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ET Knowledge Limited in Patients and Their Families

Front Neurol; ePub 2018 Jan 26; Cristal, Chen, et al

Although patients with essential tremor (ET) and their affected relatives (AFRs) were more knowledgeable about the features of ET than their family members without ET, overall knowledge of ET was very limited, according to a recent study. Researchers administered a comprehensive 32-item survey to 427 participants, including 76 ET probands, 74 AFRs, 238 unaffected relatives, and 39 spouses of unaffected relatives, all of whom were participating in 2 ET family studies. They found:

  • Nearly one-third of probands answered “yes” or “do not know” to the question, “Is ET the same or different from the type of tremor that many normal people can get when they become old and frail?”
  • A similar proportion did not know whether children could get ET or they responded “no.”
  • Nearly one-fourth of affecteds (ie, probands and AFRs) did not know whether or to what degree the symptoms of ET could be medically controlled.
  • Nearly 17% of affecteds did not endorse genes as a cause for ET, which was surprising given the fact that this was a family study of ET.

Cristal AD, Chen KP, Hernandez NC, et al. Knowledge about essential tremor: A study of essential tremor families. [Published online ahead of print January 26, 2018]. Front Neurol. doi:10.3389/fneur.2018.00027.