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control: It is not too much to say that such disturbances as epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, and retrolental fibroplasia, which are now so close to resolution, will thereby be eliminated as major public-health problems within another 5 years and at the most 10.


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(d) Metabolic and degenerative disorders.

Corneal opacities
Senile blindness.
Retrolental fibroplasia.
Retinal detachment..

Fund to metabolic disorders ( (n. s. p.)..
(e) Neuromuscular disorders: Strabismus..
a Hysterical amblyopia.

( Research of public health significance. 2. Otologic research

(a) Auditory impairment.
(1) Validation of recorded hearing tests.

(c) Vertigo (labryinthine disease). 3. Neurosensory disorders.

(a) Pain (6) Olfaction (c) Tactile (d) Nonspecific (general) Sensory disease research total Neurologic disease research total.

Grand total.

60, 987


72, 573

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1 Includes injury and disease to the brain where dysfunction is predominantly motor.

NEUROLOGY AND BLINDNESS ACTIVITIES, PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE The following data extracted from Bureau of the Budget submission for fiscal year 1954, Neurology and Blindness Activities, Public Health Service:

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Estimated total needs for applications in 1954.

5, 589, 900 Less estimated withdrawn projects and/or those with deferred starting dates in 1955_

1, 089, 900 Amount requested in budget submission for fiscal 1954. 4, 500, 000)

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(National Society for Prevention of Blindness, 1952)

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The CHAIRMAN. I looked through this rather hurriedly and it seemed to me it did not, so I want you to feel free to add that to your testimony in as complete a form as you wish.

Dr. BAILEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Much of the material concerning the various neurological disorders not represented by any organizations here today is contained in brief, I know, in the statement prepared by the National Committee for Research in Neurological Disorders.

(The statement referred to follows:)

NEUROLOGICAL AND SENSORY DISORDERS (Prepared for the hearings of the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign

Commerce, October 7, 1953, by the National Committee for Research Into Neurological Disorders)

At their annual meeting in Washington, D. C., September 29, 1953, the National Committee for Research in Neurological Disorders unanimously voted to submit this prepared statement to Chairman Charles A. Wolverton of the House Committe on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. The purpose of this statement is to outline the present medical status, economic costs, research potential, and needs of the relatively neglected field of health which comprises the neurological and sensory disorders.

The National Committee for Research in Neurological Disorders was organized from national voluntary health agencies and professional groups in response to a growing demand for a national research program in the vast field of neurological and sensory disorders. Members of the national committee are: National Epilepsy League, Inc. National Multiple Sclerosis Society National Society for Crippled Children and Adults, Inc. Muscular Dystrophy Associations of American, Inc. United Cerebral Palsy Associations Committee for Public Understanding of Epilepsy American Academy of Neurology

The primary objectives of the national committee are (1) to survey the current needs in the field of neurological and sensory disorders, with special reference to medical research, training of specialized professional personnel and treatment facilities; (2) to make these needs known to the public, universities, research institutions, and Government agencies ; (3) to stimulate research and training to the extent of these studied needs; and (4) to jointly attack national problems in this area of disease where the combined action of the interested societies of this committee would be more efficient than the action of any one of the societies alone.

Accordingly, the National Committee for Research in Neurological Disorders welcomes most sincerely the invitation from the chairman of the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce to participate in their hearings on health matters of the Nation.


The concept of neurological and sensory disorders as an entity and as a single major public health problem is slowly being recognized. While most of the various types of cancer are conceived of as simply "cancer" and the various types of heart disease simply as "heart disease," the various neurological disorderswhether poliomyelitis, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, and many disorders of the eye and ear-seem each to constitute a separate, indivisible problem in themselves.

In fact, this is not so; as the problems of heart diseases are linked to the entire circulatory system, so all neurological and sensory disorders are referable to the nervous system; to the brain, the spinal cord, the nerves and the sensory receptors which provide us with the powers of sight and hearing. Epilepsy and cerebral palsy, for example, simply represent a variety of symptoms occurring as a result of damage to nerve tissue in various areas of the brain. So it is also with a wide variety of eye disorders, for the eye is but an outgrowth of the brain; the optic nerve, for example, is brain tissue, so is the retina, and 5 of the 12 cranial nerves are involved in the function of sight. The neurological and sensory disorders, therefore, from the medical-research point of view, are inextricably linked. This interdependence has been fully symbolized in the establishment of a National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness. Morbidity and mortality

As a distinct group of disorders, the neurological and sensory diseases create an extremely serious public-health problem. They affect 20 million persons in the United States alone,' of whom at least half endure gravely disabling conditions. As a cause of death, it ranks third with cerebral vascular disease, causing 160,000 deaths yearly, achieving that position alone; and it is estimated that another 50,000 deaths yearly are due to all other neurological and sensory disorders.

It is, however, as the primary cause of permanent crippling that the neurological and sensory disorders are known. Cerebral vascular disease, caused by injuries, infections, and vascular disturbances of the brain, while a serious killer, leaves 1,800,000 now alive and crippled, paralyzing the body or seriously limiting the powers of movement, speech, and vision. And the other neurological and sensory disorders, similarly affecting the brain or spinal cord, are responsible for the disablement of another 8,200,000 persons.

This crippling is so severe and extends over such a long period of time as to cause profound psychological, social, and economic dislocation for the individual sufferer. No other group of disorders receives so little medical and research attention; yet no other group of disorders represents such an economic loss to the Nation and the patients and families who must cope with them. Costs to the Nation

It is almost impossible to gain proper insight into the staggering costs which the neurological and sensory disorders impose on the country. The nature of these disturbances, which in the vast majority of cases render the vital organs useless, are such as to eliminate the neurological patient as a productive member of society and to render him wholly or partially a dependent on family, community, State, and Government. The fact that so many of these conditions have their origin in childhood or early adulthood and that life, nevertheless, so fre

* See appendix A.

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