Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Federal Money for Multiple Sclerosis Research

Ask Your U.S. Representative to Support $15 Million for MS Research (h/t MS Activist Blog)

New federal money is now available to multiple sclerosis researchers, thanks to your MS activism. We can build on that momentum in Congress and secure new avenues for more MS research funding. Ask your U.S. Representative to support a $15 million appropriation to the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) for MS research.

Take action today:

  • Send a quick email to your Representative.

  • Call your Representative's Washington, DC, or district office to talk about this issue. Call 1-800-828-0498.

  • Make an appointment to visit with your Representative or their staff in the district.

  • Attend a community or town hall meeting. Call the district office for a schedule.
For your Representative's contact information, visit

You can use these talking points and background when you speak with your Representative:

  • A Dear Colleague letter is being circulated in the House by Congressmen Russ Carnahan and Michael Burgess. The letter requests that $15 million be provided for multiple sclerosis research through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.

  • Please have Representative ____ sign on the letter by contacting Congressmen Carnahan or Burgess. As a constituent and an MS activist, I encourage your support of this investment in MS research.

  • [Share how MS has impacted you personally]

  • Many U.S. veterans have stories and symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Preliminary evidence suggests that Gulf War veterans could have an increased risk.

  • A study found an unexpected, doubling of MS between 1993 and 2000 in Kuwait, which suggests a potential environmental trigger for MS because of exposure to neurotoxins such as burning oil fields and poison gases.

  • More than 25,000 veterans being treated in the VHA are living with a diagnosis of MS. A recent study in the Annals of Neurology identified more than 5,000 cases of MS among U.S. veterans that were deemed "service-connected."

  • MS is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system and is generally diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, the prime of life. The cause of MS is still unknown, the symptoms are unpredictable, and there is no cure.
Now is the time to pursue a specific appropriation for MS research in the CDMRP for fiscal year 2009. The deadline to sign on to the Dear Colleage letter is March 14. This program is funded annually through Department of Defense (DoD) appropriations bill. Last year your efforts influenced Congress to include MS as one of the areas eligible to compete for research funds through the DoD research programs in the FY 08. This is the first time that MS has ever been listed.

The DoD has an obligation to fund research into MS related to Gulf War service. This research would not only benefit our veterans, but could help move us closer to a world free of MS for all those living with the disease. Click here for more information on the federal money newly available for MS research grants.

Join the movement with National MS Society Advocacy

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