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Virginia Commonwealth University

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Essential Tremor program


Make an appointment

Please call (804) 662-9185 to schedule an appointment.

The Essential Tremor Program is now accepting patients.  This is an interdisciplinary program providing consultations to meet our patients’ individual needs. We strive to integrate top clinical care with clinical research that advances knowledge in Essential Tremor (ET). 

Our care team will create an individualized treatment plan for each patient, which will be shared with your primary physician and any local care providers to help coordinate ongoing follow-up. The team will help patients and families assess pros and cons of surgical treatments, medications, and other non-medication treatments, to find the right plan for each person. Team members participate in community education outreach programs to help educate families and other health care providers about ET.

The ET Program will also provide you and your family the opportunity to participate in clinical research.


Claudia Testa, MD, PhDDr. Claudia Testa, Program Director, is a neurologist with expertise in movement disorders, clinical care, and research.  She is a member of the Tremor Research Group and the Movement Disorders Society Task Force on Essential Tremr. Dr. Testa founded the North American Essential Tremor Consortium.

Our care team

Our interdisciplinary care team includes:

  • Neurologist - diagnoses and treats tremor
  • Neuropsychologist – examines cognitive and behavioral functioning, including mood and quality of life
  • Nursing - Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) programming and care coordination
  • Physical therapist – examines conditioning, balance, coordination and motor skills; exercise and activity
  • Genetic counselor - provides information about the genetics/inheritance of essential tremor and discusses the options to participate in research studies, enabling individuals and families to make informed decisions
  • We also partner with neurosurgery to provide full assessments, pre-operative and post-operative care for deep brain stimulation (DBS).

Clinical research

Our clinical research projects are conducted in the same building as clinical appointments. Our projects focus on the:

  • Identification of genetic causes of essential tremor
  • Understanding the signs and symptoms of Essential tremor, the range of the symptoms, and how the symptoms evolve over time (also known as the phenotype of ET)

This research is crucial for developing new treatments. Our website is updated with studies as they come available.
For more information, contact Ginger Norris, MGC vwnorris@vcu.edu or (804) 662-5300.

What is Essential Tremor?

Essential tremor is the most common movement disorder and it is estimated to affect up to 4% of people over the age of 60. The tremor occurs with actions, like writing, eating, drinking and typing, and can range from annoying to socially embarrassing to severely disabling. Currently, there is no known cause and limited effective treatment options. ET has potential overlaps, both in symptoms and risk factors, with other disorders such as Parkinson's disease and dystonia.

Essential Tremor Resources

Essential tremor organizations

Essential tremor support groups



Patient care

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