Diann Shaddox Foundation for Essential Tremor
September 28, 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) and Defense “minibus” spending bill. This measure provides funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the National Neurological Conditions Surveillance System, which was authorized by the 21st Century Cures Act in 2016.
Estimates indicated that one in six Americans suffers from a neurologic condition. However, many condition-specific figures are severely outdated. For instance, the last national study of prevalence and incidence of MS was done in 1975 and data on the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease is based on a 1985 study done in Copiah County, Mississippi and may have underestimated national numbers by 60%. Currently, the U.S. lacks a coordinated system to collect and analyze data on these conditions. Giving the CDC the ability to track the incidence and prevalence of neurological conditions is critical to understanding the epidemiological pathways of these conditions.
The data collected by this system will significantly accelerate neurologic research by allowing more informed analysis of genetic and environmental risk factors. It will provide a foundation for evaluating and understanding aspects of these conditions that we currently do not have a good grasp of, such as the geography and demographics of diagnoses, variances in gender, disease burden, and changes in health care practices and utilization among patients. For the health care system, the data will allow for future planning of health care as the needs of those with neurological diseases can be assessed on a deeper level.
Ultimately, this data will increase the likelihood of discovering and developing new treatments and cures for neurological conditions.
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