Tracking the cause: The cause of essential tremor remains uncertain, yet it may affect as much as 1 percent of the population worldwide. It usually begins in late middle age and often worsens despite attempts to suppress the systems. The limbs, head, and even the voice can shake severely enough to interfere with eating, dressing, speaking, and using the bathroom.
Essential tremor is often called benign in the sense that it is not a life-threatening disease. Recent studies have shown a possible genetic cause. Research has turned up one gene that may code for a causative nerve-disrupting protein.
There are no laboratory or easily available tests for essential tremor, so diagnosis has to be made entirely on clinical grounds and by selective testing to rule out other diseases, mostly all too obvious, that cause tremors.
Next: Treating Tremors
Source: Consumer Reports on Health August 2018 Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., Consumer Reports chief medical advisor since 1967, is professor emeritus of clinical medicine at New York Medical College. He is a practicing internist certified in endocrinology and metabolism.
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