Tremor Gram – March 2020
We’re Raising the Curtain on ET
March is National Essential Tremor Awareness (NETA) Month, a time to join together with others and spread the word about what essential tremor is (ET) and the impact it has on the millions of people throughout the world.
The International Essential Tremor Foundation (IETF) has chosen the theme “Raise the Curtain on ET” for the 2020 campaign. Raising the curtain means “to reveal or disclose the truth” about something. If we all make an effort to do just one thing to raise awareness during March, we will help reduce the stigma about ET.
The IETF is offering FREE awareness posters you can order online (limit is 5). Display them in a public place where others will read about ET and gain an understanding of the symptoms. In the past, people have posted them at their workplace, their local community center, church or grocery store or given them to their doctor to hang in their office.
Raise the curtain all year long by wearing a “raise the curtain” t-shirt or carrying a themed tote bag. These are available for a donation to the IETF. For a $30 donation you will receive the t-shirt. A $50 donation will get you the t-shirt and tote bag.
With thousands of voices, our impact will be greater and we can raise the curtain on ET.
Naperville ET Forum Postponed Due to Coronavirus Outbreak
Due to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, the International Essential Tremor Foundation has made the decision to postpone the ET Education Forum scheduled in Naperville, IL on March 28, 2020. At this time we are also putting a hold on our future ET Education Forums for 2020 until further notice.
The health and well-being of the people in our essential tremor community is a top priority to us. We will not take the chance of putting any individual at risk. We also want to be assertive in our actions to inhibit the spread of this virus.
We will continue to monitor the outbreak in the U.S. and listen to recommendations provided by health officials before rescheduling any large-scale events. We are tentatively planning to reschedule the Naperville event for March of 2021, but we will announce those plans when they are confirmed.
Results of Gait Assessment Research Study Released
The International Essential Tremor Foundation (IETF) has received the results of a research study of gait assessment in essential tremor (ET) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients. Dr. Vibhash Sharma, with the University of Kansas Medical Center (Kansas City, Kansas) was the principal investigator. The study was supported by a research grant from the IETF.
The goal of the study was to investigate if ET could be easily differentiated from PD using wireless sensors measuring gait (walking) and balance in a clinical setting. It’s not uncommon for the two conditions to be confused or misdiagnosed. The only available diagnostic tool to help differentiate ET and PD is a DaTscan, which is expensive and not always available. The goal of this study was to gauge if gait parameters obtained using wireless sensors in the clinic could be a good alternative to differentiate these disorders.
The study showed that gait parameters obtained using wireless sensors could help to differentiate gait measures between ET and healthy subjects , and PD and healthy subjects. The gait analysis was quick to perform in the clinic and could be utilized to track gait with disease progression. But the study also showed it may be difficult to differentiate PD and ET by gait measures using wireless sensors suggesting that gait in ET and early PD may be similarly affected. Furthermore, it found that ET patients had increased double support time (where two feet are in contact with the ground) across different comparisons, which suggests dynamic balance is more impaired in ET as compared to early PD. Future studies are needed to support these findings and to see whether there could be a role for other techniques such as machine learning algorithms to differentiate the two disorders based on these gait measures.