‘It is very difficult to live a full life’ – New ‘Sheffield Shakers’ tremor support group launched

A serious medical condition which is 10 times more common than Parkinson’s disease but attracts a fraction of the media attention is to get its own Sheffield support group.

Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 1:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th October 2019, 6:51 pm

Essential tremor is a neurological disorder which causes uncontrollable shaking but - because it is not life threatening - is often something that even doctors and nurses are unaware of.

Now, a new support group set up by a national charity and a woman from Sheffield who has the condition hopes to raise awareness of the ‘forgotten’ illness and create a supportive community for sufferers and their families.

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Ann Taylor, aged 74, of Endcliffe, who has had the condition since she was nine, will host the meeting at Ponds Forge on Saturday, with the help of a Sheffield legend who also has the disease.

She said: “It is not life-threatening but it is life debilitating. It makes it very difficult to live a full life. It is so frustrating. It affects everything you do from chopping up vegetables to driving

“There is no medication which can help with it other than beta-blockers which turned me into a zombie. When I was in hospital a short time ago a nurse saw me shaking and asked if I was okay. I said I had essential tremor and she had never heard of it and neither had the doctor.”

Ann said essential tremor is one of the most common neurological movement disorders and causes sufferers to exhibit a rhythmic trembling of the hands, head, legs, trunk and/or voice.

Ann Taylor.

It can affect people of any age, gender and race and approximately 50 per cent of people have a family history of the condition. While more commonly noticed in older individuals, essential tremor can begin as early as birth.

At the launch event on Saturday, the group will be joined by Sheffield legend Tony Foulds - himself a sufferer - and will also hear presentations on how exercises such as Nordic walking can help control the condition.

The first National Tremor Foundation Sheffield Shakers support group will take place on Saturday, October 19 at Ponds Forge from 12:45 to 4.00. To register visit www.tremor.org.uk/sheffield or for further details about the event [email protected]

Ann Taylor.