Reclaiming stability with Deep Brain Stimulation

NeuWrite San Diego

Ever since I can remember, my grandmother has had shaky hands. Although shakiness and aging often go hand-in-hand, her unsteadiness was diagnosed as an essential tremor (ET), the most common form of pathological tremor (1). ET affects about 4% of people over 40 years old (2), and is characterized most often by a tremor of the arms during voluntary motion, but it can also affect the rest of the body (1).

Essential tremors are often referred to as “benign” because they are not indicative of any neurodegenerative diseases (2), but my grandmother’s tremor has been far from benign for her lifestyle. She retired from her job as town secretary because she was embarrassed by her increasingly jagged signature. Since then, her increasing tremor has forced her to give up baking her famous cookies and sewing doll clothes for her granddaughters. When she goes out to eat, she chooses items that…

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