queen mary logo 19Volunteers needed

Are you thinking of going to the Annual Meeting on Saturday 16th June? See the programme and help with a small project

Familial essential tremor study on lifespan and smell sense ethical approval given by Queen Mary University London we now need volunteers for the Annual Conference, June 16th at The Holiday Inn, Brook Street, Brentwood, Essex.

As you may know it was proposed decades ago that many people with essential tremor (ET) live longer than those without such tremor. This idea remains unproven but if it is correct it may apply chiefly to those with the familial variety of tremor (FET).

It is now possible to estimate your life expectancy by examining the DNA in saliva and specifically the end part of your chromosomes called the telomere. The longer the telomere the longer you should live.

A few years ago our research group at Queens Hospital, Romford found that those with Familial Essential Tremor had very high scores on a smell identification test called UPSIT. This suggested that those with FET may be biologically ‘fitter’.

If our theory is correct it could have implications for long life in other conditions.

To unravel all this, we would like to do the following at our Annual Meeting in the Holiday Inn, Brentwood on Saturday June 16th. We will need to test a minimum of 12 people with Familial Essential Tremor and 12 healthy ‘controls’ typically your partner or non-genetic relative.

  1. check that you really do have FET and not a look-alike such as orthostatic tremor
  2. check your medical records and family history
  3. request a sample of saliva for DNA analysis
  4. Ask you to do the UPSIT – a simple smell identification test.

We would then compare the results in Familial Essential Tremor with the ‘control’ group.

All this could be done in about 40 minutes per subject.

If you are provisionally interested in helping please contact Kevin Harfoot at kevin.harfoot@tremor.org.uk to indicate that you are coming to the Annual Meeting. Also, please bring your husband or partner and any medical letters particularly those concerning your tremor.

See the Annual Meeting programme and for further information on the project please email Prof Chris Hawkes: chrishawkes@msn.com