Once known as familial tremor, benign essential tremor or hereditary tremor, essential tremor (ET) is a neurological condition that causes a rhythmic trembling of the hands, head, voice, legs or trunk. Some even feel an internal shake. ET is often confused with Parkinson’s disease although it’s eight times more common, affecting an estimated 10 million Americans and millions more worldwide. Because of stereotypes and a lack of awareness, many people with ET never seek medical care.
You are not alone. Some pretty well-know celebrities and politicians have been affected by ET: actress Katharine Hepburn, the late U.S. Senator Robert Byrd, John Adams (2nd U.S. President), John Q Adams (6th U.S. President), Jonathan Diefenbaker (13th Prime Minister of Canada), playwright Eugene O’Neill, and perhaps even General Douglas MacArthur.