Essential Tremor the Facts

Mark Plumb and Peter Bain

Oxford University Press


Essential Tremor affects a very large number of people worldwide who have a right to information on this disorder which affects their lives and that of their partners and families. We feel that this access to information about essential tremor is a basic human right. Whilst many may not be particularly interested, affected and unaffected individuals (and their families) should at least have the facility to access current information about essential tremor in a comprehensible form. 

The biology underlying ET is not fully understood, although significant progress is being made. In fact a large amount of very exciting scientific and clinical information is now available. The ability of science to describe in some detail how an electrical signal is generated inside a single nerve cell and is then transmitted to another is a spectacular achievement, but also provides an intriguing glimpse at the machinery that makes a human mind. Similarly, the scientific journey which starts with a few ET families and may one day result in the identification of the gene(s) that causes ET is equally interesting and is a good illustration of the logical and technical processes researchers employ to understand inherited diseases. 

The main aim of this book is to bring together all that information into one place, in a readable form, and some interesting ideas have emerged consequent to the books development. The authors hope that this information will significantly help people to understand, live and cope with ET, and also help raise awareness of ET across society. 

The study of ET is a complex multi-disciplinary subject about a condition that affects many aspects of people and society. It is a disorder of the central nervous system’s regulatory circuits that control voluntary movement. The basic principles underlying ET are gradually becoming understood and it is already possible to predict to some degree both the likely causes of the disorder and the key future research avenues. Other neurological problems relate in complex ways to this disorder, and the relationships of anxiety to ET is a central theme of this book. There is at present no cure for ET but medication is available to suppress symptoms. How that medication works and the potential side-effects are important both for the patient who is being treated and also for our understanding of the causes of ET. Currently very promising strategies are being explored in Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders that may eventually prove applicable to ET. With luck key advances in the understanding of ET and its treatment are not too far away.



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