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Disability Benefits for Neuromuscular Diseases

Is There a Cure for Neuromuscular Diseases? 

Neuromuscular disease or disorder is a broad term that comprises a list of conditions that can affect the functioning of the muscles. These diseases tend to damage or kill the neurons (nerve cells), leading to a breakdown between the brain and the muscles.

Disability-for-NeuromusculaAs a result, muscular strength may weaken, which can impact an individual’s quality of life. These are a group of medical conditions that can affect the muscles in the arms and legs or the heart and lungs. These conditions can even damage the nerves which control the muscles. 

  • These conditions can be inherited or non-hereditary. 
  • These diseases can even lead to certain other disabilities and impact new-born babies, children, and males and females alike.
  • One of the worst things is that these conditions are progressive, which means that the muscles can continue to gradually weaken over time.

These conditions are difficult to cure and impact an individual’s ability to live and function appropriately in daily life or while working. 

Symptoms and Causes 

Neuromuscular disorders affect the body’s nerves and muscles which can lead to discomfort and pain. This may impact a patient’s day-to-day life and can worsen over time. These disorders begin showing symptoms in the infant stage, when it is critical to diagnose and treat as soon as possible. 

In other cases, the disorder may develop in childhood or even adulthood. You should be aware of the symptoms to understand the severity of the condition. Here are a few common signs and symptoms that people diagnosed with these diseases may experience:

  • Muscle wasting
  • Difficulty maintaining balancing
  • Difficulty with swallowing
  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Numbness, tingling, or painful sensations in the extremities
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Tightening and freezing of the joints
  • Muscle weakness that can lead to twitching, cramps, chronic aches and pains

Causes – As mentioned above, the cause can be hereditary and genetic mutations may be present in an individual’s body since childhood. Several other causes may contribute to such disorders, such as environmental toxins or even certain bacterial infections.

These disorders can be classified into the following types:

  • Muscular dystrophy (MD): This type of disorder affects the structure of the muscle cells. 
  • Peripheral motor neuron diseases: This type of disorder may involve muscle-controlling nerve cells of the arms, legs, neck, and face. 
  • Myopathies: This type of disorder generally leads to muscle contraction, which can lead to inflammation of the muscles or related tissues.
  • Diabetic neuropathy – Diabetes can have severe consequences and can also harm the nerves of an individual. 
  • Metabolic diseases of the muscle: This type of disorder involves errors in metabolism in use of the body’s energy. 
  • Motor neuron diseases: This disorder can impact the nerve cells in the spinal cord. Spinal bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are some of the common conditions that may fall under this category.
  • Neuromuscular junction diseases: The disorder can lead to a condition such as Myasthenia gravis, impacting an individual’s ability to live normally. 

Possible Treatment and Cure Options

Currently, there is no cure for most neuromuscular diseases and disorders. Healthcare providers and scientists are conducting ongoing research to find a treatment for these conditions or that can help improve the diagnosis and treatment. 

At present, treatment is primarily focused on reducing the symptoms and managing the condition. An individual who is facing a disabling condition may wish to file a Disability Claim if the condition is expected to persist or has persisted for a year or more, or result in death. 

Here are some of the treatment options that help in reducing the symptoms. 

  1. Drug Therapy – Various drugs are effective and help in treating these diseases. Immunosuppressive drugs work as effective medicines and help control the symptoms and treat nerve diseases effectively. These drugs can also be used to treat the disorder of the nerve-muscle junctions and relieve nerve pain. 
  2. Neurological specialist – These symptoms may develop over time which can lead to critical situations. There may be times when an individual may have to undergo neurological surgery, thoracic surgery, orthopedic surgery, or other types of surgery. Regular assessment can, however, reduce these risks. Therefore, it is advised to consult a neurological specialist who can help diagnose the condition properly. 
  3. Patient and family educational counseling – Patients with these disorders should consider participating in individual and family educational sessions. Specific lifestyle changes will help prevent or reduce the symptoms and can support managing the condition. 

Can you get disability benefits for neuromuscular disease? 

If your condition is serious, you may want to consider applying for Disability for Neuromuscular Diseases. You may be eligible if your health condition prevents you from working. To be approved for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will evaluate your condition and the severity of the symptoms. 

Various neurological disorders are listed in the SSA’s Blue Book, including, myasthenia gravis, peripheral neuropathy, motor neuron disorders, muscular dystrophy, and more. All these conditions are covered under listing 11.00 in the Blue Book’s Listing of Impairments. 

Medical evidence required for Neurological disorder conditions

Medical evidence will be required to prove your diagnosis and establish entitlement to Disability Benefits for Neuromuscular Diseases. Your medical file should include a list of symptoms, a diagnosis, and current medications or treatments. These are some of the documents that you should have for a successful disability claim: 

  • Complete medical examination history
  • Electrophysiological report findings
  • Neurological examination findings
  • Neuroimaging and other tests such as an EEG or MRI
  • Daily notes of a patient’s progress and medications

Your condition must be severe enough to prevent you from performing basic work-related activities regularly to be granted benefits. 

Speaking with an experienced Attorney for Social Security Disability before filing a claim can be very helpful. They can help you obtain financial support for your health issues. A lawyer’s in-depth knowledge of the law, eligibility criteria and claims process can make the process smoother for you and improve your chances at a successful claim for benefits.