Is Essential Tremor Hereditary?
During these tough times, it’s hard to say whether something is good or bad for your health. It’s even harder to say that things will get better knowing that most likely they won’t. There have been viruses and diseases spreading that we have to control over and it feels like we’re losing hope. However, that never stopped humanity from fighting.
As human beings, we fight to survive and to find solutions. We want answers and to resolve problems to stay alive. Thanks to science and proper research, we are able to overcome these obstacles and create a better tomorrow.
This article here is not just to lift your spirits and keep you going, it’s also made to answer a question that we have heard frequently. It might not be the most important question to be answered at this time, but people are suffering and anxious to find answers.
In this article we’re going to talk about essential tremors and if they can be passed down from family members who are diagnosed with them.
What is Essential Tremor?
Essential Tremor is a nervous system disorder that causes involuntary and rhythmic shaking. It’s sometimes mistaken for Parkinson’s disease as the symptoms are in some parts similar. People with Essential Tremor suffer from uncontrollable shaking in their hands, and sometimes in other parts of their body. It’s impossible to control the shakes and they only act up when practicing or doing simple activities like drinking or writing. Simple tasks like holding up a glass to drink or using a pen to write down something on a piece of paper are almost impossible. The tremors kick in as you hold that glass of water and raise it to take a sip of water. You can’t control the shaking as it makes you spill some of the water or completely let go of the glass.
In some cases, the tremors might act up as you write down on a piece of paper. Constant shakes take over and you end up scribbling on the paper instead of writing a full letter.
Although, people shouldn’t be very concerned about essential tremors. Sure, it makes your hands shake uncontrollably, but it’s not a death-defying disease. It might get worse over time; however, there are some remedies and treatments that could help in maintaining those uncontrollable tremors.
Furthermore, essential tremor is most commonly found among people between the ages of 40 or older, but it’s possible to be found at younger ages as well.
What Causes This Disease?
Till this moment there isn’t any clear and scientific proof of what caused this essential tremor disease to come to be. However, there are some theories around the fact that it might be caused by exposure to toxic material for too long. This toxic exposure might have led to a genetic mutation which in result created this neurological condition in a person. Although, it’s still not clearly defined as the reason behind being diagnosed with the syndrome.
However, for the main purpose of this article, some researchers say that the causes are also related to family inheritance.
Can Essential Tremor Be Passed Down by Family Members?
The answer to this question is yes and no. As mentioned before, there are no scientific facts or research that identifies the reason behind being diagnosed with Essential Tremor. Although, some scientists believe that there’s a 50% chance that a person could inherit this disease from a family member that had suffered from this syndrome.
ET can be passed through generations in a family, but it does vary from one person to another. This means that the symptoms aren’t always the same for each person. Some family members might have suffered from uncontrollable shakes in their hands only while others suffered from voice tremors and handshakes both. It still isn’t clear how the inheritance process works, but what’s clear is that it uses the autosomal dominant pattern. According to Medline Plus, it means one copy of an altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the disorder, although no genes that cause essential tremors have been identified. That’s why in some families not all members might inherit the disease.
What Are the Symptoms of This Disorder?
Even though it’s still not clear what causes ET, and some researchers say that it could be passed on in families, the symptoms are still defiant. However, you need to know that people with this disorder might suffer from one or all of these symptoms.
As it may seem clear to you now that ET affects your body by shaking uncontrollably, especially in your hands. You may start to experience these tremors and shakes when trying to take a sip of water or holding up a cup of tea. It may affect one hand only or both at the same time. Plus, it could get worse over time.
Hand shaking and body tremors aren’t the only things this disease causes. Some patients will feel a slight increase or decrease in the volume of their voice while they speak. Some may even experience trembling in their voice and twitching as they can’t always complete a full sentence.
Some patients might suffer from other shaking parts in their body like their head. Although it’s quite different from the usual intensity of shakes in the hands. They might experience uncontrollable nodding in a horizontal motion, or, in other words, a no-no nodding. Or they might experience a vertical motion shake in their heads that’s more like a yes-yes nod.
Leg and Feet Tremors:
This symptom is very uncommon and rarely found in some cases of essential tremors. It’s scientifically proven that ET affects the hands first and then might spread to other parts of your body. These shakes in your legs or feet happen when you’re resting or sitting down and not doing any motion activity. If you experience these types of tremors, then know that your ET has gotten worse and you need to see a professional.
How Can You Determine If It’s ET?
On your own, you personally can’t do that. There are proper tests and careful analysis that take place to determine if you have this disorder. Although, even with these multiple tests conducted by professionals, they can only rule out other possibilities and narrow it down to ET. Some of these tests rely on the identification of characteristic symptoms, as mentioned above, detailed patient history and a discreet clinical evaluation are taken place to determine if the symptoms you have are true of Essential Tremor. These tests could help in determining if you have ET or not.
Moreover, some scientists do have a solid theory about what could be causing this disorder, which may help with the ET diagnosis process. Scientists say that the dysfunction in some cells that produce GABA molecules might be the reason behind the emergence of ET.
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) molecule controls your brain activity by binding with receptors of a nerve cell. They make it easier to do spontaneous reactions when put in certain situations like fear. Scientists believe that a decrease in the number of the GABA molecule could be the cause of ET. Nevertheless, it’s still a theory and nothing has been proven scientifically.
With modern age technology, you can now take more control over your tremors with the Steadi-Two from us at Steadiwear. This gadget will reduce the tremor effect in your hands and enables you to do the motor-related task easily. This remarkable glove uses a smart fluid that stiffens & works together with a counter-weight that moves in the opposite direction of your tremor.