Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials
Numerous clinicians
in North America, Europe and around the world are interested in finding new therapies for
essential tremor. Each year trials are reported that were started after anecdotal favorable
reports or “educated guesses.” Although much progress has been made through this
empirical approach in identifying therapies, much more progress is needed. Eventually, we may
anticipate essential tremor-specific therapies based on knowledge of the abnormal cell and the
abnormal genes.

Relatively few centers are conducting clinical trials of therapies for essential tremor
on a regular basis. One such site is that of Adrian Handforth, M.D. and Fredricka Martin, Ph.D.
at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. These investigators are utilizing a mouse
model to screen for potential effectiveness. If the medication passes the mouse test, it is
then assessed in a small open-treatment pilot clinical trial. The final stage will be a
controlled clinical trial. These trials require a series of outpatient visits. Interested
participants should be within driving distance. Subjects do not have to be a veteran, but
should be at least age eighteen. Email:

[email protected]

The Limiting Factor
Contrary to popular
belief, the lack of ideas is not the most common factor holding up scientific progress. Instead
it is the lack of funds that hamper progress. After a vigorous growth period of NIH research
budgets, research funding has stabilized, so that new applicants will have a hard time
obtaining funding. More than ever, essential tremor needs funding support from private donors.

Dr. Handforth’s call for funding is synonymous with TAN’s objective to stimulate
an increase in both federal and private sector funding.

“Life is not merely to be alive, but to be well.”
Marcus Valerius Martialis


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