Alternate Names : Benign Essential Tremor, Senile Tremor, Idiopathic Tremor, ET
Essential tremor, also called ET, is uncontrollable shaking of the
hands or head. It can also affect other parts of the body, but hands are most
common. ET usually affects both hands. Other areas that may be involved include:
The shaking is most often a back-and-forth movement.
What is going on in the body?
No one knows exactly what happens in the body to cause these
visible tremors. They are not life threatening, but they can make it hard for a
person to function in daily life.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
Heredity is the only known cause or risk for ET. Fifty to sixty percent
of people with ET have a family history. When there is a family history of a similar
tremor, the condition is called familial tremor. The trembling can get worse with
stress, or emotion
ET affects men and women equally. It is more likely to strike people
as they age.