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The Neuropathy Association Featured on NBC's 'Today Show' as Part of National Neuropathy Week
Date:5/13/2008

Appearance Aimed To Raise Awareness of Little-Known Neurological Disease That Affects Nearly 20 Million Americans

NEW YORK, May 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Tina Tockarshewsky, executive director at The Neuropathy Association, today called for heightened public awareness and early intervention in the treatment of neuropathy, a potentially painful and often undiagnosed neurological disease that affects upwards of 20 million Americans during an interview with Al Roker on the "Today Show." The Neuropathy Association is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase public awareness of neuropathy and the need for early intervention and research. Tockarshewsky's appearance was part of the organization's week-long activities to observe National Neuropathy Week (May 12-16), which underscores the toll this disease is taking on Americans' health and quality of life among the general public, healthcare providers, and policymakers.

"While early intervention and treatment can be critical to slowing the disease's progression, most Americans don't recognize neuropathy's symptoms, which include weakness, numbness, tingling and pain, especially in the hands and feet. If ignored, the symptoms can intensify to loss of sensation to unremitting pain. Neuropathy may be the most common disease in the United States that you've never heard of. Many are even unaware that they have it," said Tockarshewsky.

Neuropathy's progression can be variable: some symptoms come on suddenly, some can progress slowly over the years. Some can be mild, and others can be debilitating. However, if diagnosed early, it can often be controlled and some types can be cured. Too often neuropathy is discovered after it has caused irreparable harm.

"Neuropathy affects everyone indiscriminately. With over 100 known types, chances are we all know someone with neuropathy; and yet most of us have never heard of it. The public needs to know the warning signs, and patients need to know they are not alone. The Neuropathy Association can help," noted Ronnie Chalif, The Neuropathy Association's president.

The Neuropathy Association is the leading national patient-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide patient support and education, advocate for patient's interests, and promote research into the causes of and cures for peripheral neuropathies. There are eight Association-designated neuropathy centers located at major medical centers around the country, including:

Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center (Phoenix, AZ)

University of California at San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)

Good Samaritan Hospital (Los Angeles, CA)

University of Miami (Miami, FL)

University of Florida and Shands Jacksonville (Jacksonville, FL)

University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)

Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University (New York, NY)

Kansas University Medical Center (Kansas City, KS)

About Neuropathy

Peripheral Neuropathy is one of the most common diseases, affecting upwards of 20 million Americans. It results from injury to the peripheral nerves, disrupting the body's ability to communicate with its muscles, organs and tissues. Early warning signs include weakness, numbness, tingling and pain, especially in the hands and feet. If ignored, the symptoms can range from loss of sensation at one extreme to unremitting pain at the other. However, if neuropathy's symptoms are recognized and diagnosed early, it can often be controlled.

One third of all neuropathy patients have diabetes. (Of the entire diabetic population, half will develop some form of neuropathy.) Approximately 30% of neuropathies are "idiopathic," or of an unknown cause. A third of cases include a range of causes including autoimmune disorders, tumors, heredity, nutritional imbalances, infections, and toxins. Neuropathy's progression can be variable: some come on suddenly, some can progress slowly over the years. Some can be mild, and others can be debilitating. However, if diagnosed early, it can often be controlled and some types can be cured. Too often neuropathy is discovered after it has caused irreparable harm. Neuropathy can occur at any age, but is more frequent among older adults.

About The Neuropathy Association

Established in 1995, The Neuropathy Association is the leading national patient-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide patient support and education, advocate for patient's interests, and promote research into the causes of and cures for peripheral neuropathies. With more than 50,000 members and supporters and over 125 support groups, the organization works to connect patients with one another through its active network of members, regional chapters, centers and support groups. Currently, it has designated eight neuropathy centers at major university hospitals across the country in order to serve patients with neuropathy, provide treatment and conduct research. For more information about The Neuropathy Association, please visit http://www.neuropathy.org.


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SOURCE THE NEUROPATHY ASSOCIATION
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