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Multiple Sclerosis

It is certainly tragic news for anyone to find out that they have Multiple Sclerosis (MS). We have a great deal of experience dealing with MS cases, and we know that it can be difficult to deal with, but we are here to help.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, which in turn causes a loss of muscle control, balance, and vision, as well as numbness. This disease is caused by one’s own immune system becoming confused with which cells to attack. Rather than fighting off bacteria and other harmful cells in the body, the immune system goes after the body’s normal, and essential, tissues. In this case, the immune system attacks the brain and spinal cord. The nerves become broken down as a result of this tissue becoming weakened, and eventually may cause the brain to be unable to send signals at all. This is obviously very serious. The cause(s) for this are unknown, simply because doctors do not know why a person’s immune system would damage necessary tissue.

The first symptoms that the majority of patients show are a tingling, loss of balance, weakness in one or multiple limbs, or blurred vision. Eventually, the patient will most likely experience fatigue, which is the most common sign of MS. Other factors such as dizziness, impaired ability to think (such as memory loss), speech problems, or tremors have also been documented, and are also symptoms of MS.

A test for diagnosing MS unfortunately does not exist. But, there are criteria that have been compiled by doctors and neurologists over the years that can aid in figuring out what is wrong with a patient. There are a lot of other conditions that are very similar to MS, but without the onslaught it produces. This makes it very problematic for doctors to accurately conclude their findings. However, there are ways to find this disease and its symptoms, such as having an MRI, which can show the changes the MS has made in the body. Another option is something doctors call ‘Evoked Potentials,’ which are electrical tests of the pathways of nerves. This test can show if any pathways have been damaged as a result of MS.

Treating a disease like this has been made possible by the efforts of countless dedicated doctors and neurologists. There are drugs doctors prescribe that slow the progression of MS, although they cannot cure the condition. Drug therapy and physical therapy are the most common treatments.

Social Security defines “work” as an eight hour a day, five-day week endeavor. As in most Social Security Disability claims, the judge’s decision really boils down to whether or not he or she believes that you can perform the basic functions of work (concentrating, interacting appropriately with people encountered in the workplace, etc.). The fact that a claimant can only perform these basic functions sporadically, but not consistently, is the basis for the large majority of successful Social Security Disability claims.

We have represented many people with this disorder; what we have found is that clients who are truly unable to work and who participate in their care by following their doctors’ orders, and who are truly trying to get better but just cannot, are usually successful in their claim for Social Security disability benefits.

We hope this article has helped you in more ways than one. Although it’s a lot of information to process, and we certainly understand your concerns, we aim to only assist you in these hard times you are likely facing. You are more than welcome to call our office if you have any other inquiries, or concerns you’d like to discuss. Again, we want you to know that while having serious medical conditions may certainly be tough, we believe our clients are tougher. When we take a case it’s because we believe in you, and we will fight for you.

Some suggested articles for further reading:

1. http://www.msassociation.org/

2. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/multiplesclerosis.html

3. http://www.barackobama.com/issues/healthcare/

4. http://www.barackobama.com/issues/disabilities/