Neurological Health Charities Canada

Neurological Health Charities Canada

June 05, 2009 15:00 ET

Neurological Health Charities Canada: Health Charities Applaud Government of Canada's Research Investment in Neurological Conditions

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 5, 2009) - Canadians with neurological conditions, caregivers and representatives from Neurological Health Charities Canada celebrate the announcement of $15 million in research funding, made today by The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Canada's Minister of Health. The investment will fund the first-ever national study on the prevalence and impact of neurological diseases in Canada.

"The government's commitment of $15 million is a critical first step to better understanding the experience of people living with neurological conditions, and the impact the condition has on their families, communities, and Canadian society overall," says Joyce Gordon, CEO of Parkinson Society Canada and Chair of Neurological Health Charities Canada (NHCC). "We were pleased to bring this issue to the government's attention and to continue working with them for the benefit of all Canadians living with these diseases and their caregivers."

The term 'neurological conditions' refers the group of more than 1,000 diseases, disorders and injuries affecting the brain, spinal cord and nervous system. Most are progressive and degenerative, with no known cause or cure. And, while therapies exist for some conditions, in most cases, there is no way to stop or even slow the progression.

Today, experts estimate that over 3 million Canadians are living with a neurological condition that produces life altering, and in some cases life-threatening, symptoms that drastically complicate daily living. Without appropriate programs, services and care, a neurological condition may inhibit an individual's ability to participate fully in life - an impact that extends to their families and caregivers.

"The brain is the body's most critical organ," says Gordon. "It controls all life functions and allows us to act, move, think, feel and express both our humanity and our individuality. Quite simply, if one's brain does not work properly, every aspect of life is compromised as a result." Understanding this experience, along with the impact to individuals and society, will help governments and health stakeholders plan the best research, programs and services, policy decisions and investments.

NEUROLOGICAL HEALTH CHARITIES CANADA (NHCC) is a collective of organizations that represent people with chronic, often progressive, neurological and/or neuromuscular diseases, disorders, conditions and injuries in Canada. The NHCC's role is to provide leadership, evaluating and advancing new opportunities for collaboration specific to advocacy, education and research projects, related to brain health.

NHCC members include: ALS Society of Canada, Alzheimer Society of Canada, Canadian Neurological Sciences Federation, Canadian Alliance of Brain Tumor Organizations, Dystonia Medical Research Foundation Canada, Epilepsy Ontario, Huntington Society of Canada, March of Dimes, Mood Disorder Society of Canada, MS Society of Canada, Muscular Dystrophy Canada, NeuroScience Canada, Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy, Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation, Parkinson Society Canada, Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus Association of Ontario, Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada.

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