A tremor is a set of involuntary contractions of the muscles resulting in in a rhythmic shaking of one or more body parts. Although Tremor most often affects the hands, it can also occur in the neck, jaw, eye, face, vocal cords, torso and legs. Often, Tremor is associated with aging.
Although some tremors are caused by neurological disease, and it is important to have your tremor checked by a medical professional, the good news is that the majority of Tremors are not due to disease. Essential tremor is the most common tremor disorder (20 times more prevalent than Parkinson’s Disease) [1, 2], and is considered “benign” often being called “Benign Tremor”. Benign means that the condition is considered mild, and will not grow appreciably worse. The prevalence of Essential Tremor throughout the world in persons over 60 years old is estimated at 13.0 to 50.5 cases per 1000, or 1 in 100 to 1 case in 20 persons (i.e. very common).
Even in persons diagnosed with disease related tremor, it is estimated that 30-50% of these cases may be misdiagnosed and may actually be Essential Tremor.
To learn more about Tremors, click on the links on the left side, or go to the next section:
1. Benito-Leon, J. and E.D. Louis, Essential tremor: emerging views of a common disorder. Nat Clin Pract Neurol, 2006. 2(12): p. 666-78; quiz 2p following 691.
2. Louis, E.D., R. Ottman, and W.A. Hauser, How common is the most common adult movement disorder? estimates of the prevalence of essential tremor throughout the world. Mov Disord, 1998. 13(1): p. 5-10.