Frequently familial in nature, essential tremor is one of the more common neurological disorders. There have been multiple diagnostic criteria used in studies reported in the medical literature, resulting in heterogeneity of definition. Because the majority of individuals have a small physiological tremor, inclusion of these individuals in studies affects reported prevalence estimates and may affect population studies of genetic markers in essential tremor.
A proposed set of diagnostic criteria was published by Louis et al., based on a comparison of 10 different criteria in their Washington Heights-Inwood Genetic Study of Essential Tremor. They emphasize the need not only to consider the form of the tremor, but also its severity in making the diagnosis of essential tremor.
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