SILVER SPRING, Md., Sept. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance (TS Alliance) salutes the Missouri State Legislature, and in particular Senator Eric Schmitt, for appropriating $1.25 million in the state's 2017 fiscal year budget to expand the comprehensive Washington University Tuberous Sclerosis Center of Missouri. To date, $250,000 of this appropriation has been released. This Center is committed to a three-fold mission of basic science research, clinical patient research, and care for patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). The Center is unique in having integrated programs in all aspects of research and patient care, spanning basic drug discovery in the laboratory, clinical drug trials, and comprehensive clinical care of TSC patients. The Center is directed by Michael Wong, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurology, Pediatrics, and Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine.
"We are thrilled to see this important Tuberous Sclerosis Center moving forward and are especially grateful to Senator Schmitt for his leadership in gaining this pivotal funding," explained Kari Luther Rosbeck, President and CEO of the TS Alliance. "Currently, there is no cure for TSC so cutting-edge research and high quality care are critical as we work to improve the lives of anyone with the disease. We are incredibly excited that Missouri is playing a central role in future scientific advances."
Senator Schmitt has been an outstanding advocate for those living with epilepsy and developmental disabilities. He was nationally recognized in 2014 with an Easter Seals Outstanding Advocate Award for his tireless efforts to improve the lives of children and adults with disabilities in Missouri and recently received the St. Louis Arc Superhero Kids Award. Senator Schmitt co-sponsored and worked closely with his House and Senate colleagues to help pass a bill that mandated health insurance coverage for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Senator Schmitt is a longtime supporter of the TS Alliance.
"The work done by the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance truly changes lives, and in particular, the Washington University Tuberous Sclerosis Center is making great strides in Missouri," said Senator Schmitt. "Individuals living with TSC and their families continue to look forward to positive developments and the work done at the Center will continue to get our community closer to a cure. I commend the hard work of all the doctors, staff and TSC community working together."
"The Missouri funding has been instrumental in promoting a number of important new initiatives for TSC in the region, such as expansion of much-needed adult patient care, innovative clinical drug trials, and a laboratory drug screening program for TSC," shared Dr. Michael Wong. "Because of the efforts of Senator Schmitt and the Missouri legislature, we are in the unique position of being able to lead new advances in both research and clinical care for TSC patients. In addition, some of the progress in TSC may be directly applicable to other diseases, such as other types of epilepsy, autism, and cancer."
TSC is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form in vital organs, primarily in the brain, eyes, heart, kidneys, skin and lungs. It is also the leading genetic cause of both autism and epilepsy. TSC is as common as Lou Gehrig's disease or cystic fibrosis but is virtually unknown by the general population.
The TS Alliance is the only national organization dedicated to finding a cure for tuberous sclerosis complex, while improving the lives of those affected. It works to improve quality of life for individuals and families affected by TSC by stimulating and sponsoring research; creating programs, support services and resource information; and developing and implementing public and professional education programs designed to heighten awareness of TSC.