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A no-brainer: National Parkinson’s Act advances committee to House vote

Rebecca Barnabi

jennifer wextonThe House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced the National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act yesterday.

The legislation will now go before the U.S. House for a vote.

Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton, 55, who has represented Virginia’s District 10 since 2019, shared in April 2023 that she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. However, in September 2023, her diagnosis changed to Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.

“The National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act would be a transformative law marking a historic step in our fight against this truly horrible disease,” Wexton said. “There is an urgency to pass this legislation into law. While I know it likely won’t take effect in time to help me in my battle with PSP, this bill will save the lives of countless Americans and give families like mine hope all across the country. I’m grateful to Reps. Tonko and Bilirakis for leading this bill and allowing me to lend my voice to lift up this critical cause.”

The bipartisan legislation would bring key federal agency stakeholders together along with nonfederal experts, patients and caregivers to build a national plan to prevent, treat and cure Parkinson’s Disease, including Parkinsonisms like Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP).

The bill would also take a major step forward in the federal government’s work to confront the disease for the millions of Americans with Parkinson’s and Parkinsonisms, following the model of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, signed into law in 2011, which has spurred major advances in the development and funding of research for treatments and cures for Alzheimer’s and related dementias.

Since announcing her diagnosis, Wexton has made it a priority to use her platform to raise awareness for brain health, including cosponsoring and championing the National Plan to End Parkinson’s Act.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.