Congressman Leonard Lance (R-NJ) on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 announced he has cosponsored H.R. 3760, the "Collaborative Academic Research Efforts (CARE) for Tourette Syndrome Act." The legislation would expand and further coordinate efforts towards research for Tourette Syndrome and also promote activities at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) aimed at combating and diagnosing TS. According to the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders (NJCTS), there are more than 28,000 New Jersey children with Tourette Syndrome.
Lance announced his support for the legislation during a meeting at the Somerville Public Library with advocates and New Jersey families who have loved ones diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. The families met with Lance to highlight National Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month.
"So often Tourette Syndrome is stigmatized and misunderstood," said Lance. "Today, I appreciated hearing the personal stories of New Jersey families who have loved ones diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome and learning more about the disorder. I am also pleased to share my support for bipartisan legislation that would improve and coordinate federal research so we can learn more about the cause and treatment of Tourette Syndrome. Improving federal research would greatly improve the lives of those impacted by Tourette Syndrome, many of whom are children."
NJCTS Executive Director Faith W. Rice is appreciative of the work Congressman Lance has done to help spread awareness for TS by co-sponsoring this bill.
"We are delighted that Congressman Lance has signed on as a key co-sponsor of H.R. 3760," Rice said. "We hope that the entire New Jersey delegation will follow in Congressman Lance's footsteps, sign on as co-sponsors for this legislation and show why New Jersey is at the forefront of providing services for Tourette Syndrome families, outreach to the medical community, training for teachers and research into better treatments and a cure."
According to theNIH, Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics. The NIH estimates that 200,000 Americans suffer from the most severe form of Tourette Syndrome, while as many as 1 in 100 exhibit milder symptoms such as chronic motor or vocal tics. Although symptoms continue for many through adulthood, the disorder generally peaks in severity during childhood.
Lance noted the bipartisan legislation was introduced by fellow New Jersey Congressman Albio Sires. The bill is designed to help improve the daily life of those living with Tourette Syndrome and their families by expanding and coordinating research efforts on the disorder to advance our understanding of the syndrome.
For more information about Tourette Syndrome, families may contact the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders at www.njcts.org.