Why Doesn’t The Government Care About Curing Cerebral Palsy?

Today is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day, part of a month-long campaign. And there is a whole lot of awareness to be raised, because there is a shocking lack of funding for CP research. (Warning: If you have a kid with CP, the following might make your blood pressure rise.)

More than 800,000 Americans have cerebral palsy, notes the non-profit Reaching For The Stars (RFTS). It’s the most common motor disability in children, and has a higher rate of occurrence than muscular dystrophy, childhood cancer, hearing and vision loss, spina bifida, hemophilia, fetal alcohol syndrome and cystic fibrosis. There is no known cure, or means of preventing it. In more than 80 percent of cases of CP, the cause is unknown. As RFTS notes, “We still do not know much more about the underlying causes for prevention of CP than we did half a century ago.”

More troubling facts:

• Cerebral palsy receives no dedicated federal funding for research at the National Institutes of Health or the Centers for Disease Control. Data indicates that, in recent years, up to four times more NIH funding was dedicated toward research and surveillance of disorders that affect less than half as many people as those living with CP.

• Despite advances in prenatal and neonatal care, one study indicates the prevalence of CP is now as high as 3.7 per 1000 8-year-olds.

• CP is costly. Most children and adults who have it need long-term medical care. The average lifetime additional cost for the care of a person with CP versus one who doesn’t have it is $1.5 million.

What can you do?

Contact your U.S. Representative and Senators and urge them to support funding for cerebral palsy research. You can find your elected officials here.

Add a Comment
Back To To The Max
  1. by Deb Samson

    On March 26, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    I wish you had made mention of research for treatments as an equal standing with prevention. Very sorry you didn’t……