Medical Definition of Essential tremor

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Essential tremor: Uncontrollable shaking (tremor) of the hands and arms and sometimes other parts of the body. Essential tremor is the most common of all movement disorders and is estimated to affect up to 5% of people in the US. In approximately half of cases, essential tremor is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Several different genetic defects may play a role in this condition. The degree of severity of symptoms is variable among affected people. It most often affects the hands and arms but may also involve the legs, trunk, head, voice, and chin.

Also known as familial tremor, heredofamilial tremor, and hereditary essential tremor. See: ETM1ETM2.

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Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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