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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

Easter 2020 issue

Essential Tremor

Some of you may have noticed my shaky hands and have wondered whether I am suffering from Parkinson’s or perhaps I drink a little bit too much alcohol. Well the answer is that I have a condition called “Essential Tremor”. I have been a sufferer since my mid-thirties and my father and grandmother both had this condition although it was not officially diagnosed for them as very little was known about it back then.

Some Facts

Over one million people in the United Kingdom suffer with a neurological tremor of some type. For many, tremor impacts intrusively into their daily activities.  Tremors arise as a result of dysfunction of the nervous system. There are many different causes of tremor. It affects both sexes and all age groups.

The condition often gradually deteriorates causing increasing degrees of shaking (sometimes violent) on various parts of the body. Head, hands, arms and legs may be affected. Speech is also frequently impaired, making communication difficult. Essential Tremor is often mistaken for Parkinson’s Disease, but in fact, it is four times more evident in the UK. Little is known about the underlying cause and for many people it is an inherited condition. Many neurological conditions may produce tremors. The correct recognition (diagnosis) of tremor is often difficult and misdiagnosis is common.  

The Symptoms

Changes to daily life are often traumatic and many sufferers are forced to give up their jobs because they are not able to continue safely and efficiently, or are too embarrassed to meet the public. These physical disabilities may lead to extreme embarrassment in public places with the inevitable withdrawal from social contacts, leaving a feeling of isolation. Trembling head or hands means that drinking a cup of tea is impossible without special aids. For many, any form of legible handwriting is also impossible and even holding objects securely is a major problem. When the legs are subjected to tremors most sufferers can only stand for short periods and sometimes have to walk with sticks.


Treatments depend on accurate diagnosis of the cause of the tremor. Many medications are only partial in their effect and carry the risk of side effects. New surgical procedures are being explored to obtain long term relief from tremors in suitable patients.

It is important to seek advice from specialist neurological doctors to receive the most appropriate medication. Sometimes surgical operations are performed by implanting electrodes into the brain while the patient is fully conscious. There are Tremor organisations that foster research and maintain links across the world with close contacts in the USA, Europe and Australia in order to find the latest research data and disseminate knowledge.

For more information you can either talk to me or contact:

The National Tremor Foundation
Harold Wood Polyclinic,
St Clement’s Avenue
Harold Wood,

Telephone: 01708 386399

Email: tremorfoundation@aol.com

Website: tremor.org.uk

If you have Essential Tremor, care for or know someone who does and would like to attend an informal meet-up, please let Sara Pask know on 07886 114710 / 02392 387162/