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Seizure disorders, Parkinson's Disease, Dementia and Hormone Deficience Accepted by Veterans Administration As Being Caused by a Traumatic Brain Injury

In recognition of the link between traumatic brain injury and the following medical conditions: seizures, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, depression and some hormonal deficiencies, the Department of Veterans Affairs have proposed new regulations to compensate veterans with these conditions.

The regulations are scheduled for publication in today’s edition of the Federal Register and list Parkinsonism, unprovoked seizures, certain dementias, depression and hormone deficiency diseases related to the hypothalamus, pituitary or adrenal glands as eligible for the expanded benefits.

The benefits are not limited to veterans injured in Afghanistan or Iraq.  Brain injury victims from prior conflicts can also claim these benefits if they can show their traumatic brain injury was service related.

Under the proposed rule, once a veteran can establish he or she was a victim of traumatic brain injury then these five conditions will be deemed connected to the brain injury with no further proof.

But, the proposed regulations do not go far enough.  The proposal only links these conditions to a traumatic brain injury if the TBI was originally classified as being “moderate” or “severe” 

There are also significant time restrictions requiring the illnesses become manifest following the brain injury within short periods of time. For hormonal deficiencies the time is one year, depression carriers a three year period for moderate or severe brain injury and a one year restriction for mild TBI. Dementia has a 15 year window.   

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