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Neuroepidemiology. 2019;52(1-2):111-118. doi: 10.1159/000492831. Epub 2019 Jan 9.

The Roles of Age and Aging in Essential Tremor: An Epidemiological Perspective.

Louis ED1,2,3.

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Division of Movement Disorders, Department of Neurology, Yale School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut,
Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut,
Center for Neuroepidemiology and Clinical Neurological Research, Yale School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut,



With an aging population, it behooves physicians and scientists to gain an understanding of the intersections between aging and human disease. Here, the author reviews the intersections between age, aging, and essential tremor (ET), particularly as these relate to disease epidemiology.


The prevalence and incidence of ET both increase with age, and the former, in an exponential fashion with advanced aging. There is evidence that age may independently drive several features of the natural history of ET (e.g., the increase in tremor severity with time, the appearance of head tremor with time). Epidemiological studies clearly show that ET is associated with several conditions of advanced age, including Parkinson's disease, mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Aside from age, age of onset has several important clinical correlates - familial forms of ET are more likely to have younger ages of onset, and older ages of onset are associated with more rapid disease progression. Key Messages: Overall, there are several important intersection points between age, aging, and ET. Potential biological explanations for these observations are discussed. Further knowledge about the basis for these observations will enhance our understanding of this disease and inform our care of patients.


Advanced age; Age; Age of onset; Aging; Epidemiology; Essential tremor

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