SSD and Neurological Disorders
The human body is pretty magnificent. From the heart that keeps the blood pumping to the joints that allow us to move, every part of the body is unique and fascinating. But the one thing that really ties it all together is the nervous system.
Understanding the Nervous System
The nervous system acts as the “electrical wiring” of the body. It is comprised of the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The CNS contains the brain and the spinal cord, while the PNS is made up of thousands of nerves that spread from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. Furthermore, each nerve in the PNS is made up of bundles of neurons. These neurons receive and send signals to the rest of the body.
For an example of how the nervous system works, imagine that you accidentally touch your hot stovetop while cooking dinner. The heat from the stovetop serves as a stimulus, and triggers the neurons in the nerves to send a message to the brain. The message travels through the spinal cord, and once it reaches the brain, the brain sends another message to the rest of the body, telling it how to reach to the stimulus. In this case, you’ll jerk your hand away from the stove and feel the pain of your new burn. This all happens in about 1/100 of a second!
This is a simple explanation, but the nervous system is very complex — and very important. Without the nervous system, it would be impossible for a person to properly react to the world around them. This is why neurological disorders can be so devastating. Neurological disorders are disorders that occur anywhere in the central nervous system, although many of them concern the brain and spinal cord.
The Many Types of Neurological Disorders
Two of the most well-known neurological disorders are Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder that primarily affects movements. ALS affects the motor neurons in the spinal cord, leading to problems with muscles, speech, and breathing. Both are progressive diseases, meaning that they get worse over time. No cure exists for either disease. Alzheimer’s disease, another type of degenerative brain disorders that causes cognitive decline, is also a neurological disease.
Aside from Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and ALS, other neurological disorders include:
- Muscular atrophy
- Multiple system atrophy, or Shy-Drager Syndrome
- Stiff Person Syndrome
- Multiple sclerosis
- Cerebral palsy
- Transverse myelitis
- Huntington’s disease
Seeking SSD Benefits for Neurological Disorders
Since many neurological disorders affect everyday functions, they can greatly impede a person’s ability to work. In these cases, they may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. For a neurological disorder to qualify for SSD, the condition must have lasted for 12 months, or be expected to last for 12 months. Additionally, the disorder must prevent the applicant from doing any work.
Neurological disorders can cause a person’s condition to rapidly deteriorate, which is why it’s important to seek help as soon as possible if you or a loved one is suffering from a neurological disorder and wants to receive SSD benefits.
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