A Chance to Live

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Food and Drug Administration has approved an a small device that may finally give the millions of Americans who suffer from Parkinson's disease and other disabilities such as essential tremor to eat a meal or write a letter. Implanted on the brain, the Active "pacemaker" helps control the shaking experienced by Parkinson's patients by sending out tiny electric shocks. In a recent study, the Activa reduced shaking so much that 58 percent of essential tremor patients tested were able to write or pour liquids without spilling. Although results were less spectacular for Parkinson's disease patients, Medtronic says that putting its implants on both sides of the brain could produce similar results for the 1.5 million Americans who suffer from the disease.