AANEM News Express

AANEM News Express

National Neuropathy Awareness Week

More than 20,000,000—or 1 in 15—Americans are afflicted by neuropathy, and many of them do not know they have it.  Even though it is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and one of the most common chronic neurological diseases, neuropathy is often misunderstood, misdiagnosed and underdiagnosed, and inadequately treated. However, early diagnosis and treatment is critical to preventing and slowing the progression of neuropathy.

May 12-16 is National Neuropathy Awareness Week. AANEM members have the opportunity to play a critical role in alleviating neuropathy by:
  • Recognizing the early symptoms and signs of neuropathy.
  • Providing an early and accurate diagnosis and treatments by working with patients to prevent and/or minimize progression of neuropathy and its complications.
  • Helping the public learn about neuropathy and its risk factors.
Since 1995, The Neuropathy Association has been working to change the public’s perception of neuropathy and help patients, health care providers, and the public at large understand the true scope of this debilitating disease. And since 2005, The Neuropathy Association has annually designated the third week of May as National Neuropathy Awareness Week on the federal government’s calendar of National Health Observances.

“We recognize that neuropathy is a 24/7/365 battle for more than 20,000,000 people in the U.S. Until we find better treatments and cures for neuropathy, every week is National Neuropathy Awareness Week, every day is Neuropathy Awareness Day. And, so our mission is 24/7/365. But, during National Neuropathy Awareness Week, we push ourselves and our community—patients, caregivers, and professionals—to help us take neuropathy awareness to the next level,” said Tina Tockarshewsky, president and CEO of The Neuropathy Association.

Awareness and understanding of this disease—and its impact—are the drivers for allocating more funding for neuropathy research, developing more programs for the neuropathy community, and, ultimately, finding more therapies and cures.

“While early intervention and treatment can be critical to slowing the disease’s progression, our biggest challenge is many Americans still do not know about neuropathy, are unaware they have it, and do not recognize warning signs, which can include weakness, numbness, tingling, and pain, especially in the hands and feet. If ignored, these symptoms can lead to persistent weakness, loss of sensation or unremitting pain,” noted AANEM member Thomas H. Brannagan, III, M.D., medical advisor for The Neuropathy Association.

Visit www.neuropathy.org for information about National Neuropathy Awareness Week events, media opportunities, and other ways to get involved!

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