Congress is back in session and one of the issues they will be debating is the federal budget. In August of 2011 Congress passed the Budget Control Act as a result of reaching the debt ceiling. The Budget Control acts specifies mandatory cuts to programs over the next 10 years in the absence of a comprehensive spending bill, which our leadership has not been able to negotiate yet. This means that over the next 10 years there will be cuts to defense and non-defense programs. One of the programs that will be greatly impacted by these cuts is the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/ National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). NINDS has a lot of great resources for stroke prevention and treatment after the fact and they are the most prolific source of stroke research in this country. This is one of the many websites we would check in the days, weeks, and months after Joe was affected by the stroke. This is a great source of research information including studies and trials that might have helped him and certainly hold great benefit for others. NINDS is the main institute that conducts basic research to help stroke diagnosis, treatment and recovery.
Their research can save lives and lessen the impact of stroke on victims, caregivers and families. Approximately 795,000 people have a stroke each year in the United States with direct and indirect costs stretching past $73.7 billion each year. Strokes are the leading cause of long-term disability in America. NIH and NINDS need to be better funded and certainly not forgotten. Please urge your Congressman to support funding and not cuts to these institutions.