Paralysis Study

A new study, funded by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, shows that paralysis is more common among the US population than has been thought. Instead of 250,000 Americans paralyzed by spinal cord injury (SCI), the study shows that the number is more like 1,275,000.

The two big surprises for me were the number of people who are paralyzed due to multiple sclerosis (939,000) and neurofibromatosis (212,000).

From the Wall Street Journal:
Causes of Paralysis

This chart shows the following:

Trouble Moving

Among an estimated 5.6 million people in the U.S. with some form of paralysis, the leading causes were stroke and spinal-cord injury.

Causes of Paralysis

Stroke 1,608,000
Spinal-cord injury 1,275,000
Multiple sclerosis 939,000
Cerebral palsy 412,000
Post-polio syndrome 272,000
Traumatic brain injury 242,000
Neurofibromatosis 212,000
Unspecified birth defect 110,000
Other 526,000

Causes of spinal-cord injuries

Accident working 362,000
Motor-vehicle accident 311,000
Sporting/recreation accident 206,000
Fall 112,000
Unknown/no response 109,000
Victim of violence 57,000
Birth defect 34,000
Natural disaster 8,000
Other 76,000

Notes: Estimates based on a survey of more than 33,000 U.S. households.
Source: Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation

For more information about the survey, go to the Reeve Foundation blog. The entire report is available at One Degree of Separation: Paralysis and Spinal Cord Injury in the United States.

The Reeve Foundation has also provided a Paralysis Community Map where you can sign up and/or check out the incidence of people living with paralysis.


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