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May 1, 2012 > Roman Reed spinal cord injury bill advances

Roman Reed spinal cord injury bill advances

Submitted By Jeff Barbosa

Securing funding for state-of-the-art research into finding treatments for spinal cord injuries and paralysis is the goal of Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski's (D-Fremont) AB 1657, which was approved the Assembly Health Committee (10-6 vote) on April 24, 2012 to advance the bill to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The Public Safety Committee approved the bill 4-2 late in March 2012.

AB 1657 would add $1 to all moving traffic violations to generate millions of dollars for neuroscience research into spinal cord injuries. According to the Mayo Clinic, traffic accidents are the primary cause of spinal cord injuries. The Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Program, named after Fremont Planning Commissioner Roman Reed, has generated over $75M in state funds, National Institutes of Health grants and other sources since its creation in 2000 but funding from the state was eliminated due to budget cuts.

"This program is a wise investment for the state because for every dollar we put into it, we have received $4 in federal research funding," Wieckowski said. "It not only provides hope for those struggling with paralysis, it provides California's best researchers with additional resources and is strongly supported by our state's biotech community."

The program is run through the University of California and administered out of the Reeve-Irvine Research Center at the University of California, Irvine.

A recent study commissioned by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control reveals that approximately 5.6 million Americans are afflicted by some form of paralysis and 1.2 million live with a spinal cord injury.

Roman Reed, his father, Don, the University of California and Boston Scientific all testified on behalf of the bill before the Health Committee. Boston Scientific develops solutions that use neuro-stimulation devices to mask chronic pain signals with electrical impulses, including the Precision Spinal Cord Stimulation System.

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