MISSOURI — Missouri lawmakers are debating a proposed law, aimed at helping the more than 20,000 Missouri patients who have Parkinson’s Disease.

Parkinson’s disease affects tens of thousands of people in Missouri, not only the patients, but their caregivers and loved ones.

“And it’s growing in prevalence,” said Charlotte Foust, AAA Resource Dev.

To find out more about the disease, what causes it, and what’s common among patients is a goal for some state lawmakers who want to create a statewide registry.

“This actually stems from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research which was founded in 2000. This is really the only Research Foundation that has been dedicated and finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease,” said MO. Rep. Ann Kelley, (R).

House Bill 822 would organize details about Parkinson’s patients, looking for trends that could pave the way for new treatments or a cure.

“The University of Missouri would be the one responsible for the registry, and it would be on a volunteer basis. You could say you wanted to opt-out if you didn’t want to participate, but the idea is because there’s not a cure, and there’s not really anything that there’s just stuff there. The medicine just basically band-aids the symptoms to make them less prevalent,” said Kelley.

If approved, Missouri would join just a handful of states working on the registry and raising awareness.

“Creating awareness about any kind of chronic condition is important. And Parkinson’s falls within that. It’s important to educate yourself and learn as much as you can about it,” said Foust.

The bill has been voted out of committee but has not yet gone before a vote of the full house.