Essential Tremor Statistics From The Latest Research [2021]

One of our driving goals at Five Microns is raising awareness for essential tremor (ET). Since we first conceived the idea for the Tremelo device, we’ve passionately worked hard for those dealing with ET. We hope the essential tremor statistics in this article help you, whether it’s for a presentation or your own knowledge.

Thankfully, an increasing amount of publicity and research studies are being given to this movement disorder. We’ve done our best to curate the most significant essential tremor statistics from researchers who’ve conducted original ET research.

Why are essential tremor statistics relevant?

As more ET research is done, extracting statistics lets us support the efforts of academic and non-academic researchers. For business presentations and personal research, these statistics provide access to credible information based on the latest research. ET research is critical to informing public health policies and ascertaining the worldwide impact of essential tremor.

If you have any questions about these statistics, please reach out to us. Our goal while writing this article was to provide credible, authoritative essential tremor statistics that help you with your ET research.

What percentage of the world has essential tremor (ET)?

A 1998 study noted that ET is “20 times more prevalent than Parkinson’s disease”. According to a 2014 study conducted by Elan D. Louis and Ruth Ottman, approximately 7.01 million individuals (2.2%) in the USA have essential tremor.

Is essential tremor more common in either males or females?

Earlier this year, ET researchers performed a meta-analysis of 29 existing essential research papers to determine the prevalence of ET. The research focused on determining whether age and sex were significant factors and concluded the following:

  • ET is most common in men rather than females.
  • In 2020, roughly 3% of people worldwide had essential tremor disorder.
  • The number of people affected by essential tremor in 2020 was 24.91 million.
  • Of those affected by ET in 2020, 56 percent were male.

How common is essential tremor in the United States?

Despite receiving relatively little attention, ET is a common movement disorder affecting up to 10 million people throughout the United States. 

The prevalence of essential tremor can be difficult to determine because tremors can result from many other disorders (including Parkinson’s disease) and medications.

How many people throughout the world have essential tremor (ET)?

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (updated July 2021) notes that approximately 5% of the world’s population suffers from the essential tremor movement disorder. Most other essential tremor statistics place this number between 2%-4%, but 5% is the highest we found while writing this article.

Is essential tremor present when at rest?

An article published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recently addressed this question. In a neurological examination session involving 64 patients with essential tremor, rest tremor was seen in 12 patients. Researchers noted that the 12 patients demonstrating resting tremors had disease of longer duration and severity.

Additionally, a 2013 research article noted that resting tremor (referred to as “rest tremor”) occurs in 20–30% of patients with essential tremor (ET). Typically, this resting tremor is seen in patients with higher severity and longer duration of ET.

At what age does essential tremor appear?

ET can occur at any age but is most commonly found in those over 40 years of age.

Essential tremor has a 4% chance of appearing in individuals over 40 years of age. In those over age 65, there is a 14% chance of occurrence of essential tremor.

While essential tremor can begin at an early age, the symptoms and manifestation of ET appear differently than in adults. In infants, essential tremor is characterized by shuddering attacks and generalized tremors. Similarly, children with essential tremor (ET) may display jerky movement, rather than the more rhythmic tremors seen in adult patients.

Is essential tremor based on genetics?

Often, those who know someone with essential tremor will wonder whether the person has a history of ET in their family. There have been many studies to determine whether genes play a role in essential tremor (ET). However, identifying specific genes involved in ET has proved quite challenging for researchers due to a number of factors. But research into the inheritance of essential tremor had a major advancement in 2020.

In 2020, numerous researchers from Stanford discovered a link between TUB gene and familial tremor. Familial tremor is the inherited version of essential tremor. The TUB gene has been previously linked to obesity but was also linked to essential tremor in two studies by the Stanford researchers.

The first study examined the genomes of a large family with 10 affected and 6 unaffected family members. After the research team discovered the presence of the TUB gene in those with essential tremor, a larger study was conducted.

The larger study comprised 820 unrelated individuals with ET and 630 healthy people. Once again, researchers identified rare TUB variants in those with essential tremor.

The TUB gene plays a role in the cerebellum, turning other genes on or off. The TUB gene is also involved in regulating the expression of neurotransmitters like dopamine and acetylcholine. Defects in dopamine and cholinergic synapses are known causes of tremor condition types.

What is head tremor?

It’s estimated that 90% of those with essential tremor have tremor in their upper body, including their head. Studies have shown that roughly 30% of ET patients have head tremor and 20% have voice tremor. ET patients often develop creative ways to deal with head tremor, including holding their chin to their chest. Stress reduction and medication also helps alleviate the symptoms of essential tremor.

What medications are used to treat essential tremor?

Medications used to manage essential tremor include propranolol, primidone, and some anti-epileptics.

Propranolol is a beta-blocker that blocks adrenaline on specific receptors. It has proven most effective with hand and arm tremors, though not as much with head tremors. Primidone is an anti-seizure drug that treats hand tremor in ET patients. Like propranolol, primidone significantly reduces tremor in those patients.

A 1983 study on the efficacy of propranolol in treating essential tremor noted that propranolol was most effective in cases of severe tremors.

Does magnesium help with essential tremor?

Magnesium has been noted as a factor in many neurological conditions. Magnesium’s role in nerve transmission and neuromuscular conduction has sparked research into preventing and treating migraines, chronic pains, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke.

Magnesium is often recommended as a supplemental treatment for Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) and Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD). However, there’s no conclusive evidence that it can be used to treat essential tremor.

Use Tremelo to live a tremor-free life!

Hopefully, you’ve found this list of essential tremor statistics helpful to you throughout your research. We understand the risk that even mild essential tremor can cause for daily living and basic tasks. If you know of anyone with essential tremor, we suggest contacting us, so we can determine whether our Tremelo can help! We offer a money-back guarantee for your first 30 days and have payment plans available as well. In the end, we want those with essential tremor to feel confident and happy, living their best life possible.

Sreekanth Rudraraju, MSME

Chief Engineer
Sreekanth brings a strong knowledge of design and manufacturing to the team from his experience developing surveillance systems and devices for Electronics Corporation of India Limited. Originally from Hyderabad, India, Sreekanth decided to pursue a master’s degree in mechanical engineering in California, where he met Dr. Nguyen and joined his project to create a tremor-reducing device.

Dr. Leo Nguyen

CEO & President

Dr. Nguyen is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at California State University, Fresno. Vibration control and advanced system design are his specialties, and Five Microns developed out of his research on using vibration control techniques to steady a person’s arm. He finds the complexity of the human body fascinating and is passionate about improving human life through his work as an engineer. Dr. Nguyen obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Toledo, Ohio after completing a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Oklahoma.