Donate to Essential Tremor Research, Patient Care and Education

Essential tremor is a neurological condition that causes shaking in the hands, legs, voice, trunk or head. It is the most common neurological disorder next to stroke. At Northwestern Medicine, multidisciplinary teams provide patients affected by essential tremor with the highest quality of care. Members of these care teams include neurologists who specialize in movement disorders; neurosurgeons; physical, occupational and speech therapists; pharmacologists; social workers; and others.

By making a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, you will help scientists and physicians to advance research and care in the area of essential tremor. Your generosity will fuel vital progress and will make a difference in the lives of many people coping with essential tremor. 

Because essential tremor most commonly affects the hands, it may make daily tasks–such as writing, eating with a fork or spoon, or drinking from a cup–difficult. It may be challenging for people with essential tremor to hold a body part in a fixed position or to effectively use a body part. In some people, stress and fine motor tasks may increase the intensity of their tremors. Other patients experience shaking only when engaging in a certain activity, such as buttoning a shirt. These patients may find that they are able to use their hands and arms for same limb for other tasks without experiencing any symptoms.

Physicians at Northwestern Medicine are still seeking answers for the causes of essential tremor. Several generations of a family are typically affected by the condition so genetics most likely plays a role.  With your gift to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, physicians will have the financial support to conduct in-depth research in the area of essential tremor so that our scientists can look for causes so that fewer people will have to suffer from this disease.

There are several factors that can worsen the symptoms of essential tremor. The following lifestyle changes may help in controlling the symptoms of this disorder:

  • Avoiding and managing stress
  • Eliminating alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine
  • Using relaxation therapies such as yoga and deep-breathing exercises
  • Using biofeedback to improve the control of involuntary body processes
  • Avoiding medications that may worsen symptoms of the tremor

A number of different treatments are available that may ease the shaking associated with essential tremor. Though these treatments have provided relief for some patients, physicians at Northwestern Medicine are constantly striving for more effective ways to bring relief to all sufferers. You can play an important role in this goal with your generous donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation. Currently, essential tremor is treated in two different ways—medication and deep brain stimulation. Medications that have proven their effectiveness in controlling essential tremor are propranolol, anti-seizure medication, tranquilizers and botulinum toxin injections. Deep brain stimulation surgery is used when all other measures of treatment have not been successful. This procedure has been used safely for over 20 years and gives most people at least 75 percent relief.

Essential Tremor Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

As many as 10 million people in the United States suffer from essential tremor. Physicians at Northwestern Medicine recognize the astounding incidence of essential tremor in today’s population and are dedicated to providing answers and the best possible arrays of treatments to those suffering. Advanced research and the development of innovative treatment options will be possible with your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation. Your kindness will impact the lives of many people living with essential tremor.

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