Drug Helps Treat Neurological Disorder

Drug Helps Treat Neurological Disorder


FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION IS HELPING TREAT A DEBILITATING NEUROLOGICAL DISORDER. RICHARD ROSE HAS MORE. Reporter: SINCE CHILDHOOD, 40-YEAR-OLD LISA PANZICA AND HER SISTER HAVE STRUGGLED WITH A NEARLOGICAL DISEASE THAT CONFINES THEM TO WHEELCHAIRS OR MOTOR SCOOTERS. TODAY IN MANHASSET, THEY PRAISE THE PHYSICAL IMPROVEMENTS THEY’VE SEEN IN JUST MONTHS AFTER BEING TREATED WITH A DRUG CALLED SPINRAZA. I HAVE LESS FATIGUE. MORE STAMINA. I’M ABLE TO MOVE MY EXTREMITIES WITH LESS EFFORT. Reporter: THEIR PHYSICIAN DESCRIBED HOW THE SIBLING SISTERS WERE BOTH BORN WITH SMA. SHE DESCRIBED HOW IT LIMITS HER INTERACTION WITH HER CHILDREN. THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A MOM IS NOT BEING ABLE TO PICK THEM UP WHEN THEY CRY, OR GO ON RIDES WITH THEM. SORRY. Reporter: AFTER SEVERAL TREATMENTS WITH SPINRAZA, SHE’S ABLE TO BRIEFLY GET UP FROM HER WHEELCHAIR. THE DOCTOR SAYS THE DRUG HELPS TO STIMULATE CRUCIAL PROTEINS THAT STRENGTHEN LEG MUSCLES. AS IS OFTEN THE CASE, DOCTORS SAY THIS NEW DRUG IS QUITE EXPENSIVE. FORTUNATELY, THE SISTERS INSURANCE COVERS THE TREATMENTS, BUT THEIR PHYSICIAN SAYS THEY’RE TRYING TO CONVINCE MORE INSURERS TO EXPAND COVERAGE, WHICH RIGHT NOW IS MOSTLY LIMITED TO CHILDREN. ALL IN THE HOPE THEY CAN ONE DAY LEAVE THEIR WHEELCHAIRS BEHIND. THE NEW TREATMENT IS

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