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Parkinson’s Disease Can Lead to the Need for Social Security Disability

Posted by Louis B. Lusk | Sep 22, 2013 | 0 Comments

Parkinson's Disease Can Lead to the Need for Social Security Disability

Parkinson's disease is a neurological disorder that affects an individual's movements. Parkinson's is degenerative. People can live with Parkinson's for years. How is the brain affected by Parkinson's? A group of brain cells in the substantia nigra area produce dopamine. In a Parkinson's brain, the dopamine producing cells are damaged and do not produce enough dopamine. “When approximately 60 to 80% of the dopamine-producing cells are damaged, and do not produce enough dopamine, the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease appear. This process of impairment of brain cells is called neurodegeneration.” Symptoms Parkinson's manifests itself through a number of symptoms and not all individuals display all symptoms: Tremors – shaking in an individual's limbs, especially when the hand, arm, or leg is at rest. Slowed movement – known as bradykinesia. An individual will find it increasingly difficult to move and slowing down the individual's movements. Rigid muscles – the muscles becomes stiff and a person's range of motion becomes limited. Impaired posture or balance – an individual can become stooped or be unable to keep their balance well. Loss of automatic movements – movements such as blinking, smiling, or swinging arms while walking are decreased. Speech changes – an individual with Parkinson's may have difficulty speaking inkling soft speech, quick speech, slurring or hesitating before talking. Writing changes – writing may appear small and become difficult. Information from the Mayo Clinic Diagnosis There is no one single test to determine if an individual has Parkinson's disease. A doctor will review an individual's medical history, signs and symptoms, and perform a neurological and physical examination. Sometimes a doctor will order a PET scan to assess the activity and function of the brain regions involved or a CT scan to look for signs of Parkinson's in the body. “In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration approved a specialized imaging technique called DaTscan that allows doctors to capture detailed pictures of the dopamine system in the brain. It is the first FDA-approved diagnostic imaging technique for the assessment of movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease. DaTscan alone can't diagnose Parkinson's disease by itself, but it can help confirm a physician's clinical diagnosis — something that has never been possible before.” Treatments Parkinson's is a chronic condition and there is no cure. “Therapy is directed at treating the symptoms that are most bothersome to an individual with Parkinson's disease. For this reason, there is no standard or “best” treatment for Parkinson's disease that applies to every patient.” There are a number of medications that doctors' prescribe to improve symptoms by increasing the brain's supply of dopamine. There is also surgical deep brain stimulation where “surgeons implant electrodes into a specific part of the brain. The electrodes are connected to a generator implanted in the chest that sends electrical pulses to the brain and may help improve many of Parkinson's disease symptoms.” Social Security Disability While Parkinson's symptoms can be controlled to some degree through drug treatment, if an individual has “severely limited locomotion or has tremors that interfere with the use of the fingers, hands, or arms,” an individual may be eligible for Social Security Disability. If you have Parkinson's and are unable to work, contact our experienced attorney to assist you with the SSD process. Related Posts: Social Security and Marfan Syndrome Meniere's Disease and Social Security Disability

About the Author

Louis B. Lusk

About Louis B. Lusk – Disability Attorney Attorney Louis B. Lusk has helped thousands of disabled individuals recover Social Security disability and SSI disability benefits.  He is an active member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Representatives (NOSSCR), an organizat...


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If you have been turned down for Social Security disability call me at 1 (800) 407-1516. I look forward to hearing from you.