NEW YORK, Dec. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Three-time NFL Pro Bowler and TODAY correspondent Tiki Barber spoke publicly for the first time today about his son A.J.'s epilepsy. "Epilepsy affects such a wide range of people in different circumstances and it's something that awareness needs to be raised about," he told Meredith Vieira this morning on TODAY.
Susan Axelrod, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) founding member and president, also appeared on TODAY to discuss the need to increase awareness and research for epilepsy. Over one-third of epilepsy patients have seizures that cannot be controlled with medication. Over 3 million people suffer from epilepsy in the United States -- more than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and Parkinson's disease combined. Yet public and private funding of epilepsy research pales in comparison to funding for other neurological diseases, many of which affect far fewer patients.
"What's exciting is that we've changed the dialogue in the epilepsy research community. Scientists are starting to look at what are the root causes, what are the mechanisms, who's at risk, and could we even maybe prevent epilepsy," said Axelrod.
Axelrod and two other mothers of children with epilepsy launched CURE in 1998 to increase awareness of and research for epilepsy. Axelrod was motivated by her daughter, Lauren's struggle with intractable epilepsy. Her efforts have helped CURE raise more than $8 million to fund research and other initiatives that will lead the way to a cure.
TODAY also showed clips of videos produced by CURE which document, with personal stories, the devastating effects epilepsy has on children and their families. These videos educate and raise awareness about the struggles of people with uncontrolled seizures.
The TODAY Show is broadcast live on NBC stations from 7-10 am EST. It is America's most watched morning show. To watch TODAY's segment on epilepsy, go to http://today.msnbc.msn.com, and scroll through the "Video from TODAY" section. Click on "Understanding Epilepsy."
For additional information on CURE, contact Michelle Marciniak or visit http://www.CUREepilepsy.org.
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