Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) and Congressman Pete King (NY-02) have established the Congressional Caucus on Tourette Syndrome, a bipartisan panel that will help spread awareness about the neurological disorder and promote legislation to support people and families coping with Tourette Syndrome (TS). Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month begins today and ends on June 15.
"Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder that affects hundreds of thousands of Americans," said Congressman Cohen, who recently received the 2013 Public Policy Award from the Tourette Syndrome Association (TSA). "Congress needs to do more to help people suffering from Tourette Syndrome. The bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Tourette Syndrome is long overdue and will increase awareness on this often misunderstood neurological disorder and promote legislation to help those who are suffering from it."
"As a recipient of the TSA's 2013 Public Policy Award, I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Congressional Caucus on Tourette Syndrome to recognize, educate and address the needs of the children and adults that endure the stigma, isolation and psychological impact of this disorder," said Congressman King.
"The TSA and its Congressional supporters in the 113th Congress have given their commitment to constituents to work hand in hand to address the many unmet needs in TS," said TSA President Judit Ungar. "We are confident that we will succeed, as such congressional support has proven to be instrumental in accelerating progress in other disorders, such as cancer, autism and Parkinson's disease."
As co-chairs, Congressmen Cohen and King worked with the TSA to establish the Congressional Caucus on Tourette Syndrome and to date members of the bipartisan Caucus include Elijah Cummings (MD-07), Ted Deutch (FL-21), Keith Ellison (MN-05), Steve Israel (NY-03), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Carolyn McCarthy (NY-04), Joseph Pitts (PA-16), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Ed Whitfield (KY-01), John Yarmouth (KY-03) and Bill Young (FL-13).
Tourette Syndrome is a hereditary neurological disorder that typically develops during childhood and often persists into adulthood with a complex pattern of abnormal movements and psychiatric conditions that can have a profoundly negative impact on quality of life. The cause of the condition is unknown, although genetic changes evidently play a role, and is thought to affect more than 200,000 Americans.
Founded in 1972, the national Tourette Syndrome Association is celebrating its 41st year as the only national, voluntary health organization for people with Tourette Syndrome. The TSA has a three-pronged mission to identify the cause of, control the effects of, and to find a cure for Tourette Syndrome through education, research and service. The TSA directs a network of 33 Chapters and more than 150 support groups across the country. For more information about TS, call 1-888-4-TOURET or visit http://tsa-usa.org.