About Essential Tremor

Fred Ekman

Fred Ekman has found ways to keep painting, in spite of 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. ET is often confused with Parkinson’s disease although it’s eight times more common, affecting an estimated 10 million Americans and millions more worldwide. Because of stereotypes and a lack of awareness, many people with ET never seek medical care.

You are not alone.  Some pretty well-know celebrities and politicians have been affected by ET: 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.

 Free Educational Downloads

Free DownloadsDownload and print these documents about essential tremor for reference. All materials are reviewed by a member of the IETF’s Medical Advisory Board.

Free Downloads

New ET Reference Manual from Experts

Essential Tremor: What the Experts SayDive deep into to the unknown and discover all there is to know about ET in the new, essential tremor reference manual, Essential Tremor: What the Experts Say.

Look inside

Request a Free Information Packet

Order more informationThe 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.

Request Information


WebinarNarrated 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.

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 Webcast Library

Webcast-iconLearn more about the many facets of essential tremor from this selection of prerecorded educational seminars.

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HannahAnthony_WebMeet Hannah in this six-minute video entitled “Essential Tremor is More Than a Tremor”. This moving video tells the stories of real people living with ET and explores the way ET makes people feel.

Watch the Video

Publications Library

TremorTalkJan2015FINAL_CoverWebFind past editions of Tremor Talk, the IETF’s member magazine, and TremorGram, the free monthly, e-newsletter.

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National ET Awareness Month

March is National Essential Tremor Awareness MonthMarch is National Essential Tremor Awareness Month. We are asking everyone affected by essential tremor to get involved! What will you do this year? You can  choose to raise awareness in your community or participate in an awareness walk. Or, learn a little about both!

Get Involved!

Children with Essential Tremor

ryan brown 1 smAlthough the average age of onset is mid-to-late 40s, children, even infants, can be affected by essential tremor. Adults with ET have maturity and experience on their side, but children can often become overwhelmed by their tremor and the frustrations it causes. It is up to parents and other caring adults to help guide children through appropriate coping mechanisms and facilitate a healthy, positive self-esteem.

Learn more

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.

Go to TOHM

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.

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