Essential Tremor in the News Archive

Seminar to shed light on essential tremor, often mistaken for Parkinson’s disease
Jerry Hytken can spot it from across the room on other people: the slight shake of the hand and maybe the head, the vibrato when they speak.

Essential Tremor – Facing And (Maybe) Ending A Lifetime Of Frustration
By Robert Kelly. Plymouth Daily News
Robert Kelly underwent DBS surgery to treat his ET and wrote about the experience in a multi-part series. He is the author of several books on baseball and history/politics and is also a freelance, award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in many newspapers.

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Part 3

Improving Parkinson’s Disease & Tremor With DBS
By Dr. Kelvin Chou. Physician’s Weekly
Medications are effective in about 70% of patients with essential tremor and work well for most with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Many patients with essential tremor, however, are unable to complete activities of daily living with ease even with the use of medications. In people with PD, symptoms worsen over time despite medication. For these patients, successful symptom treatment may be found in deep brain stimulation (DBS).

Approved by the FDA in 1998 to treat essential tremor and again in 2002 for PD, DBS involves implanting electrodes in the deep part of the brain.

U.S. House of Representatives Overwhelmingly Approves FDA Legislation
Legislation will Expedite Approval of New Drugs and Therapies
A recent vote of 387-5 by the United States House of Representatives approved legislation that will expedite treatments for essential tremor, Parkinson’s and other diseases.

Every five years Congress must reauthorize legislation – the Medical Device User Fee Act (MDUFA) and the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) – which enables the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to collect fees from the pharmaceutical and medical device industries to partially fund the agency’s efforts to approve new drugs and therapies. During this process, Congress often simultaneously approves related legislation with significance to the movement disorder community.

The approved legislation includes portions of the FAST Act, H.R. 4132, which is intended to streamline and hasten the FDA’s therapy approval process and ensure people with diseases like essential tremor and Parkinson’s have quicker access to safe and effective therapies.

In recent weeks, the Senate voted on its own version of this legislation, including portions of the TREAT Act, S. 2113, which is similar to the FAST Act.

The two versions of the bill will move to conference where members of both the House and Senate will iron out any differences before sending a unified version to the president for final passage into law. There is strong congressional desire to finalize this legislation by the end of June, and the legislation needs to be signed by the president by the end of September to keep the FDA functioning at its current levels.

Advancement of measures to expedite treatments for essential tremor and other diseases is a clear sign of hope on the legislative front to eventually find and fund better treatment.

Living with a shaking ailment
By Nicola Brennan-Tupara
Waikato Times, New Zealand
Beulah Baker first developed essential tremors in her early 20’s. Her hands now shake so much that she is unable to write but it is doesn’t hold her back from a full life. Beulah Baker is the first to admit she’d be useless on MasterChef. Diagnosed with essential tremor, the 81-year-old struggles to perform the simplest of tasks most take for granted.

Essential Tremor – Facing And (Maybe) Ending A Lifetime Of Frustration
By Robert Kelly, Cape Cod Today
“Look at his hands shake,“ the little girl said as she watched me scratch my initials on my sun-browned arms with the point of a pen. That was my first encounter with essential tremor (ET). I thought I had erased her comment from my mind. But here I am, decades later, recounting the incident. This serves as a reminder that the scars accompanying ET dig deeply into the psyche.

Cutting Edge Treatment for Essential Tremor
Northwest Prime Time
Local man able to live tremor-free life after Gamma Knife® thalamotomy.
In the late 1960s, Dave Willard, a Navy Commander, was on active duty when he noticed shaking in both his left and right hands. While this should be a concern for anyone, it was particularly concerning for Dave, who was a Navy pilot.

Patients, doctors discuss lives changed by new UVa treatment
By: Ted Strong, The Daily Progress
A technology at the University of Virginia that’s getting worldwide attention has let doctors there ease a nonfatal but bothersome disease for more than a dozen people. The technology is focused ultrasound. The disease is essential tremor. “People were sort of questioning: Is this a real thing or is it just a passing fad?” said UVa neurosurgeon Dr. Neal F. Kassell. The answer, he said: It’s for real.

It’s a technology that wasn’t invented at UVa, but with which UVa is pioneering treatments.

Essential tremor debilitating and misunderstood
By Pohla Smith, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Betty Schofield tripped a lot and couldn’t even write her own name because of involuntary, rhythmic shaking movements in her muscles. Over three or four years the condition got progressively worse.
“One day I served my husband dinner that just flew across the floor,” said Mrs. Schofield, 69, a retired jewelry store clerk who lives in the little Cambria County town of Sidman. After an incorrect diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, multiple medications that didn’t work and many tests, her problem was finally diagnosed by neurosurgeon Donald Whiting at Allegheny General Hospital’s Center for Spasticity and Movement Disorders as essential tremor.

The Shaky Side of Stillness
From Mind Body Green: Your Guide to Wellness
Who hasn’t occasionally felt a bit shaky in practice? Normal, yes? I always do. Literally. I cannot be physically still. I have a hereditary condition called an essential tremor. My hands shake, the right more so than the left, my head shakes slightly, too, and my voice can tremble. A full cup of anything is an accident waiting to happen. Balancing poses take on an entirely new look when I’m in them, if I can get there.

Essential Tremor Sufferer Welcomes Calm Moments
Daily News-Sun, Sun City, AZ
Bob Kortright often struggles with the simplest of tasks, such as carrying a hot cup of coffee around his Sun City home or inserting a key into a car door. “I’m dangerous with a screwdriver,” the 89-year-old Kortright said with a laugh. He suffers from essential tremor, a neurological disorder that causes hands, heads and voices to shake.

Essential Tremor Awareness
Terry Hopkins of Blackfoot was 20 when she started to notice the tremor in her right hand. At first she didn’t think much of it until it started to affect her handwriting. Lines that used to be straight and crisp became wavy and jagged.

After seeing a neurologist, Terry found out she has a little-known neurological disorder known as Essential Tremor, or “ET.” Last year, former U.S. Representative Dennis Moore of Kansas helped push a measure through Congress establishing March as Essential Tremor Awareness Month.

Kansas State Representative Speaks about ET in Congressional Record
Mr. Speaker, today, I express my support and recognize March as National Essential Tremor Awareness Month. Essential Tremor, commonly known as ET, is a progressive neurological condition that impacts the lives of up to 10 million Americans.

Support group helps Great Lakes Bay Region residents with essential tremor cope, laugh
Saginaw News, Michigan
Saginaw Township resident Carol Jerome is self-conscious about her voice. Although she’s 76-years-old, her voice makes her sound like she’s 96. Jerome’s voice is shaky because of a condition called essential tremor, a benign neurological disorder that causes a rhythmic shaking.

Local woman with essential tremor seeks support
It’s all because of a condition called essential tremor. And she’s hoping to find others with similar experiences.

Lacking a Michael J. Fox, Essential Tremor Advocates Tell Their Story
Arlene Rosen of Cincinnati and Norma Doherty of Centerville, Ohio, have offered to share their stories in honor of Essential Tremor Awareness Month so that we can all become more knowledgeable about this common and disruptive disease. The two women, who co-chair a support group in Miamisburg, Ohio, have had two very different experiences with essential tremor.

Metro Woman Lives With Tremor Condition
If you notice someone’s hands shaking, do you think they’re nervous or maybe they’ve had too much caffeine? Or do you think they have Parkinson’s Disease? In many cases, it’s neither – instead, it’s a condition called Essential Tremor. FOX 4 Medical Reporter Meryl Lin McKean talks with a young woman who lives with that condition.

Dr. Paul Donohue writes about ET in his syndicated column To Your Health that appears in newspapers nationwide.

Third-grader Joy Schaaf Raises ET Awareness Among Classmates, Board of Education, and County Commission
Joy Schaaf, a third-grader at East Elementary in Greenville, wants the public to help her celebrate National Essential Tremor (ET) Awareness Month in March. The 8-year-old daughter of Teresa and Raymond Schaaf, was diagnosed with Essential Tremor in the fall of 2010 at the age of 6. She has done and is doing things to make the public become more aware of the disorder. Joy, according to her mother, was invited to speak at the board of education meeting last Thursday, and a book Joy penned last year will be read by her to her class this week.

National Press Release
Congressman Dennis Moore Led Bi-Partisan Sponsorship to Officially Designate March as National Essential Tremor Awareness Month

Blog Announcement

National ET Awareness Month in Katy, Texas

Engineering Better Tools for Tremor
Bishop Kelly High School’s Engineering Design team, based in Boise, Idaho, is developing two assistive tools that may one day assist people with essential tremor (ET). These tools are being developed by the team as they participate in the 2011-2012 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam program. The student team received a major grants of nearly $10,000 to invent and refine these tools. This nine-month project culminates in the debut of the finished prototype in June 2012 at the EurekaFest held at MIT in Boston. The IETF has donated funds as a co-sponsor to underwrite travel expenses for the team.

Blog Announcement – ET Awareness Month

Fundraiser Run
Sean Clay and his wife Naomi are planning to raise funds as they run a 5K marathon.
“5 years ago my wife, Naomi was diagnosed with ET. Everyday I see her struggle with it and I realize how strong she is. She motivates me to be better each day. ET can be a debilitating disease in which there is no proven cure just yet,” writes Sean. “I’m going to run my first marathon ever to raise money for the International Essential Tremor Foundation. These funds will aid them in increasing awareness and the search for the cure!”

“I’ll be blogging about my training progress and everything else going on if you’d like to keep track. I’ve been competitively running for a year now and I’ve finished 2 half-marathons in the top 20%. The full marathon is definitely another animal that I’m nervous about, but if Naomi can find the strength to tackle each day no matter what than I can do it. She motivates me. Thanks for your support!”

Follow their progress:

Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies Awarded Patent for Technology to Assess Movement Disorder
Great Lakes NeuroTechnologies announced today that they have received allowance of claims from the U.S. Patent Office for an application covering their Movement Disorder Monitoring System and Method for quantitative assessment of motor symptoms associated with movement disorders.

New ET Group
anawatu Standard, New Zealand
Bob McFarlane is part of a new group in Palmerston North to support those living with essential tremor. While sometimes all he can do is laugh, there are other times when his uncontrollable shaking makes Bob McFarlane break down and cry.

High School Engineering Team Develops Assistance Writing Device for Tremor
Bishop Kelly High School’s Engineering Design team, based in Boise, Idaho, is developing two tools that may one day assist people with essential tremor (ET). MagWrite 2.0 is a device to help those with various types of tremor write more legibly. MagMouse is designed to work with a wireless computer mouse to lessen the effects of tremors while using a computer. These tools are being developed by the team as they participate in the 2011-2012 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam program.

This project consists of a nine-month process of designing and testing, followed by a debut of the finished prototype in June 2012 at the EurekaFest held at MIT in Boston. The IETF has donated funds as a co-sponsor to underwrite travel expenses for the team.

Watercolor Artist with ET, Fred Ekman, Profiled in Style Magazine, February 2012
To learn more about Fred Ekman’s artwork, please visit

Patients’ Tremors Stopped After New Non-Invasive, Pain-Free Brain Surgery as Part of Study
ABC World News with Diane Sawyer
Dot Highberg, 56, is able to eat using a fork for the first time immediately after undergoing a procedure called MRI-guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery, a non-invasive, pain-free brain surgery she had to treat her debilitating essential tremors.

Focused Ultrasound Study – University of Virginia
15 volunteers were treated in this recently completed FUS Foundation-funded study at the University of Virginia. Focused Ultrasound Surgery is not an approved treatment for essential tremor currently. This procedure is in the first phase of a study. For more information on the study mentioned in the story, visit
Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation:

Wiring the Brain, Literally, to Treat Stubborn Disorders
Wall Street Journal
Deep brain stimulation, sometimes called a pacemaker for the brain, has helped halt tremors in more than 100,000 patients with Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and other movement disorders since 1997. Now, researchers are reporting encouraging results using the procedure for psychiatric conditions as well.

Deep Brain Stimulation – Published December 2011
A New Life for People with Parkinson’s, Dystonia and Essential Tremor
Kelvin Chou, MD, Susan Grube, RN, MSN, Parag Patil, MD, PhD

About the book
DBS is a revolutionary technology using an implanted device to deliver electrical stimulation to the brain to help symptoms, alleviate suffering, and improve quality of life. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved DBS as a treatment for essential tremor in 1997, for Parkinson’s disease in 2002, and dystonia in 2003. Read more:

Rumors of Kodac Harrison’s retirement have been greatly exaggerated. Thankfully.
Atlanta poet/musician with ET marks career transition with album and performance
Kodac Harrison, 62, has what’s called an Essential Tremor, which causes his right hand to tremble uncontrollably, and hinders his ability to play guitar. “I can still play a bit, but I can’t do all the things I could do 15 years ago,” he says. “My right hand is my shaking hand, and it’s my picking hand. So I can’t do picking, but I can do strumming.”

Enrollment in Magnetic Resonance Focused Ultrasound Feasibility Study Completed
InSightec Ltd, the global leader in MR guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) therapy, announced today that it has completed enrollment in the world’s first feasibility study evaluating the use of MRgFUS for treatment of Essential Tremor, using ExAblate® Neuro at University of Virginia , Charlottesville, Virginia.

Fifteen patients underwent a non-invasive ExAblate treatment to evaluate safety and initial effectiveness of this investigational device. Most patients, who suffered for at least 10 years, experienced tremor improvement and no severe adverse events. They are being followed up for three months. Patient videos can be viewed here:

Read more here:

Book Inspired by 7-year-old
It was last summer when Kirk Hall’s grandson asked a perfectly normal question for a 7-year-old.

Carson had noticed his grandpa’s hands shaking uncontrollably, and rather than explaining the complexities of his body not producing enough dopamine, Hall simply told the boy he had “shaky paws.” That innocent encounter inspired a children’s book that helps little ones understand a condition that affects an estimated 10 million people in the U.S. alone.–year-old/article_5cb28cb5-b016-5792-b4eb-2355dfb8762c.html

Parkinson’s treatment allowed patient to draw a (straight) line in the sand
Man with brain implant pushes back Parkinson’s symptoms and writes children’s book helping kids understand those who have ‘shaky paws’
Radio Interview:

DBS surgery puts tasks within woman’s grasp again
Deep-brain stimulation was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1997, but it’s still an underused therapy, said Dr. Devin Binder, medical director of the deep-brain-stimulation program at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Calif.
Read more:

West Seattle tremor patient’s successful DBS treatment examined on livestream broadcast
Drs. Ron Young and Ryder Gwinn, surgeons from the Swedish Neuroscience Institute, host a livestream to discuss the affects of Essential Tremor (ET), the Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgical procedure used to treat ET and the other innovative treatment options for ET available at Swedish and throughout the country.

Patients Risk Brain Surgery to Fix Shaky Hands
Doctors at Rhode Island Hospital performed deep brain stimulation on Peter West. In 2004, they opened West’s skull and implanted an electrode in his thalamus, a structure in the center of the brain just above the brainstem. They ran a wire to another device, inserted under the skin of his collarbone, that generated pulses of electrical current. The treatment reduced West’s tremors to manageable levels, and allowed him to continue his work.

Researchers Identify Potential Cause of Essential Tremor
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. GABA receptors relay “chemical messages” which transmit inhibitory information to the different parts of the brain and play an essential role in the human body. A loss of GABA receptors in the cerebellum could affect the function of the cerebellum, an organ beneath the brain that manages communication between the brain and muscles and coordinating movements.

The research was made possible by a grant from the International Essential Tremor Foundation.

A Primer on ET from the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine
More about ET from the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine

Video – Five Questions with Elan Louis, MD, Member of the IETF Medical Advisory Board
The essentials of essential tremor, the most common neurological movement disorder
Ask Elan Louis, MD, what drew him to the study of essential tremor, and he thinks about the patients he saw during his residency whose arms and hands would start shaking uncontrollably whenever they wanted to unlock a door, pour a glass of water, or type a letter.

“It seemed to me that something in the brain must be really wrong to produce such repetitive, involuntary tremors,” Louis says, “but at the time nobody knew what it was.”

Louis started with a project on how essential tremor runs in families and quickly realized that nothing was really known about the disorder at all. “And what little knowledge there was, has turned out to be wrong,” he adds.

New Guidelines Issued for Common Tremor Disorder
American Academy of Neurology has updated recommendations for treating essential tremor
An antiseizure drug called primidone (Mysoline) and a high blood pressure drug called propranolol (Inderal) are the most effective medicines to treat shaking in people with essential tremor, according to an updated treatment guideline from the American Academy of Neurology. Read more.

Ask Dr. K: Tremors aren’t always sign of Parkinson’s disease
Dear Dr. K: My mother’s hands are shaking more than usual lately. She has made an appointment with her doctor, but in the meantime, can you tell me if shaking is always a sign of something serious like Parkinson’s disease?

Dear Reader: The shaking in your mother’s hands is called a tremor. Tremors can affect the hands, limbs, head or voice. The actress Katherine Hepburn developed tremors of her head and voice in her later years. A person can’t control a tremor. Two common kinds of tremor are essential tremor and Parkinsonism. Like you, many of my patients with a tremor worry that they have Parkinson’s disease, but essential tremor is much more common.

A Noninvasive Deep Brain Treatment For Essential Tremor?
Jerusalem Post
In a presentation at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons today, University of Virginia neurosurgeon W. Jeffrey Elias, MD reported that preliminary results of a pilot clinical trial indicate that MR-guided focused ultrasound has the potential to safely and effectively control essential tremor (ET), a common neurological condition that affects 10 million Americans.

Results from the study’s first 10 patients showed a 78 percent improvement in contralateral tremor scores in the hand, as assessed with the Clinical Rating Scale for Tremor (CRST). Patients’ functional activities scores improved by 92 percent, as measured in the ‘Disability’ subsection of the CRST. Outcomes and complications were comparable to other procedures for tremor, including stereotactic thalamotomy and deep brain stimulation.
Read more:

Related articles

When Grandma Has Shaky Hands
The Orange County Register
You remember your grandma had “shaky” hands. Or maybe it was your favorite uncle. They suffered from essential tremor, a condition usually associated with age and often confused with Parkinson’s disease.

UVA Pioneers a Way to Stop Tremors
WVTF Public Radio
Medication helps many, but the University of Virginia, in partnership with the state and the private sector, is studying a whole new approach by using sound waves to zap abnormal cells in the brain and produce immediate improvements. John Waterson is a retired professor of history who’s been battling essential tremor since he was in middle school.

New life after brain surgery
Seattle Times
But after undergoing deep brain stimulation (DBS) — a treatment that involves surgically implanting a small device that delivers mild electrical stimulation to selected areas of the brain — Parkinson’s patient Charlie Rashid’s muscle control has improved dramatically. [Editor’s note: End of article refers to DBS treatment in relation to essential tremor.]

Treating Tremors With An Ultrasound
Now, neurosurgeons are using a new procedure called MRI guided focused ultrasound that stops some types of tremors. “It involves high resolution MRI scanning as well as ultrasound technology,” Jeff Elias, M.D., neurosurgeon at the University of Virginia Medical Center told Ivanhoe. Other procedures involve invasive brain surgery, but the new scalpel-free surgery is the first to use ultrasound in the brain to treat tremors.

Deep Brain Stimulation Can Transform Lives of Those With Parkinson’s, Essential Tremor
Michigan resident Tom Keilen was fighting a battle against an aggressive case of Parkinson’s disease. He couldn’t work at his job as a plastering contractor. Medications didn’t help enough. Keilen sought help at the University of Michigan, where after an extensive assessment, he underwent a deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery that was successful in almost eliminating the tremors. DBS surgery has been used to treat both essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease.

Tremor is attenuated during walking in essential tremor with resting tremor but not parkinsonian tremor.
Published in Journal of Clinical Neuroscience. July 2011
By Uchida K, Hirayama M, Yamashita F, Hori N, Nakamura T, Sobue G.Department of Neurology, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, 65 Tsurumai, Showa-ku, Nagoya City 466-8550, Japan.
A neurologist used accelerometry and visual examination to measure the intensity and frequency of hand tremor under resting, postural, writing, and walking conditions among patients with essential tremor with resting tremor and Parkinson’s disease. The intensity of essential tremor was markedly less during walking relative to resting. The intensity and frequency of parkinsonian tremors were higher while walking than while resting. The researchers suggest that assessment of the intensity and frequency of tremor during walking is clinically useful for differentiating between essential tremor with resting tremor and parkinsonian tremor, especially in the early stages, when the two conditions are often difficult to distinguish. Parkinsonian tremors are known to be enhanced during walking. Our clinical experience, as well as that of others, suggests that the intensity of essential tremor with resting tremor is markedly attenuated during walking.

It is time to remove the ‘benign’ from the essential tremor label
By Elan D. Louis and Michael S. Okune.
Use of the word “benign” is a mischaracterization of essential tremor and could be prove misleading especially in the evolving doctor–patient relationship. In those cases with currently-mild tremor, the nosology “mild essential tremor” would be a more accurate reflection of disease.
Read more:

Hold the Carcinogens
Harmane, a potent neurotoxin associated with essential tremor, is one of several heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – chemicals associated with certain forms of cancer. These chemicals are created when muscle meats such as beef, pork, fowl and fish are cooked at high temperature such as searing on the grill. Some epidemiological data provide evidence of a possible connection between HCAs and PAHs in food and cancer. But this evidence is not irrefutable. It could be that other carcinogens, such as the nitrites found in processed meats, play a significant role.

Octanoic Acid Produces Desired Result Over Time in ET Study
According to a report published in Medscape Medical News, a small proof-of-concept study suggests safety and some potential benefit in terms of efficacy from administration of octanoic acid, a metabolite of the long-chain alcohol 1-octanol, in patients with essential tremor (ET). Read more:

Early Results of Essential Tremor Study Promising
By: Tammie Smith
Richmond Times Dispatch
An update on the Focused UltraSound Foundation-funded essential tremor trial at the University of Virginia and its first participant, Billy R. Williams. The story was prompted by a reader’s inquiry about how Mr. Williams is doing. Williams, who has completed the three-month study period, reports he is doing well. His UVA neurosurgeon, W. Jeffrey Elias, MD, says Williams has demonstrated excellent tremor control.

New application for iPhone may support tremor monitoring and research
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News
Researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) have developed a novel iPhone application that may enable persons with Parkinson’s disease and certain other neurological conditions to use the ubiquitous devices to collect data on hand and arm tremors and relay the results to medical personnel. The researchers believe the application could replace subjective tests now used to assess the severity of tremors, while potentially allowing more frequent patient monitoring without costly visits to medical facilities.

ET and PD: Are They Related?
Growing evidence suggests that essential tremor (ET) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) are pathogenically related, at least in some patient populations. This key assessment comes from an article published in Movement Disorders (February 2011). Read more.

THE SECOND HALF: Navigating the new stage beyond midlife
by Tracey Barnes Priestley
Initially diagnosed with “benign essential tremor,” Marc Freedman was eventually referred for a complete neurological workup. It took three months of waiting but finally, Parkinson’s disease was ruled out. His relief over the news was followed by a new perspective. Freedman writes: “The question of how I was going to spend the next 25 years took on a new cast.”

Living with tremors is ‘like a mini-earthquake inside’
Rapid City Journal
by Lynn Taylor Rick
Essential tremor affect Cheryl Eggers’ ability to walk, forcing her into a slow and unstable gait. And even though people can’t sese them, Eggers also has tremors of the internal muscles. “It’s like a mini-earthquake inside,” she said.

The Few, the Proud, the Brain Donors
by Claire Trageser
The Voice of San Diego
Bette Ferguson’s ability to remember the cities she’s lived in, jobs she’s worked and, yes, all the men she’s married, makes her very valuable to Jacopo Annese, a neuroanatomist at the University of California, San Diego. Annese is director of The Brain Observatory, a research center at UCSD where brains are sliced up, laid out on slides and then scanned into digital images, which researchers can use to visualize what a variety of brains look like. Scientists can use Annese’s images to see how diseases like Alzheimer’s and essential tremor physically change the brain. Read more at
Learn more about brain donation for essential tremor research at

Portland twins approach 100 years, give credit to the air of their Columbia River Gorge childhood
by Anne Saker
The Oregonian
A story of twins, one of whom has essential tremor.

Grand Haven Tribune
Chances are good that could have been a person with essentialtremor or another form of a movement disorder. Mary Mihovich, an adult reference librarian at…
http://www.grandhaventribune. com/paid/299543406009364.bsp

Don’t confuse essential tremor with Parkinson’s disease
By Jeff Hansel
For the first time, a clear picture of the prevalence of “essential tremor” was described in a 1984 Mayo Clinic and University of …

Essential tremor has its challenges
Margaret Nesbitt Senior Column – Ventura County Star
That is because I have benign essential tremor. The powers-to-be have now decided that there is nothing benign about it and it will henceforth be known as “essential tremor”(ET) I wrote about it last November and had a huge response from people who…

2011 – National Essential Tremor Awareness Month in the News
Many people with essential tremor (ET) across the country have responded to the IETF’s call to action by writing to their newspaper editor and increasing public awareness of essential tremor. In print and online, the news about essential tremor and National Essential Tremor Awareness Month is reaching many people.

Dr. Paul Donohue wrote about ET in his syndicated column that appeared on March 7th in newspapers nationwide, further raising awareness and prompting hundreds of people to call the IETF for more information.

Anne Goodrich, who works at Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency and is a member of the Inclusion & Diversity committee, wrote publicly for the first time about her experiences as someone with ET.

Dr. Peggy Mason, who has ET, sent a cover letter and press release to editors at local newspapers to make all aware of ET. She contacted Sarasota Herald Tribune Editor Michael Connelly, Manatee City Editor Bart Pfankuch and Publisher Diane McFarline, Northport Sun Editor Ms. Scneeberger and Editor Victor Hall, and Venice Gondolier Editor B. Mudge.

Lou Bulebosh of Plymouth, WI wrote about her life with ET in a Sheboygan County senior newsletter. A feature newspaper article appeared in The Wright Flyer that interviewed Maxine Haddox of Beavercreek and Marilyn Jackson, two representatives of the Dayton/Cincinnati Chapter Essential Tremors Support Group.

Other people are hosting bake sales, ET awareness events in local shops, displaying ET awareness posters, and ordering bookmarks, bracelets, T-shirts and other merchandise to let people in their community know about ET.

Together, we are making a difference. Thank you to the individuals reaching out, the writers and editors heeding our efforts, the researchers in the scientific community working on additional treatment and studies, and the medical professionals that are diagnosing and treating some of the 10 millions Americans with ET.

Rome News-Tribune
Letter to the editor: Few are aware of essential tremor
By Joan K. Meyers
As a sufferer of essential tremor, I want to help people learn about this debilitating condition. March has been designated by the U.S. House of Representatives as National Essential Tremor Awareness Month. ET is a neurological condition that causes uncontrollable shaking of the head, hands, legs and voice. For people like me, this condition makes even the simplest self-help tasks difficult.–Few-are-aware-of-essential-tremor-?instance=secondary_stories_left_column

Houston Chronicle,
Essential tremor group helps Katy residents
March has been designated as “National Essential Tremor Awareness Month” due to a House resolution passed by Congress in December, 2010.

The Spirit Newspaper
The Disorder Of The Masses: Essential Tremor
By Ashley Engleford
Port Wentworth resident, Rose Cook, has been dealing with ET since she was a teenager. She inherited the disorder from her mother and passed it on to her daughter.

Sammamish Review
The US House of Representatives has designated March as National EssentialTremor Awareness Month. Essentialtremor (ET) is a neurological condition… 2011/03/08/sammamish-forum- march-9

Dr. Donohue – The Columbus Dispatch
Essential tremor can hit at any age – Thanks to the International Essential Tremor Foundation, Congress has designated March as National Essential Tremor Awareness Month……/essential-tremor-can-hit-at-any-age.html…

Bedford Journal
March is Essential Tremor awareness month
Kelly A. Smith, BSN, RN
To the Editor: Essential tremor is a neurological condition that causes shaking of the head, hands…

Ask Dr. DeSilva
March 1, 2011 – IETF Executive Director Catherine Rice was interviewed about essential tremor on the radio program “Ask Dr. DeSilva” for

The Oakland Press
Voices of Disability – Waterford woman with essential tremor
I have the medical condition of essential tremor…

News Channel 8 reporter one of millions battling tremor disorder
By Josh Green, WFLA TV8 – The tremor didn’t start as much. It was just a little shaking in the voice. But then, shaky hands made it hard to control some things and quality of life started being impacted. It is the slow progression of a condition called Essential Tremor, something both Theresa Hancock, now 56 of Tampa, and News Channel 8 reporter Josh Green, 32, deal with.

Swedish Hospital seeking participants for tremor treatment trial
Meghan Walker, – The Swedish Neuroscience Institute (SNI) is looking for patients willing to participate in a trial that will use a new technology to treat tremors with sound rather than surgery. The new technology to treat patients uses focused ultrasound treatment, and will be headed up by Dr. Stephen Monteith, who has been recruited to work at the SNI.

Smart Spoon to Counteract Hand Tremors
The Doctors – Learn about the Liftware spoon, which enables people with tremors to eat with more comfort and ease.

Ultrasound Thalamotomy Study Benefits Essential Tremor
Pauline Anderson, – Thalamotomy using high-intensity focused ultrasound, guided by MRI, improves tremor, particularly in the hand, and quality of life in patients with essential tremor, according to results of a small pilot study.

Factors That May Cause Fluctuations in Deep Brain Stimulation Levels Over Time
Science Daily – Deep brain stimulation therapy blocks or modulates electrical signals in the brain to improve symptoms in patients suffering from movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and dystonia, but a new study suggests that several factors may cause electrical current to vary over time.

Actor has brain surgery while awake and strumming a guitar
Linda Carroll, TODAY contributor – Surgeons often listen to music while they’re operating, but in Brad Carter’s brain surgery it was the patient who supplied the tunes.

Carter, an actor who has landed guest starring roles in popular television shows like “Bones” and “The Mentalist,” says his real passion has always been singing and playing the guitar. But seven years ago, his hands started shaking, making it hard to play some of his favorite songs.

UCLA patient plays guitar after brain surgery
UCLA – Millions around the world saw Brad Carter play a guitar during his brain surgery at UCLA last May. Today, July 2013, the actor-musician returned to show his progress.

Medtronic spokesperson to discuss options for people suffering from essential tremor – MADISON, Alabama — The North Alabama Essential Tremor Support Group will resume its bi-monthly meetings on Aug. 3 with a discussion on deep brain stimulation and its affect on essential tremor.

New Technique for Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery Proves Accurate and Safe
ScienceDaily – The new technique uses advances in brain imaging in recent years to place the electrodes more safely, and more accurately, than in traditional DBS surgery. The surgical team uses CT scanning during the surgery itself, along with an MRI of the patient’s brain before the surgery, to precisely place the electrodes in the brain, while better ensuring no hemorrhaging or complications from the insertion of the electrode.

The NIH BRAIN Initiative
BRAINDespite advances in science and technology, the cause of many neurological conditions, including essential tremor, remains unknown. In order to unlock the mysteries of the brain, we need to understand how and why it works the way it does. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative has been tasked with figuring that out.

UCLA Live-Tweets Brain Surgery, Posts Vine Videos (VIDEO)
Huffington Post LOS ANGELES — It was an uncomplicated brain surgery the hospital had performed hundreds of times before (499 times, to be exact). But to celebrate Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center’s 500th deep brain stimulation operation Thursday, surgeons performed the world’s first live-Vined brain surgery.

To your good health – Dear Dr. Roach
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have been diagnosed with benign essential tremor. I have seen several experts and tried many medications, none of which have been very helpful. I recently read about focused ultrasound. Can you tell me anything about it? I have no desire for brain surgery for deep brain stimulation. — A.M.

Local man seeking experimental treatment for tremors
By: Daniel Campbell - The News
John Carter says everyone gets tremors, just that most people’s tremors are so fine they don’t notice. But Carter isn’t like most people, he has what’s called essential tremor, a progressive neurological disorder most often associated with shaking of the arms or hands. Carter said when people see tremors they might associate it with Parkinson’s disease, alcoholism or simply old age …

Condition a life changer
By: Maryke Penman
Alan Irvine, 89, knocks back a stiff gin before going out to dinner. It’s the only thing that stops his shakes. The Belmont man is among just 2 per cent of the New Zealand population living with Essential Tremor, a neurological disorder that causes shaking in the hands, head and other body parts. Essential Tremor is caused by a miscommunication in the brain. It can affect people of any age and is often hereditary.

Speaking of tremor: Giving request grows exponentially
By: Debbie Griffin, River Falls Journal
Natalie Kusilek, 76, of River Falls, never dreamed that a one-paragraph letter written to her seven children would lead not only to a large donation to the International Essential Tremor Foundation, but also to her speaking about the condition and the foundation to a national magazine and her local paper …

Revolutionary treatment uses ultrasound to stop tremors for Tony Lightfoot
CTV News
Many patients with essential tremor have a very difficult time using their dominant hand to eat, drink or write, and for Lightfoot, the simple tasks of …

Globe and Mail

Victoria Times Colonist

DBS Surgery Treats Violinist’s Tremor
NBC News – Los Angeles
Roger’s passion is the violin, but a neurological disorder called essential tremor (ET) makes it nearly impossible to play. To steady his hands, Roger underwent brain surgery that allowed him to play the violin while doctors fired signals into his brain to target the tremors. View more videos at:

Genetic association study of glucocerebrosidase gene L444P mutation in essential tremor and multiple system atrophy in mainland.
Researchers from the Department of Neurology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410008, China, studied a gene mutation in glucocerebrosidase (GBA) that is emerging as an important risk factor for Parkinson’s disease (PD).

FDA Approves DatScan
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved DaTscan™ (Ioflupane I 123 Injection) for use as an imaging agent with single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging. This agent aids detection of dopamine transporters (DaT) in the brains of adult patients with suspected Parkinsonian syndromes (PS). Dopamine is a brain chemical that is classified as a neurotransmitter and is found in regions of the brain that regulate activities such as movement and emotion.

Video: Reporter’s Big Brother Undergoes Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery to Treat Essential Tremor
By: Kerri-Anne Kennerley
News reporter Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s beloved brother, Malcolm, has had to undergo radical brain surgery, deep brain stimulation. He’s been struck down with the incurable disease essential tremor, a progressive neurological disorder which causes tremors of the arms and hands during everyday movements such as eating and writing. Malcolm is now trapped in a body he has great difficulty controlling, with simple tasks like holding a knife or fork now a great challenge. Most recently, the pacemaker device connected to Malcolm’s brain was switched on – if it proves successful in treating his tremors, it may well be the happiest news Kerri-Anne’s received all year.

Preliminary results show focused ultrasound holds promise as a safe and effective treatment for essential tremor.
The FUS Foundation-funded clinical trial at the University of Virginia attained a new milestone this month when its principal investigator, W. Jeffrey Elias, MD, presented preliminary study findings at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons meeting in Washington, DC.

Results to date show that the study’s first 10 patients had a 78 percent improvement in tremor scores in their hand, as assessed with the Clinical Rating Scale for Tremor (CRST). Their functional activities scores improved by 92 percent, as measured in the ‘Disability’ subsection of the CRST. Elias said that outcomes and complications were comparable to other procedures for tremor, including stereotactic thalamotomy and deep brain stimulation.

Ronald M. Schwartz, MD, of the Neurological Research Center at Hattiesburg Clinic, MS gives an interview about the DaTscan test, an imaging agent that was approved by the FDA this year. The DaTscan is a nuclear medicine test that enables doctors to differentiate between Parkinsonian syndromes and essential tremors.

UAB research may have solved mystery of how deep brain stimulation works
Deep brain stimulation, used for 15 years for essential tremor patients and 10 years for Parkinson’s disease patients, can stop uncontrollable shaking in patients with certain neurological diseases. Previously, no one knew how it worked.In research partly published this week, University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers led by neurologist Dr. Harrison Walker say they think they have found the possible answer — a rapid, rhythmic response by the brain one millisecond after every pulse from the pacemaker that delivers the stimulation.

Researchers find genetic cause for body tremors
People suffering from the ‘essential tremor’ disorder can now be more easily diagnosed
Researchers at the University of Montreal and its affiliated CHU Sainte-Justine and CHUM hospitals have linked some cases of Essential Tremor (ET) to a specific genetic problem. ET is the most common movement disorder, becoming increasingly frequent with increasing age, which is characterized by an involuntary shaking movement (tremor) that occurs with motion, particularly when doing precise fine movement. The researchers will be publishing their findings in The American Journal of Human Genetics.

Exactly why this shaking occurs has remained unknown, despite the work of many clinicians and researchers for decades. While it is known that there is a problem with the parts of the brain that control certain muscles, it has been a challenging endeavor to identify what exactly is malfunctioning in the nervous system of affected individuals. Despite strong evidence that the disease has a genetic basis and years of research effort, no actual genetic link had been identified until today.

The Shaky Side of Stillness
By: Dave Kidney
Who hasn’t occasionally felt a bit shaky in practice? Normal, yes? I always do. Literally. I cannot be physically still. I have a hereditary condition called an essential tremor. My hands shake, the right more so than the left, my head shakes slightly, too, and my voice can tremble. A full cup of anything is an accident waiting to happen. Balancing poses take on an entirely new look when I’m in them, if I can get there.

Meditation as Medicine
Scientific evidence from well-designed studies shows that meditation can increase attention span, sharpen focus, improve memory, and dull the perception of pain.

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. The purpose of this project is several-fold. The first is to better understand cognitive functioning in ET. As some studies suggest an increase in dementia in patients with ET, especially in elderly ET, it is important to look at this systematically. The ASAND program has been doing this for years as we examine all subjects enrolled for both movement disorders, such as tremor and parkinsonism, and cognitive disorders, such as dementia. In this way all ET subjects can be compared to our very large elderly control population. Other non-motor issues, such as sleep and mood, are also examined. The second goal is to begin to look at differences between ET which starts before age 65 and ET that starts after age 65. This is important because some have postulated that there might be different types of ET depending on family history and age of onset. As the majority of our current ET group had ET starting after age 65, the funding will allow us to enroll a number of ET patients who are currently > age 75 but have had ET since they were < age 65. Most importantly, all subjects enrolled in ASAND must continue to be followed annually until the time of death and must agree to be autopsied. After death, the brain will be examined for changes that may be associated with ET with several brain regions already being explored. In order to keep costs down and the quality of tissue high, this study is restricted to individuals who reside in Maricopa County, AZ.

Filipino Reporter. By: Meg Sibal, M.D.
While almost everyone has some degree of tremor — an involuntary, rhythmic shaking, especially of the hands which, for most of us, are so small they can’t be seen or felt — many individuals develop a visible tremor (essential tremor) which is a common movement disorder that can trigger fears of Parkinson’s disease, says the July 2012 issue of the Johns Hopkins’ HealthAfter 50.