Brain Awareness Week

March 17-23, 1997 is Brain Awareness Week, a nationwide effort organized by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. The American Academy of Neurology has recommended that persons with brain diseases write their senators and congressmen urging support of increased funding for brain research. Below is a sample letter. For more information on Brain Awareness Week from the Dana Alliance, see

Dear President Clinton/Senator/Representative ....

Nearly one of every five Americans suffers from an incurable brain disorder such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, mental retardation, Huntington's disease, and schizophrenia, just to name a few. Currently, the cost of treating individuals with various neurological disorders exceeds $400 billion annually.

I am one of those people. (In this paragraph, describe the following: (1) your condition and how it impacts your daily life, (2) how often you visit your neurologist, (3) the types of treatments you are undergoing.)

For patients like myself and others, brain research plays an integral role in developing new treatments and possible cures. Due to the work of organizations like the National Institutes of Health, teaching hospitals and other clinical and basic research institutions, there has been an explosion of scientific knowledge about brain disorders. In many cases, research has led to the development of cures and improved treatments that increase the quality of health care delivery. We need your help to continue this momentum and to create future opportunities for discovery and innovation in brain-related research.

As you may know, the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives is sponsoring Brain Awareness Week March 17-23. Several organizations including government entities, NIH institutes and over 100 scientific, educational and advocacy organizations, including the American Academy of Neurology, have pledged their support for this initiative. I encourage you to take part in the Brain Awareness Week and to consider those of us who suffer from various neurological conditions, which cause more disability nationally and internationally than ony other single group of diseases including cancer and heart disease.

Please support a 15% funding increase for all brain-related research at the National Institutes of Health - $100 million for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and $200 million for the other institutes performing brain-related research. It's time brain research, both clinical and basic, receives the attention it deserves. Thank you for your consideration.



CC: your doctor's name

Note: To find your legislators, their regular addresses, and their email addresses, see

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Last updated: Nov. 28, 2010