Seven Million Americans Affected by Common Movement Disorder Linked to Dementia

Common Movement Disorder
Common Movement Disorder. Credit | Getty images

United States: Essential tremor, a common movement disorder, causes involuntary shaking in arms, hands, head, jaws, and voice among seven million Americans.

Studies indicate that around 7 million individuals in the US experience the so called Three times a higher likelihood of dementia risk.

“While many with essential tremor experience mild symptoms, some endure severe tremors,” is by Dr. Elan D. Louis, a neurology professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, according to

Dementia in the US, according to the CDC

The existing statistics say that approximately five million people in the US aged 65 or above have their intellectual abilities weakened as an outcome of dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is considered to be a disease that represents dementia worldwide. This disease is known for symptoms such as forgetfulness and difficulties in thinking and performing activities.

New Research Insights

The study used 222 essential tremor patients with average age of 79 who took cognitive assessments such as thinking and memory tests to determine their brain function status as a normal, mild impairment, and dementia.

Regular follow-up assessments were done once every 18 months, on average, for a total of five years.

At the beginning of the investigation, 168 people had not displayed any cognitive problems, 35 had only mild impairments in memory and orientation, and 19 suffered from dementia. During the study period, 59 individuals with mild cognitive impairment were formed, and another 41 with dementia.

As a comparison of these results with the rate of mild cognitive impairment and the actual dementia progression in others their age, the study found that people with essential tremors were approximately three times more likely to develop dementia than others their age.

On the other hand, the dementia risk was much lower in patients with transient ischemic attack compared to patients with Parkinson’s disease, who are known to have a high dementia risk, as reported by

Further Research Needed for Confirmation

While these results are observational, more data is required to confirm the association. Nonetheless, these findings could help identify groups in society prone to or affected by dementia development.

Dr. Louis emphasized, “While most with essential tremor will not develop dementia, our findings can help physicians educate those with essential tremor and their families about the increased risk and potential life changes associated with this diagnosis.”