movement Disorders. This study builds on previous research funded by the IETF.
Researchers Identify Potential Cause of ET
Researchers from the CHUQ research center and Université-Laval have published promising findings about a potential cause of essential tremor (ET). The team’s findings were published in a recent edition of the scientific journal Brain. The research team noticed a decrease in the concentration of GABA receptors in the cerebellum of patients suffering from ET.
LINGO Gene Study
A study by the Banner Sun Health Research Institute examines Neuropathological and Biochemical Substrates for Essential Tremor. Dr. Holly Shill, Director, Cleo Roberts Center for Clinical Research, Christopher Center for Parkinson Research, leads this study. The cause of essential tremor (ET) is unknown but recent findings have shown genetic links to the genes LINGO-1 and LINGO-2.
IETF Grant-Funded Study Sheds Light on Drugs’ Potential for Tremor Suppression
A study by Dr. Adrian Handforth and Dr. Arnulfo Quesada has yielded notable results with a potential focus for essential tremor (ET) drug treatment. Funded by a grant from the IETF, the study concerns the impact of five drugs in blocking T-type calcium channels and suppressing tremor in two different models when tested on mice. Drawing from their IETF-supported work, the scientists produced three papers, one of which was published in 2008 in Drug Metabolism and Disposition and another published in 2010 in Neuropharmacology. The third paper has been accepted for publication in the European Journal of Pharmacology.