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A pushbutton 'cure' for an underdiagnosed condition

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

It looks like Parkinson's Disease, only it afflicts a lot more people. But this condition can now be controlled -- by "remote control."

With the touch of a button on a small remote, Calvin Wymer can turn off the hand tremors that have plagued him since he was a teenager.

Wymer has a condition called Essential Tremor. It's a hereditary neurological ailment marked by uncontrolled shaking, mainly affecting the upper extremities.

For Calvin Wymer, things got so bad that his writing became illegible and he was unable to drink coffee without getting it all over himself.

"It's a disorder that afflicts 10 million Americans," explained Wymer's surgeon, Dr. Al Fenoy, with UT Medical School. "It's a progressively worsening disease over time."

Fenoy treated Wymer with Deep Brain Stimulation, which involves implanting an electrode in Wymer's thalamus and connecting it to a battery pack just under his collarbone.

A remote control turns on and off a small electric current.

When the device was first activated, Calvin Wymer says, the results were nothing short of miraculous. His persistent shaking had vanished completely.

"By the next morning, when I went to drink a cup of coffee, I couldn't believe it," Wymer told FOX 26 News. "That's the first cup of coffee I've drank in a long time that I didn't spill half of it."

If you or a family member might suffer from Essential Tremor, you can learn more about its diagnosis and treatment at a free seminar on Saturday morning, here in Houston.

For more details, visit http://www.essentialtremor.org/siteresources/data/files/education%20event%20flyers/2013/houstontx.pdf

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