Sen. Charles Schumer wants federal officials to help figure out why Syracuse has such a high rate of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Schumer said Monday that he has asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to collaborate with Upstate Medical University researchers to study the issue.
A recent national study of insurance claims found the MS diagnosis rate was 45 per 10,000 insured people in Syracuse, nearly twice the national rate and the highest of any U.S. metropolitan area.
Multiple sclerosis affects the nervous system and often results in progressive physical and cognitive decline.
The CDC received $5 million this year to launch a surveillance system to improve understanding of neurological disorders and support research. It is focusing on MS and Parkinson’s disease at first.