The National Institutes of Health spent $35 million in 2004 and $29 million in 2005 on peripheral neuropathy research. NIH funding for neuropathy research lags far behind its investment in other neurological disorders. For other disorders with a similar range of disability (multiple sclerosis and epilepsy), the NIH expenditure per patient ratio is approximately 200 times greater than it is for neuropathy.

Too often, patients are told there is nothing that can be done for them, they will just have to live with it.  Some patients are even told it is all in their heads, that they are imagining it.  People who are suffering with the disorder often feel they have nowhere to turn.  They feel isolated and alone.  Even their families do not understand what they are going through and start to doubt them.  The Neuropathy Association is working hard to change these perceptions through its awareness-building and outreach activities.

Public awareness of this illness is unfortunately low. A 1999 awareness survey reported that only 7% of all adults in the U.S. know about neuropathy.  And, yet, it is estimated that up to 20 million Americans, whether they know it or not, currently have some type of neuropathy.

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