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Neurodegenerative Diseases: Are They Any Less Important?

Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the American Cancer Society, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and Stand Up 2 Cancer are a few widely known associations among the public and the medical community. These foundations make substantial monetary contributions towards the never-ending fight against cancer. There is no doubting that this is a terrible disease in which the body’s cells divide much too rapidly often causing malignant tumors that can unleash hell upon various organ systems. For any person to suffer through such a condition must be unbearable. But, imagine one having no control over the movement of his or her limbs, being spoon fed by someone at the age of fifty, or having a voice permeating all of one’s thoughts insisting that suicide is a great idea. Unfortunately, these are all symptoms of debilitating, neurological disorders. As terrible as they are, has the everyday individual ever heard of the CureHD Foundation or the Michael J. Fox Foundation? Not likely. Just because serious neurological disorders do not receive as much recognition as often as diseases like cancer, does not mean they deserve any less attention.

It is generally believed that having money can accomplish anything. Should that be the case when it comes to the health of people with potentially terminal conditions? The National Cancer Institute within the United States reportedly spends 4.8 to 5.2 billion dollars annually on cancer research. (NIH) As if that number was not large enough, it is estimated to rise to approximately 5.5 billion in 2013. Most of this money comes from private corporations or governments. What do those numbers look like for neurodegenerative diseases this year? In comparison, they amount to a mere 1.7 billion. The question must be asked- why is there such a big difference? Just because one condition gets more publicity over another does not make it any more important. Everyone wants a cute bracelet with a...
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