03-31-2009, 12:56 AM
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quote:Obama signs Reeve bill on paralysis research

WASHINGTON (AP) A new law named for "Superman" actor Christopher Reeve will coordinate research on paralysis and rehabilitation.
President Barack Obama signed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act on Monday, one of several pieces of legislation along with a measure designed to expand wilderness protection. Lawmakers brought almost 170 bills for Obama to sign.

The Reeve measure is intended to improve coordination of research and treatment for paralyzed persons and others with disabilities. The late Christopher Reeve became an advocate for embryonic stem-cell research after he was paralyzed in a 1995 horseback riding accident in Virginia. Reeve died in 2004 of heart failure.

Obama said the new law "will connect the best minds and best practices from the best labs in the country and focus their endeavors through collaborative scientific research into the cure for paralysis, saving effort, money and, most importantly, time."
The law designates the National Institutes of Health to coordinate research and work with other agencies and private groups to enhance paralysis research, rehabilitation and treatment programs.

"Today is a day of progress for the millions of Americans who are living with paralysis and multiple sclerosis," said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, a co-sponsor of the measure.

The new law will help scientists "find ways to improve the lives of so many living with disabilities, bringing hope to those in need," Harkin said.

Dana Reeve, Christopher Reeve's widow, died of lung cancer in 2006. Christopher Reeve's son, Matthew Reeve, attended the bill signing.
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