Dear adults with essential tremor (ET),

When it comes to essential tremor, there are a few things that are clear:

  1. Living with essential tremor isn’t easy.
  2. You’re not alone.
  3. Essential tremor is not likely caused by anything you did.
  4. The good news is, there is hope for making life better.

Let’s dig in a little more.

Symptoms and challenges of living with essential tremor

As you know, living with the essential tremor (ET) it’s hard. With tremors in the hands, arms, voice, and occasionally the legs or torso, it means that work, hobbies, and daily activities all include challenges and frustrations. Things that were once enjoyable can take more time, effort, and concentration - negatively affecting your quality of life. It becomes tiresome to try to hide essential tremor symptoms or explain them to friends, family, peers, co-workers - and even strangers. It also can mean asking for help for normally simple tasks like opening water bottles, putting foot on a plate, or even texting a friend. It’s difficult, stressful, and well, in a word, it stinks.

You are not alone: prevalence of essential tremor

An estimated 10 million Americans and millions more worldwide suffer from essential tremor.1 While it primarily affects people over age 40, it can also appear in childhood. In addition, women and men are equally affected. In rare cases, essential tremor has been reported during infancy, especially for those who have a family history of it.2 Watch Heather Fraser's or Doug Couch’s story of how essential tremor began in their early teen years.

It’s probably not anything you did: causes of essential tremor

Although it’s known that essential tremor is a neurological condition, scientists are still doing research on how exactly it develops. However, there does appear to be a genetic aspect, and each child of a parent with ET has a 50% chance of inheriting a gene that causes the condition. That said, people with no family history can develop essential tremor3, so if you haven’t already, it may be helpful to learn your family history of ET, share it with your healthcare provider and consider essential tremor diagnosis.

There is hope: essential tremor treatment

While essential tremor can have a significant negative impact on daily activities and your quality of life now, it is treatable, and you should talk to your doctor about which option is right for you. Medication is usually the first line of treatment. If tremors are not controlled with medications or the patient is experiencing unbearable adverse events, other options could be deep brain stimulation (DBS) , though it requires a surgical implant inside the brain, or focused ultrasound (FUS). Focused ultrasound treatment from Insightec does not require incisions, brain implants, or radiation. It is safe, and the results are immediate. You can learn more about focused ultrasound and consider the joys of reclaiming your life after essential tremor treatment. To find out if you might be a candidate for focused ultrasound treatment, take this quiz.


  • brain surgery
  • common symptom
  • daily activities
  • deep brain stimulation
  • familial tremor
  • forms of tremor
  • health care provider
  • history of tremor
  • medical conditions
  • medical history
  • neurological condition
  • neurological disorders
  • people with tremor
  • Shaky voice
  • tremor in adults

Achal Singh Achrol, MD

A Better Tomorrow
Starts Here

Discover the transformative power of incisionless focused ultrasound.

Start a Transformation