WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), both members of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, applauded the committee’s passage of their bipartisan legislation – the Advancing Research for Neurological Diseases Act of 2015 – to advance research for neurological diseases, which afflict millions of Americans.

The Advancing Research for Neurological Diseases Act, S.849, allows CDC, through the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to collect information on the incidence and prevalence of neurological diseases to facilitate research and improve public health. This data will include the natural history, prevention, detection, and treatments in order to foster biomedical research to develop cures for these devastating diseases.

“Neurological diseases like MS and Parkinson’s afflict tens of thousands each year and can change families forever,” said Murphy. “Anyone who has seen a loved one struggle with these diseases knows that we must do more. Creating a national system to track these horrific diseases will help researchers better understand the root causes of the diseases. The bipartisan members of the HELP Committee came together to pass our Advancing Research for Neurological Diseases Act. We should vote on this bill immediately to bring us one step closer to better treatment options and a cure for neurological diseases.”

“Modern medicine has allowed us to make great advances through the basic collection of data,” said Isakson. “This legislation will put into place a national database that researchers can access to develop a better grasp of the many factors that must be taken into account to understand neurological diseases and hopefully move toward cures.”

The Advancing Research for Neurological Diseases Act companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by U.S. Representatives Michael C. Burgess (R-Texas), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). 

Research and nonprofit groups, including the Parkinson’s Action Network, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Tourette Association of America, have announced their support of the legislation.

Isakson announced his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in June 2015.