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House of Representatives Introduces Bill to Accelerate MS Research

January 14, 2015

This week Congressman Van Hollen (D-MD) and Congressman Burgess, MD (R-TX) introduced bipartisan legislation to improve the understanding of and accelerate research for neurological diseases, including multiple sclerosis.
This legislation, the Advancing Research for Neurological Diseases Act (H.R. 292), will guide the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in tracking the incidence and prevalence of neurological diseases. According to its cosponsors, this new surveillance system could one day lead to a cure for diseases like multiple sclerosis, as information collected will provide a foundation for evaluating and understanding aspects of these diseases on which we currently do not have a good grasp – such as the geography of diagnoses, variances in gender, disease burden and changes in healthcare practices among patients.
“We are encouraged by the potential this bill has to accelerate research for multiple sclerosis,” Cynthia Zagieboylo, President and CEO of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, said. “Without basic data concerning the size and makeup of the MS population, our researchers are working at a distinct disadvantage because they have an incomplete picture of the disease. The additional information that this new data system would supply could point to new environmental triggers for the disease, which could lead to new treatment targets and a better understanding of the disease.”

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.


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