WASHINGTON – Today, on International Epilepsy Day, Senators Eric Schmitt and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) launched the Senate Epilepsy Caucus. The Senate Epilepsy Caucus will work to advance data, research, and innovation to better understand and treat those with epilepsy and promote the needs of people with the epilepsies through legislation and other efforts:
“Today I’m proud to announce that I’m launching the Senate Epilepsy Caucus with Senator Klobuchar. This issue is close to my heart – my son Stephen has epilepsy. It’s certainly come with its challenges, but the joy that he brings to his family and friends inspires me every day to bring awareness for epilepsy and fight for legislative solutions that will improve the lives of individuals with epilepsy. Stay tuned for more from this important caucus,” said Senator Schmitt.
“Epilepsy affects more than three million Americans, including 55,000 Minnesotans,” said Senator Klobuchar. “More must be done to address the needs of people living with epilepsy and advance medical research into improved care and treatment. I’m partnering with Senator Schmitt to launch the Senate Epilepsy Caucus to fight for the millions of people with this neurological condition.”
“The TSC Alliance is sincerely grateful to Senators Eric Schmitt and Amy Klobuchar for leading a new Senate Epilepsy Caucus to shine an important light on those living with seizures and the many ways it impacts quality of life,” said Kari Luther Rosbeck, President and CEO of the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance. “Tuberous sclerosis complex, or TSC, is the leading genetic cause of epilepsy so this initiative is particularly crucial for our community, including Senator Schmitt whose son Stephen lives courageously with the disease. TSC impacts 1 in 6,000 live births. Approximately 50,000 Americans are affected, of which 80 percent live with epilepsy. Of these, 2/3 are medicine resistant so we look forward to supporting this much-needed Caucus.”
“We want to express our sincere thanks to Senator Schmitt and Senator Klobuchar for standing up the Senate Epilepsy Caucus. As so many families know personally, anyone can find themselves devastated by epilepsy. Having a united voice in Congress is a huge step toward achieving true progress for people with the epilepsies and their families everywhere,” said Scott Copeland, Co-Founder, Epilepsies Action Network; Parent & Caregiver.
“We are grateful to Senators Schmitt and Klobuchar for establishing the Senate Epilepsy Caucus and joining their colleagues in the House in placing epilepsy at the forefront of congressional discussions,” said Bernice Martin Lee, chief executive officer, Epilepsy Foundation. “This Caucus is a significant milestone and opportunity to eradicate stigma, increase investment and advance policies to improve outcomes for the 3.4 million people living with epilepsy in the U.S.”
- The Senate Epilepsy Caucus will complement the Congressional Epilepsy Caucus, which was formed in February of 2023. The caucus will:
- Raise awareness in Congress about the many forms of epilepsy and the needs of people with the epilepsies;
- Advance data, research, and innovation to better understand and treat the epilepsies;
- Protect the rights of people with the epilepsies;
- Promote the needs of people with the epilepsies through legislation and appropriations.
Senator Schmitt released a video announcing the launch of the caucus, which can be found here.