Essential tremors is a neurological condition characterized by rhythmic and involuntary shaking. Different parts of the body are affected by essential tremors. But, trembling of hands is the most common. It can happen even if you perform daily activities like tying shoelaces or drinking water from a glass.
Although essential tremors is not a severe disorder, it can become serious in some people as it progresses over time. Other diseases do not cause tremors, yet it is frequently mixed with Parkinson's disease. People of any age can suffer from essential tremors. However, its frequency is high in persons over 40.
Symptoms of Essential Tremor
The following are the symptoms of essential tremor.
- Shaking for a short period is out of control.
- Voice shaking
- Nodding head
- Worsening of tremor under stress and emotional conditions
- Increases in tremor frequency with movement
- Balance issues in some cases
- Low frequency of tremors at rest
Causes of Essential Tremor
Role of Cerebellum
Essential tremor has unknown causes. However, according to some research, there is a communication issue in different brain parts, including the cerebellum. The cerebellum is responsible for regulating muscle coordination.
The disease appears to be transferred down from parent to child in the majority of cases. So if one of your parents has ET, there is a 50% risk that you or your children may inherit the gene that causes the disease. For diagnosis, auxiliary testing, like brain imaging or genetic testing, may be used.
Role of Thalamus
Doctors also don't have an idea about the exact cause of essential tremors. However, it's considered that the thalamus processes the unique electrical brain activity that generates essential tremors. The thalamus is a deep brain structure that governs and coordinates muscular activation.
Genes can be the cause of essential tremors in 50% of all ET patients. A person with ET has a 50% risk of passing the relevant gene on to their child. However, the child may never show symptoms. ET is more common in older people, and symptoms worsen as they age; it is not a natural part of the aging process.
Current evidence indicates ET may be a neurodegenerative condition, but the specific underlying cause of ET is still unknown. Randomized postmortem researchers have reported several degenerative abnormalities in the cerebellum that influence the population of Purkinje cells and other degenerative changes such as Lewy bodies in some cases. There are still more studies that need to be done to figure out the complicated, underlying mechanisms responsible for ET.
Genetic and Environmental Causes
There are some reasons for tremors, including stroke, alcohol abuse, and overactive thyroid. They can also happen due to some neurological diseases. However, such tremors are not categorized as essential tremors.
No definitive environmental or genetic explanation for essential tremors has been identified, and no cellular abnormality has been attributed to the illness.
However, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the latest studies show that alterations in specific brain areas may trigger essential tremors. Therefore, research is underway by considering other medical disorders as well.
Risk factors for Essential Tremor
The risk of essential tremors increases with the increasing age, especially after 40 years of age. Genetics also plays its part in risk. Essential tremor can be hereditary. However, it can also affect people who have never had the disorder before. Usually, it is referred to as familial tremor when there's a family history of essential tremor. If you already have familial tremors, your child has a 50 % risk of having essential tremor.