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Daily drinkers at risk of “shakes”

People who stay within the recommended daily drinking limits still double their risk of involuntary "shakes" later in life, a new study claims.

Researchers say that people greatly increase the risk of getting the shakes if they consume three alcoholic drinks every day.

However, current NHS drinking guidelines say that men and women are safe consuming that amount on a daily basis.

An estimated 650,000 people across the UK are thought to suffer from essential tremor which is present in a range of conditions including Parkinson's disease and overactive thyroid.

Essential tremor is also often seen in alcoholics and is characterised by involuntary movements.

Researchers behind the latest claims in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry studied a group of 3,285 patients aged 65 and over, of whom 1,838 were classed as alcohol drinkers. When the two groups were compared, those who had drunk regularly for a long period were far more likely to develop essential tremor.

An analysis of the number of drinks people were consuming revealed that those who drank three or more units a day had double the risk of tremor. Even people who had just one or two drinks a day had a 30% increased risk of developing tremor.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry