Proclamation 5061 -- National Parkinson's Disease Week, 1983

May 12, 1983

By the President of the United States

of America

A Proclamation

Nearly half a million Americans suffer from Parkinson's disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system. We know now that their symptoms of tremor and muscle stiffness are related to a chemical deficiency in the part of the brain that controls movement, but there is far more to learn about this disease.

Several drugs developed since World War II have enabled thousands of Parkinson's patients to function more fully. Rigorous research is still needed, however, to provide more information about this disease and to develop new and improved therapies. Scientists must continue to explore possible causes of Parkinson's disease and search for ways to prevent the disorder or lessen its effect.

Many of the scientists studying Parkinson's disease receive support from the Federal government through the National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke and privately through four voluntary organizations: the American Parkinson Disease Association, the National Parkinson Foundation, Inc., the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, and the United Parkinson Foundation. I commend these voluntary groups and the scientists who devote their efforts toward conquering this disease. I also note the courage and resourcefulness of Parkinson's disease patients in overcoming their disorder and in helping other patients and families deal with the effects of this disease.

In order to emphasize the role of research in conquering Parkinson's disease and encourage continued private and Federal support of this research, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 62, has designated the week beginning May 15, 1983 as ``National Parkinson's Disease Week'' and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of that week.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week beginning May 15, 1983 as National Parkinson's Disease Week. I urge physicians, scientists, and government and private agencies concerned with Parkinson's disease to sponsor activities which will inform Americans about this illness and the need for continued research.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 12th. day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and seventh.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:21 a.m., May 13, 1983]