Medical Dictionary

essential tremor

noun

Medical Definition of essential tremor

  1. :  a common, usually familial disorder of movement that is characterized by involuntary rhythmic trembling of the hands, arms, and face usually with nodding of the head and tremulousness of the voice, that is exacerbated by anxiety and by activity, and that often responds to treatment with propranolol Although essential tremor is often referred to as benign, this description is misleading. Between 15 and 25 percent of patients with essential tremor who are seen in clinical practice retire prematurely, and 60 percent choose not to apply for a job or promotion because of the uncontrollable shaking of their hands.—Elan D. Louis, The New England Journal of Medicine, 20 Sept. 2001


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