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Environmental epidemiology of essential tremor

Louis, Elan D.

Background: Essential tremor (ET) is one of the most common neurological disorders. Despite this, the disease mechanisms and etiology are not well understood. While susceptibility genotypes undoubtedly underlie many ET cases, no ET genes have been identified thus far. As with many other progressive, degenerative neurological disorders, it is likely that environmental factors contribute to the etiology of ET. Environmental epidemiology is the study in specific populations or communities of the effect on human health of physical, biologic and chemical factors in the external environment. The purpose of this article is to review current knowledge with regards to the environmental epidemiology of ET. Results: As will be discussed, a series of preliminary case-control studies in recent years has begun to explore several candidate toxins/exposures, including harmane (1-methyl-9H-pyrido[3,4-b]indole), lead and agricultural exposures/pesticides. Conclusions: While several initial results are promising, as will be discussed, additional studies are needed to more definitively establish whether these exposures are associated with ET and if they are of etiological importance.

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Title
Neuroepidemiology
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1159/000151523

More About This Work

Academic Units
Center for Parkinson's Disease and Other Movement Disorders
Published Here
July 30, 2012
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