LENEXA, Kan., Dec. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Essential Tremor Foundation (IETF) is proud to announce that the United States House of Representatives formally passed House Resolution (H.RES.) 1264 sponsored by Congressman Dennis Moore (Third District - Kansas) officially designating the month of March as "National Essential Tremor Awareness Month."
Essential tremor, a neurological movement disorder commonly referred to as "ET", affects nearly 10 million people in the U.S. ET is very frequently misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease. The condition is often characterized by rhythmic, involuntary and uncontrollable shaking of the hands and arms during movement, but it sometimes can also affect the head, voice, legs and trunk.
While not life threatening, ET is a serious and progressive condition that can significantly affect a person's quality of life – socially, professionally and emotionally. People with ET often have difficulty with everyday activities such as getting dressed, eating, drinking, speaking or writing.
"Today is a landmark day for all affected by ET," said Catherine Rice, executive director of the International Essential Tremor Foundation. "We truly believe that where there is awareness, there is hope. This designation of March as National Essential Tremor Awareness Month will provide our organization with another platform to educate the public about the condition, as well as raise much needed funds to find a cure."
Despite the large number of people directly affected by ET, there is still very little awareness of the disorder. The IETF funds research to build a better understanding of ET and its implications. The Foundation works to create awareness so more people, including healthcare professionals, understand the condition and the challenges ET presents patients. Because ET can be treated, it is important for people to seek help early if they exhibit symptoms.
Rep. Moore first learned of ET when a close personal friend was diagnosed with the condition. "I've seen firsthand the everyday struggles that an ET patient must conquer: the difficulty buttoning one's shirt, the challenge of lifting a glass of water to your mouth or even signing your name," said Moore. "I thought to myself, if one of my close friends weren't affected by ET, I wouldn't even know about this very serious condition and the challenges it presents to patients and their caregivers. That's a problem that I hope the passage of this bill will change."
H.RES. 1264 received geographically diverse and bi-partisan support among House members. In addition to the efforts of Rep. Moore, who sponsored the legislation, the IETF is grateful for all 56 House members who co-sponsored the bill, including:
"The passing of this resolution will help increase awareness of ET, in turn encouraging people to not only seek proper treatment but also hopefully to donate funds to support research efforts that identify better treatments and hopefully one day, a cure for ET," said Rice. "We are extremely grateful for the efforts of Rep. Dennis Moore, who sponsored the bill and all of his colleagues who cosponsored the resolution."
About The International Essential Tremor Foundation
Headquartered in Lenexa, Kan., and founded in 1988, the International Essential Tremor Foundation is the leading organization in the world dedicated to helping those affected by essential tremor through awareness, education, support and funding research to identify effective treatments and hopefully, a cure for the condition.
The IETF hosts ongoing community awareness events across the country to build a better understanding of ET and provides those affected with the basic knowledge necessary to become their own advocate when seeking treatment. The Foundation provides support and resources to seven community ambassadors and a nationwide network of 80 local support groups.
Since its inception, the IETF has distributed more than half a million dollars in research grants to fund 12 promising research studies to search for the cause of ET. To learn more about essential tremor, visit the IETF website at www.essentialtremor.org.
SOURCE International Essential Tremor Foundation