Tremor Gram – June 2021

Posted on June 7, 2021

Compound May Hold Promise as Therapy for ET

Results are promising from a two-year research study evaluating a GABA receptor drug as potential therapy for essential tremor.

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Dr. Adrian Handforth, with the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, headed up the study which received a 2019 research grant from the International Essential Tremor Foundation.

The drug known as Compound 6 selectively activates only alpha6-beta-gamma2 receptors and has already been shown to affect cerebellar granule cell function when injected systemically but until this study had not been tested on tremor. GABA is the brain’s main inhibitory neurotransmitter, and it works by activating GABA receptors. Brain GABA receptors are not uniform but differ according to their subunit composition. They all contain 2 alpha subunits, of which there are 6 types, 2 beta (3 types), and either a delta (only 1 type) or a gamma (3 types) subunit. Cerebellar granule cells contain most of the brain’s alpha6-beta-delta receptors.

The study found that Compound 6 effectively suppresses harmaline tremor (an induced tremor) at doses in the well-tolerated range, suggesting that Compound 6 may exert clinical efficacy for essential tremor at well-tolerated doses. The results also imply that the Compound enters the brain and exerts efficacy within minutes, and suppresses tremor for up to an hour in mice.

The results indicate that Compound 6 holds promise in the treatment of ET. These findings represent an early step. More needs to be known about the safety and binding profile of this interesting compound and others in its class.

Read the entire study online.

Reducing the Burden of Brain Disorders through Education and Advocacy


Brain disease affects more people than heart disease and cancer combined. That’s why it’s so important to advance the understanding of the functions of the brain and reduce the burden of brain disorders through public education and advocacy. This is the role of the American Brain Coalition (ABC), of which the IETF is a member.

In our latest Talking Essential Tremor podcast, Katie Sale, executive director of the ABC, talks about the ABC’s advocacy work. She also discusses the BRAIN Initiative and what it means for people with movement disorders.

Learn more by tuning into, “Partnering with the American Brain Coalition for ET Advocacy.”

Are there topics you would like to see covered in an upcoming Talking Essential Tremor podcast? Email your suggestions to Marketing & Communications Manager Tammy Dodderidge, 

Download Our ET Coping Tips Handout

photo of hands on a computer keyboard

Essential tremor can turn daily tasks into a test of ingenuity, perseverance and self-esteem. Dressing, eating, applying makeup, brushing your teeth – all of these things can lead to frustration and anxiety, and also increased tremor.

The IETF has compiled a list of everyday coping tips, many of which have been shared by those in the ET community. It includes general suggestions as well as suggestions for writing, eating/drinking, food preparation, using technology, airport security and more.

You can download it free from our website. 

Categories: Tremor Gram

20 thoughts on “Tremor Gram – June 2021

  1. I have a vocal dysfunction that Botox injections no longer help. Do you have any suggestions to help me talk better? Primidone doesn’t alleviate the rough jerky voice either…

  2. I would like to see case studies evaluated of patients who went through deep brain surgery and the decline in brain function after. A friend has never been the same. Tremor was better but complete change of personality and inability to do things she was expert at, severe depression and several hospitalizations for, along with hallucinations. She has never been the same. These outcomes should be talked about. People need to know. A study should be done to see how often this occurs.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly that more studies need to be done. My first inclination is to wonder if the training of the surgeon was adequate, but surgical training and mishaps should also be included in any studies done. We are just beginning to understand the workings of the brain so I suspect definitive medical/surgical treatment for ET is still on the horizon. I had Deep Brain Surgery five years ago and it improved all the aspects of my life affected by ET, but that doesn’t change the profound negative affect it had on your friend. I am deeply sorry that your friend has undergone such momentous changes.

    2. The two negatives I’ve had after DBS (5 years ago):

      1. Dramatically affected my sense of balance for the worse.
      2. Some people remark that my speech is somewhat slurry. I have conscientiously slowed my speech.

      1. I have experienced slightly slurred speech and some difficulty swallowing since DBS. I was warned that these side effects would be present to some degree after the surgery. The tremor is reduced but not enough for me to be able to touch type or shoot again, both of which were personal goals. On good days I can now once again tie fishing line, something I consider very important .

  3. I have same issue. Stress makes it worse. No volume to my voice and it’s shakey.

  4. The ET Coping Tips were excellent and I learned a few more ways to handle things.

    What’s a tip on flipping things in a skillet when both hands shake?

    1. One suggestion from our ET community is to use two skillets. Keep the one without the eggs in it warm, and when it’s time to flip the eggs, place the warming skillet on top of the other one and turn them both over.

    2. I purchased a skillet that had a skillet connected to it. It was advertised for pancakes but I use it for eggs, burgers, or anything that needs flipping. Was about $20.

  5. I am 86 and will have to wear contacts for the rest of my life. Any tips on putting in contacts would help.

    1. Some advice from others:

      Prop both of your elbows on something to be as steady as possible, like the counter of the bathroom sink. Always cover the sink drain so you can’t drop them down the drain.
      One person said he lowered his head down to the contacts instead of lifting them up to his eye.
      There are also some “aids” available for inserting contact lenses, which can be found online. These helps some individuals. Just Google “Aids for Inserting Contact Lenses.”

  6. I would be interested to know if there are any findings available that have studied the correlation with ET and Dysosmia and more specifically parosmia. I experience both as did my father. I am 73 and have experienced parosmia for almost two years. I’m just curious since both appear to be a deep brain condition.

  7. Is there any study, correlation between migraines, migraines with out pain (just serious! Nausea), or? Reverse might trigger tremors, or migraine? Any observed triggers, change of season..?? Stress? anything?

    1. There was an interesting study done on the correlation between ET and migraines. The results showed that “essential tremor and migraine occur together more frequently than just by chance alone and younger patients with essential tremor seem more likely to have migraine.” Here is a link to that study: You mention stress also, which absolutely does exacerbate ET. Dr. Arif Dalvi, who serves on the IETF’s Medical Advisory Board, wrote a good article about stress and ET. It’s on our website.

  8. I have essential voice tremor and tried botox treatment it took 9 weeks before I got my voice back. I was told that the smallest dose was probably too much for me. I decided not to continue with treatment. There was no pre physical examination done except for speech therapy. I am taking propranolol 100 mg a day for hand tremors but it doesn’t help for the voice. (age 80)

  9. I am 75 and had MRI guided sonographic ablation of part of the thalamus 3 months ago. It completely relieved the tremor from my right hand (for which I had taken meds for 45 years and had maxed out the recommended meds). I did have some residual effects that have already subsided. For someone with just hand tremor, I recommend they check into it. This treatment now seems to be available at maybe 20 locations in the states. I drove 3 hours for my OP treatment. They shaved my head, but I now love the new look and may keep it.

  10. Gerri asks if there is a correlation between Essential Tremor and migraine. If you search on that phrase, you will find studies testing the idea, but obtained inconclusive results, possibly because of low numbers (<200) or survey design.

    While I have the opportunity to shout through the keyhole, why are you guys hiding from the world in Facebook? Most in need of your company are those of us who are too shaky to waste our few accurate fingerings on that chatter-ridden site.

  11. I have a brain tumor caused by coming from my ear and touching the brain stem. I had the Gamms Knife treatment snd they say this did shrink it. Does this have an effect on my ET because even with meds my hands still shake snd sometimes my head.

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