President Obama has signed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, which will improve the quality of life for people living with paralysis and mobility impairments from any cause—stroke, ALS, spinal cord injuries, and others.

The legislation authorizes Congress to fund $25 million per fiscal year through 2011, as part of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act Title XIV of HR 146, the Omnibus Public Land Management Bill 2009.

Paul J. Tobin, president of United Spinal Association, Jackson Heights, NY, said the move is a significant step toward improving the lives of all paralyzed Americans.

The Act’s three primary components will enhance paralysis research, rehabilitation, and quality of life programs:

—Paralysis Research: Expands research on paralysis at the National Institutes of Health. This will encourage collaborative research by connecting scientists conducting similar work to further enhance understanding and speed discovery of better treatments and cures.

—Paralysis Rehabilitation and Care: Builds on research to enhance daily function for people with paralysis, including a Clinical Trials Network to measure effectiveness of certain rehabilitation tactics and encouraging shared findings on paralysis to improve rehabilitation.

—Improving Quality of Life for Persons with Paralysis and Other Physical Disabilities: Works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to improve the quality of life and long-term health status of peope with paralysis and other physical disabilities.

United Spinal is a national nonprofit membership organization formed in 1946 by paralyzed veterans and aims to improve the quality of life for Americans with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, ALS, and post-polio. It has played a significant role in writing the Americans with Disabilities Act, and has made important contributions to the Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Air Carrier Access Act. Membership is free and is open to all individuals with spinal cord disorders.

[Source: Medical News Today]