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WHEREAS, Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) is a rare degenerative and terminal neurological disease, which has a distinct impact on each patient; and
WHEREAS, according to the National Institute of Health, MSA affects between 15,000 to 50,000 Americans, including many Virginians; and
WHEREAS, symptoms include problems with balance, coordination, gait, bladder and bowel functions, speech, swallowing, and breathing; and
WHEREAS, a multidisciplinary approach to MSA care includes physical, psychological, and financial support for patients and caregivers, including support groups; and
WHEREAS, there are some medications that treat the symptoms and some clinical trials for the development of improved treatment, though much more research is needed for better management of the disease and ultimately, a cure; and
WHEREAS, increased education and awareness are needed to assist in accurately diagnosing MSA and to raise funds for research for treatments with fewer side effects and ultimately a cure; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia joins the MSA worldwide community in recognizing March as Multiple System Atrophy Awareness Month;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 2020 as MULTIPLE SYSTEM ATROPHY AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.