The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy (FPN) applauds action taken by Congress to designate “peripheral neuropathy” as a condition eligible for research funding from the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP). Language designating the condition eligible for funding is included in the fiscal year 2021 Omnibus Appropriations Act cleared yesterday by the House and Senate.
“Enactment of this legislation opens new doors for our research community to apply for critical research dollars to study a condition that affects 30 million Americans,” stated Lindsay Colbert, Executive Director of FPN. “The PRMRP funds innovative high-risk, high-reward research that leads to new treatments and cures, and we are delighted that our researchers will now have an opportunity to compete for this funding.”
Every year, Congress designates dozens of specific conditions that are eligible for research dollars from the PRMRP, which is funded at $370 million in the Omnibus legislation. Prior to the enactment of this legislation, peripheral neuropathy was never included by Congress as a PRMRP research topic. Thanks to a national advocacy program initiated by the Foundation that engaged grassroots advocates across the country, Congress took an interest in the disorder, particularly as it relates to members of the Armed Services and veterans.
Peripheral neuropathy refers to the many conditions that involve damage to the peripheral nervous system. The disabling symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include poor balance, numbness in hands and feet, significant mobility problems, pain (sometimes severe), sleep difficulties, and muscle weakness, among other symptoms. Peripheral neuropathy is common among the veterans community, particularly those diagnosed with diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV. Cancer patients who have undergone chemotherapy treatment commonly develop peripheral neuropathy.
“As our veterans population continues to age, peripheral neuropathy will grow in prevalence, and new breakthroughs are needed to treat this population, as well as current members of the U.S. Armed Forces,” stated Lou Mazawey, President of FPN’s Board of Directors. “Including peripheral neuropathy in the PRMRP will significantly augment the amount of research that DoD currently funds, and will greatly accelerate our research community’s efforts to find a cure for this debilitating condition.”
The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy is a 501(c)3 dedicated to improving the lives of people living with peripheral neuropathy. Its mission is to accelerate research to find answers and, one day, cures for PN. Visit FPN’s website at www.foundationforpn.org to learn more about its programs or contact [email protected].
Press release on the news can be read here.