Researchers at the University of Montreal and its affiliated CHU Sainte-Justine and CHUM hospitals have linked some cases of Essential Tremor (ET) to a specific genetic problem. ET is the most common movement disorder, becoming increasingly frequent with increasing age, which is characterized by an involuntary shaking movement (tremor) that occurs with motion, particularly when doing precise fine movement. The researchers will be publishing their findings tomorrow in The American Journal of Human Genetics.
Exactly why this shaking occurs has remained unknown, despite the work of many clinicians and researchers for decades. While it is known that there is a problem with the parts of the brain that control certain muscles, it has been a challenging endeavor to identify what exactly is malfunctioning in the nervous system of affected individuals. Despite strong evidence that the disease has a genetic basis and years of research effort, no actual genetic link had been identified until today.