SAUGERTIES, N.Y., June 28, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The family of former New York Congressman Maurice D. Hinchey, whose distinguished career in public service spanned 38 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and New York State Assembly, today announced that he has a rare, terminal neurological disorder known as Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD).
FTD is a progressive and fatal neurological disease characterized by a slow decline in behavior, language, and/or movement, with memory usually relatively preserved. Often initially misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease or a psychiatric disorder, there is currently no known cure, nor treatments to slow or stop its progression.
Hinchey's symptoms began as the occasional lost word. Within a relatively short time the primary progressive aphasia variant of FTD began to further affect his eloquent sense of language. Eventually, he began experiencing additional symptoms, including Parkinsonian Syndrome, which presents symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease, such as difficulty with walking, balance, and stiff muscles.
Ilene Marder Hinchey, the congressman's wife, said that the family was astonished to discover how few—including some in the medical profession—knew about FTD and its variants.
"Knowing Maurice and his heartfelt desire to always help others, we know he would want to do everything possible to help raise awareness of this debilitating and terminal disease, and to understand its symptoms and progressions so families can plan for the long-term care necessary for this incredibly complex condition," she said. "We strongly support additional federal and private funding for FTD research, and additional resources to help families care for their loved ones at home on a long-term basis."
"We're grateful for families like the Hincheys who share their experience," added AFTD CEO Susan L-J Dickinson. "It brings new attention crucial to the development of therapeutics and management strategies for FTD – progress that can benefit all neurological disorders."
Hinchey dedicated his career to serving a Congressional District that spanned eight counties from the Hudson Valley to the Finger Lakes region. He is known as a statesman- a progressive Democrat who attracted Republican and Independent supporters. Yesterday's Daily Freeman article has more of his story:
For more information on FTD, please visit https://www.theaftd.org/learnmore
SOURCE Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration