To say medical research has been essential to fighting heart disease and stroke would be an understatement.
In 1974, the development of the CT scan revolutionized stroke diagnosis, allowing doctors to catch stroke risks earlier. In 2004, scientists improved the way surgeons safely dissolve brain artery clots through tPA. And last year, research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—the nation’s medical research agency—discovered that managing stroke risk factors with intensive medical programming and lifestyle coaching is better for second-stroke prevention.
Each life-saving discovery has extended and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who suffer a stroke each year. Because of medical research, stroke survivors have celebrated more birthdays, graduations and weddings than ever. In fact, the death rate from stroke has dropped 70 percent, largely due to research institutions like NIH.
Despite these amazing advancements, funding for stroke research has been cut by billions of dollars in the past few years. This has meant fewer medical studies, fewer clinical trials, and fewer medical milestones. With these rapidly shrinking resources, NIH is only able to devote 1 percent of its budget to stroke research, despite the fact that stroke is the number five cause of death in the United States.
What many may not realize is that investing in heart and stroke research has a far-reaching impact. Every $1 spent researching cardiovascular disease generates a $30 return on investment. This means that every dollar the government invests in medical research will have lasting benefits for our entire country.
And each dollar the government invests brings us one step closer to the next cure, a cure that could help a father walk his daughter down the aisle, or allow a grandmother to hold her grandchild for the first time.
You know more than anyone—because of your friends’, family members’, or even your own experiences with stroke—how important these medical advances are. You can become a stroke advocate and urge Congress to support further investment in medical research. Stay tuned for actions you can take and be sure to become a You’re the Cure advocate today by joining our network of grassroots advocates.