The pre 2012 Super Bowl inspiring story of former NFL player, Steve Gleason and his battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) raises some interesting issues relevant to Social Security Disability. Under the Compassionate Allowance program, those diagnosed with ALS are supposed to have a simpler path to getting their benefits. This progressive neurodegenerative disease attacks motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord and affects muscle function. As the muscle cells waste away, individuals suffer with increased muscle weakness.
The corresponding neurological social security disability listing is 11.00 G. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and 11.10. There is no cure and treatments are designed to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life. There is no single test that establishes a diagnosis. Accordingly, your doctor should take a full history and perform a neurological examination along with appropriate imaging that will rule out other impairments.
Your case with the Social Security Administration will be expedited regardless of the cause. Some studies do link repeated head traumas to ALS. A research team led by Ann McKee, MD from the Bedford Veterans Administration Hospital studied the link between chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and behavioral changes similar to those seen in frontal lobe dementia. Studies are focusing on TDP-43, a motor neuron protein that accumulates in CTE patients’ brain neurons.
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