NJ Congressman Introduces Legislation For Tourette Syndrome

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New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome Executive Director Faith W. Rice, left, and U.S. Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ13) visit Rutgers University’s NJCTS Sharing Repository in 2010. (Photo courtesy of NJCTS)

New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome Executive Director Faith W. Rice, left, and U.S. Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ13) visit Rutgers University’s NJCTS Sharing Repository in 2010. (Photo courtesy of NJCTS)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Before Congress’ holiday recess, U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ-13) introduced legislation to expand and further coordinate efforts towards research for Tourette syndrome.

Titled the Collaborative Academic Research Efforts (CARE) for Tourette Syndrome Act of 2011 (H.R. 3760), the legislation would amend the Public Health Service Act to provide for the expansion, intensification and coordination of the programs and activities of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with respect to Tourette Syndrome.

“Tourette Syndrome is a misunderstood disorder that affects 1 in 100 people and is too often stigmatized,” Sires says. “While symptoms can be suppressed over time, too many individuals — particularly children — face the everyday challenge of trying to manage tics, whether at school or in various social settings. Through expanded and collaborative research, we can learn more about the cause and treatment of the disorder to help improve the lives of those individuals impacted by Tourette Syndrome.”

Congressman Sires has worked closely with New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders Executive Director Faith W. Rice; Dr. Jay A. Tischfield, Director of the Human Genetics Institute at Rutgers University; and other NJCTS leadership to craft this legislation. Says Rice, “New Jersey has changed the face of TS research, education and support through partnerships and collaborations. We hope to model that process nationwide.”

A primary purpose of this legislation is to establish regional centers of excellence across the country to conduct research into the cause, diagnosis, early detection, prevention, control and treatment of Tourette Syndrome and associated disorders. New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome & Associated Disorders, the nation’s first center of excellence for TS, was established in 2004.

This bill was assigned on Dec. 20 to the House Energy and Commerce Committee which will consider it before sending it on to the House of Representatives or Senate as a whole.


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