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The thought of brain surgery is scary... so I want to help change that; BRAVE HANNAH AIMS TO RAISE AWARENESS OF RARE DISORDER.

Byline: CARLA TALBOT

A Paisley student who was born with a brain disorder is hoping to raise awareness to help improve treatments available to others like her in Scotland.

Hannah Eaton was born with essential tremor - a condition which means all or parts of her body can shake uncontrollably.

The 19-year-old was among just five per cent of children in the UK diagnosed with the condition when she was just three, which can sometimes make her shake so much that it affects her entire body and even her voice.

While the teenager says she is able to live a normal and happy life, her future is unknown as she does not know how much worse her progressive condition will get.

To try to manage it, Hannah currently only has one option for treatment - brain surgery known as Deep Brain Stimulation.

The determined teen is now hoping to raise awareness and push for equipment known as a focus ultrasound scanner to be available in Scotland.

She has pledged her support for an online petition to the Scottish Government to push for more awareness of the condition and to fund the equipment.

This would allow those who have essential tremor to undergo a non-invasive and less risky form of treatment.

Hannah told the Paisley Daily Express: "The thought of having brain surgery in the future is scary as there are so many risks.

"If a scanner was available it means surgery is not needed - but just now there are no other alternatives and having this condition can be really debilitating.

"The scanner only targets the part of the brain which is causing the tremor whereas going through brain surgery is an invasive and very risky procedure to put yourself through.

"But people don't know enough about the condition to think that this is important.

"So many people I have spoken to have no idea what it is.

"It's really frustrating so that's why I want to try and get the word out as much as I can so that more people realise what this condition is and how many people are affected by it."

Hannah, says her zoology course classmates at the University of the West of Scotland in Paisley often think she is nervous due to the shaking in her voice, while others regularly mistake her tremor for her being cold.

And that is what her parents thought when, as a baby, Hannah would regularly shake.

After years of not understanding what was wrong with her, Hannah's parents were finally given the diagnosis when she was aged three.

It is incredibly rare for children to be diagnosed with essential tremor as it is usually found in people over 40.

People with essential tremor can experience symptoms in their limbs, head, eyelids, lips and other muscles can also be affected.

Despite her diagnosis, Hannah says some doctors still do not fully understand or accept her condition - which could get worse as she gets older.

She added: "Essential tremor is progressive so I don't know how much worse it will get which is scary to think about.

" I have had it since I was born but my parents thought that I was just cold and shaking as a baby.

"It's been difficult and frustrating as I have had doctors tell me that it is all in my head and that I should just not think about it.

"It's normally my hands that shake but it can spread throughout your body and I sometimes sound really nervous when I talk due to my voice shaking.

"It does bother me quite a bit as people just don't know or understand what's wrong with me."

To sign the petition visit https:// you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/focusultrasound-scanner-for-scotland ? Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP Mhairi Black has backed Hannah in her efforts to raise awareness of essential tremor.

The 19-year-old contacted the SNP MP to highlight the petition asking the Scottish Government to help highlight the brain disorder and also fund a focus ultrasound machine.

Mhairi herself admits that she was not aware of essential tremor before being contacted by the UWS student.

She has praised Hannah for being outspoken and trying to raise awareness of the condition.

She said:"I was approached by Hannah and she drew my attention to the Scottish Government petition that asks that we raise awareness of EssentialTremor and introduce a focus ultrasound scanner here in Scotland.

"This is a condition that I was not aware of and after looking into this I agree with Hannah that it is important that we raise awareness of the impacts that Essential Tremor can have on people's daily lives.

"This is a condition that affects thousands of people, well done Hannah for raising awareness of this condition."

Essential tremor...

the facts What is essential tremor? Essential tremor is a type of uncontrollable shake or tremble of part of the body.

Essential tremor is a common movement disorder affecting around four out of 100 adults over 40 years of age.

Some people only have a mild tremor at first, which usually gets more severe over time.

However, it can start in early childhood affecting about five percent of children.

What are the symptoms? Essential tremor is a chronic condition characterised by involuntary, rhythmic tremor of a body part, most typically the hands and arms.

Essential tremor is considered a slow progressive disorder and, in some people, may eventually involve the head, voice, tongue (with associated dysarthria), legs, and trunk.

However, in many people, the disorder may be relatively non-progressive.The tremor may be mild throughout life.

What treatment is available? The currently available medical treatments for essential tremor are symptomatic and not curative.

This means that the severity of essential tremor can be decreased by medication but that the tremor will not be cured.

Surgical intervention in essential tremor has been used for over 50 years, and is used for those patients who have particularly severe/disabling tremor and do not respond to medication.

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All smiles Young Hannah

Support Mhairi Black

Happy together Hannah and her parents
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Publication:Paisley Daily Express (Paisley, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 15, 2019
Words:1012
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