Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Taking the Tremors Away Will Transform Many Lives; Newcastle Team Discovers Cause

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Taking the Tremors Away Will Transform Many Lives; Newcastle Team Discovers Cause

Article excerpt

Byline: Helen Rae

UP to a million people in the UK who suffer shakes and tremors could have their lives transformed thanks to pioneering research by North East scientists.

A team from Newcastle University have discovered a mechanism in the spine which works to counteract the brain waves which produce tremors, a symptom of nervous diseases such as Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis.

As a result, they are a step closer to treating these shakes and dramatically improving lives. Instead of looking at why people suffer from tremors, scientists have taken a different approach in looking at why most don't have them.

Their aim has been to uncover something in the body which counters the tremor, cancelling it out. Research leader Prof Stuart Baker, professor of movement neuroscience at Newcastle University, said: "We don't fully understand the brain systems causing these tremors but they can really have a massive impact on someone's quality of life.

"They lose their independence and can't do something as simple as make a cup of tea. Our approach was that instead of looking at why people suffer from tremors, we started to look at why most people don't suffer from them.

"The brain waves from the parts of the brain controlling movement work at 10 cycles per second, so really, everyone should have a tremor at that frequency.

"In fact we do, but for most of us - most of the time - the tremor is so small as to be hardly noticeable. We reasoned that there is something in the body which counters the tremor, cancelling it out, and we wanted to find out what it was.

"Our research is a breakthrough in the respect we have taken a completely different approach in looking at tremors."

Mild tremor is a feature of daily life in healthy individuals, especially when someone is nervous, tired or hungry. …

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