After gaining criticism in the media the actor returned to the This Morning sofa to explain his condition which is in the same family as Parkinson’s and Motor Neurone disease. He explained that due to a neurological disorder his hands, head, voice or legs shake rhythmically. Worried about not being able to be cast in various roles, Mallard kept the condition which he has had for 10 years to himself.
He told presenters Holly and Phil: “My solution has been to hide and manage.
“Because of the job that I’m in, it can have a detrimental effect on my ability to get cast. And then it was exposed on TV.”
In a previous interview beady eyed viewers were able to notice the star’s quiff wobbling which then caused a social media backlash of people concerned for his health and a newspaper article mocking that he had too many energy drinks.
To clear up the rumours, the actor revealed that since the age of 14 he has dealt with the tremor mainly in his hands and the back of his neck.
He went on to say: “It’s a debilitating disease, by the time I am 50 it could well be in my voice box, down the back of the arms, legs and the whole of the arms.”
The condition is so bad that it nearly cost him his job on Corrie. It was only when his agent explained the actor’s shaking – which producers thought was just nerves – was due to a medical condition that they gave him the part.
The star continued to say: “It almost cut me off before I even started, I had to explain what my condition was.
“On set I said to myself I am going to use as many props as I can because there is no point being afraid of them. If I avoid actually dealing with them, it would absolutely ruin me.”
The star’s condition will never go away and although he has found ways to deal with it, he states that when he gets nervous or has a sudden burst of adrenaline the condition becomes “uncontrollable.”
Hot beverages such as tea and coffee are also a trigger for Mallard, it is “anything that causes an adrenaline rush”.
On the programme, Dr Ranj Singh explained how common tremors are, especially in older people. However he stated that the condition is rare in younger people and for someone like Mallard, it could affect how he does his job and how he feels about himself.
He continued to say: “Sadly for people who do experience it it is either going to be the same for their whole life or it may gradually progress.”
The National Tremor Foundation is an organisation that supports those who suffer with unintentional tremors. It explains that the condition is one of the most common neurological movement disorders and is estimated to be eight to 10 times more prevalent than Parkinson’s disease.
The organisation explains different types of tremors that all slightly differ. This includes the following:
- Rest tremor – a tremor which occurs when the muscles are not being voluntarily moved and gets worse with anxiety.
- Action tremor – a tremor which occurs when the limb or body part is being moved.
- Postural tremor – begins when maintaining a position such as stretching out your arm.
- Kinetic tremor – occurs when moving a body part.
- Intention tremor – a tremor which becomes worse when the limb is guided to move towards a particular body part.
- Task specific – a tremor which only occurs with specific tasks or activities such as writing
- Idopathic dystonic tremor – can affect multiple parts of the body and occurs in conjunction with dystonia.
As Dr Ranj explained, tremors can be treated. This is most likely with medicines which will help to reduce the severity of the condition.
For severe tremor patients, surgery on parts of the brain that affect movement is also an option. About 50 percent of severely affected essential tremor patients have medication-resistant symptoms or are intolerant to medication, so that brain surgery is an option. In order to alleviate tremor in a patient’s right arm, surgery is performed on the left side of the brain and vice versa for the left arm.
There are also a number of therapies available to try and help tremors, although they are not guaranteed to work.
Therapies include acupuncture, massage therapy, tai chi, hydrotherapy and yoga.
Certain lifestyle changes can also curb the effects of tremor, for example cutting out caffine and amphetamines are the best options for tremor sufferers.
If you or someone close to you has a tremor that is getting worse overtime or is affecting your daily activities it is crucial to seek professional medical advice.
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