Kinzinger Bill Addresses COVID-19 Neurological Impact
Last week, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) joined his colleagues in introducing legislation that would support research on neurological and psychiatric illnesses associated with COVID-19 infection.
Washington, DC – Last week, U.S. Representatives Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16), Susan Wild (PA-07), Scott Peters (CA-52), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Dave Joyce (OH-14) and Peter Meijer (MI-03) introduced H.R 5772, the Brycen Gray and Ben Price COVID-19 Neurological Impact Act, which would authorize the National Science Foundation, in consultation with the National Institutes of Health, to award grants on a competitive basis to support research on neurological and psychiatric illnesses associated with COVID-19 infection.
This legislation comes after the tragic loss of Illinois native Ben Price and Ohio native Brycen Gray earlier this year—both of whom had no history of mental illness but suffered from neurological issues caused by COVID-19.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant influence on all our lives, but some families across the country have also been victim to a less understood result of a COVID diagnosis,” said Congressman Kinzinger. “There have been cases of drastic neurological changes and psychiatric illness among individuals following a COVID-19 diagnosis that, in some instances, has led to suicide. After speaking to the Price family and hearing stories from other Members’ constituents, I knew something had to be done. I’m grateful to be a part of this bipartisan group and am hopeful that this legislation will be swiftly considered by Congress so we can get answers for these families and establish a strategy to prevent additional cases.”
According to research published in The Lancet Psychiatry, 1 in 3 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 experience a neurological or psychiatric illness following their diagnosis and infection. Even more alarming, 1 in 8 patients are diagnosed with such an illness for the first time. While anxiety, mood, and substance use disorders are among the most common symptoms, researchers have also uncovered a prevalence of serious complications such as psychosis, dementia, and brain hemorrhages.