For National Neuropathy Week, May 16–20, The Neuropathy Association is launching a "Talk Neuropathy" campaign featuring patient-guided interviews with Association spokesperson and former star of screen and stage Rev. Mother Dolores Hart, O.S.B., Emmy-Award winning journalist Pia Lindstrom, and critically acclaimed author and poet Sarah Manguso. Using questions submitted by neuropathy patients for these high-profile advocates, the "Talk Neuropathy" interviews offer a dialogue format to engage the neuropathy community and the general public in discussing questions about caring for and coping with a disease impacting 1 in 15 in the U.S. Interviews will be published on www.neuropathy.org beginning May 16.
May 16–20 is the seventh annual National Neuropathy Week, an event launched by The Neuropathy Association to raise awareness about neuropathy and its warning signs. As the leading national non-profit organization representing peripheral neuropathy patients and those caring for them, The Neuropathy Association's mission is to increase public awareness of neuropathy and the need for early intervention and more research. "Talk Neuropathy" is part of the Association's week-long activities to observe National Neuropathy Week and underscore the significant toll this often painful and potentially debilitating disease is taking on Americans' health and quality of life.
"Having a candid national discussion highlights the many challenges and unanswered questions neuropathy and neuropathic pain patients are wrestling with regarding diagnosis and too few treatment options," said Tina Tockarshewsky, president and CEO of The Neuropathy Association. "Millions of people are desperately seeking answers from health care professionals and each other to help with this life-altering illness. By talking about neuropathy, we want to encourage the general public to learn more about an under-recognized epidemic, educate others, and help us find cures for an illness that currently has none."
"While early intervention and treatment can be critical to slowing the disease's progression, our biggest challenge is many Americans still do not know about neuropathy, are unaware they have it, and do not recognize warning signs, which can include weakness, numbness, tingling and pain, especially in the hands and feet. If ignored, these symptoms can lead to persistent weakness, loss of sensation or unremitting pain," noted Dr. Thomas H. Brannagan, III, medical advisor for The Neuropathy Association.
Peripheral neuropathy, or "nerve damage," affects over 20 million Americans, making neuropathy one of the most common chronic diseases and one of the leading causes of disability in adults in the U.S.