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Congress Introduces Bipartisan Cerebral Palsy Research Program Authorization Act

On the first day of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month (March 1, 2023), Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) introduced the bipartisan Cerebral Palsy Research Program Authorization Act to investigate the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and societal costs of cerebral palsy.

Celebral palsy, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. Celebral palsy is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain that affects a person’s ability to control his/her/their muscles. People with cerebral palsy often experience stiff muscles and exaggerated reflexes (spasticity), among other differences related to movement/coordination, speech/eating and development.

Celebral palsy awareness month helps advance celebral palsy research

Calling for Cerebral Palsy Research

“Although cerebral palsy affects one out of every 345 children, it is the most prevalent disability that has no designated federal funding for research. No dedicated federal funding for cerebral palsy means there are fewer treatment options, less prevention, less education and a lack of standards of care across lifespans. There is not currently a reliable system to count how many people in the United States have cerebral palsy, so the estimates on cerebral palsy prevalence are just that – estimates. The Cerebral Palsy Research Program Act addresses these critical oversights,” Congressman Cohen shared in a press statement.

The Cerebral Palsy Research Program Act would authorize $5 million to the CDC to establish a research program to focus on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cerebral palsy. The bill is currently cosponsored by Congressmen Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO).

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