WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today announced the reintroduction of the Collaborative Academic Research Efforts (CARE) for Tourette Syndrome Act (S. 637). This bill will expand and improve the activities of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) toward Tourette Syndrome.
“Tourette Syndrome is an often misunderstood and stigmatizing condition, especially for children and young adults,” said Senator Menendez. “This bill is designed to provide our federal research agencies with the resources and guidance necessary to expand research efforts into Tourette Syndrome. By expanding efforts in a coordinated and focused manner, we will increase awareness, enhance therapies and treatments and improve the lives of those affected by Tourette Syndrome.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between three and six of every 1,000 children in the United States has a diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome (TS). While TS affects children and adolescents of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, data show that boys are affected at a rate of three times that of girls. Additionally, a child diagnosed with TS has a 79 percent chance of being diagnosed with a co-occurring mental or behavioral health condition such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety or depression.
The CARE for Tourette Syndrome Act seeks to improve our national efforts on Tourette Syndrome in a number of ways. Specifically, the bill would require the Director of the NIH to improve data collection on TS, including data on the incidence and prevalence of TS in the United States as well as the availability of both medical and social services for those with TS and their families.
Additionally, the NIH would be required to establish a number of Centers of Excellence throughout the country aimed at increasing and expanding research efforts on TS. Together, these efforts will provide doctors, researchers, public health agencies and families with the information they need to better diagnose, treat and understand TS.
“I introduced the CARE for Tourette Syndrome Act to raise awareness of the need to focus attention and resources on this condition,” said Senator Menendez. “I am eager to work with my colleagues in Congress to pass this legislation and provide the NIH with the tools they need to further our understanding of Tourette Syndrome and better the lives of those it affects.”