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Fox, Ali Stump For Parkinson’s

May 22, 2002

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Actor Michael J. Fox and former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali told Congress on Wednesday that more money is needed to turn scientific findings into a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

``The promise is so real and the need is so real ... and we really feel that we can get this done,″ Fox, the former ``Spin City″ and ``Family Ties″ star, told a Senate subcommittee on health.

Fox and Ali _ who both struggle with the neurological degeneration caused by Parkinson’s _ joined a panel of scientists to discuss the progress of research as well as the shortfalls of an initiative by Congress to boost spending on Parkinson’s research by $1 billion by 2005.

Ali’s wife, Lonnie, said the champ ``is facing an opponent unlike any he has ever fought. ... Muhammad is battling a relentless, remorseless, insidious thief.″

``We know the science is there,″ she said, ``but the money is not.″

Parkinson’s affects about 1 million Americans.

Congress asked the National Institutes of Health in 2000 to outline future plans for researching the disease. Money allocated by the NIH for that initiative fell short of its own projections by more than $50 million in fiscal year 2001, and is anticipated to fall short by more than $100 million for the fiscal year ending in September.


On the Net:

National Institutes of Health Parkinson’s Research Agenda: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/about_ninds/nihparkinsons_agenda.htm/

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