The likely cause of essential tremor (ET), a neurological disorder that affects more than 10 million North Americans has been discovered by scientists. The team's promising findings were published in a recent edition of the scientific journal Brain.
Frequently confused with Parkinson's disease, ET is the most common involuntary movement disorder. An estimated 4% of the population over 40 is affected by this neurological condition which manifests as muscle tremors, normally in the face, neck, and vocal chords.
The research team noticed a decrease in the concentration of GABA receptors in the cerebellum of patients suffering from ET. GABA receptors relay "chemical messages" which transmit inhibitory information to the different parts of the brain and play an essential role in the human body. A loss of GABA receptors in the cerebellum could affect the function of the cerebellum, an organ beneath the brain that manages communication between the brain and muscles and coordinating movements.