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Essential tremor

Benign essential tremor (ET) is a movement disorder that that causes involuntary and rhythmic shaking in the hands but can also cause tremors in the head, voice, torso and less often, legs and feet. Two types of tremors are common in essential tremor:

  • Postural tremors: they appear only when the member is in a certain position, such as arms extended
  • Kinetic or action tremors: tremors that worsen during activities, like, for example, when shaving or eating

The cause of ET is not known. However, it is known that there is a genetic predisposition to developing the disease, in addition to an autosomal dominant familial form that is passed down from affected parents to children (children have a 50% chance of inheriting the disorder).

Known risk factors are:

  • Genetic predisposition: autosomal dominant form passed down from affected parents to children
  • Age: it is more frequent in persons over the age of 40 and a 10% of persons over 60 present ET.


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