In the human circulatory system, arteries carry oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. After the oxygen has been delivered to its destination in the other organs and the extremities, the veins return the now oxygen-poor blood to the lungs, where it can be re-oxygenated. In the legs, contractions of the muscles force the blood upward toward the heart, against the pull of gravity. Small one-way valves in the veins prevent the blood from flowing backward down into the legs so it can make the return trip to the lungs for more oxygen. Sometimes these valves fail, causing blood to pool in… Continue reading
We all need to reach out directly to Members of Congress as soon as possible in support of adequate appropriations for the Social Security Administration (SSA). As you know, SSA’s disability hearings backlog is now at record levels, with over 1 million people waiting over 575 days, on average. The human cost of this backlog is horrific as people with disabilities struggle to pay their bills, get the supports and services they need, and make ends meet while waiting. Without adequate funding, this crisis will only become more severe.
President Obama has requested funding for 2017 that would allow Social… Continue reading
What exactly is connective tissue disease? Connective tissue diseases are referred to as a group of medical diseases. A connective tissue disease has a primary target of the connective tissues of the body. The connective tissues are the structural portions of our body that essentially hold the body together. These tissues form a framework for the body.
Because many connective tissue diseases feature abnormal immune system activity with inflammation, the disease targets one’s own body tissues (autoimmunity). Whatever the feature, it can be a very debilitating condition that can affect every aspect of an individual’s life.
The autoimmune connective tissue… Continue reading
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neuro-developmental disorder that affects how the brain processes information. Symptoms of Autism vary in both type and degree and can develop gradually, but the condition is usually recognized by age three, and often sooner. An infant with autism does not react to social stimulation with healthy behavior such as babbling, laughing, smiling, or making eye contact. Instead, an infant with autism may show a marked inability to interact, and often begins to show signs of repetitive or limited behavior.
There are three disorders in the “Autism spectrum:” Autism, Asperger Syndrome (AS), and Pervasive Developmental… Continue reading
Tourette’s syndrome is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary physical movements or vocal sounds. These actions may include kicking, facial tics, sudden jerking movements, shouts, grunts, or many other fits. In some cases, the symptoms can be quite severe, including involuntary jumping or biting, and can put the individual’s safety and well-being in danger.
There are many symptoms that an individual with Tourette’s syndrome may suffer from that can prevent that individual from maintaining full-time work activity. The inability to work can lead to significant financial distress. Fortunately, in some cases, Social Security Disability benefits can help alleviate some of… Continue reading
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is required to periodically review the case of every person who is receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. This process is called a “continuing disability review” (CDR) and is intended to identify recipients who might no longer qualify as disabled. If, during a CDR, Social Security finds that your medical condition has improved enough so that you can work, your Social Security benefits will end. Some of these CDR’s are intended to identify fraud as well.
SSA has set aside $8,000,000 to conduct these reviews. Individuals may have been… Continue reading
What exactly is peripheral neuropathy? Peripheral neuropathy occurs when there is damage to the peripheral nerves, the nerves that carry messages to and from the spinal cord and brain from the rest of the body. When peripheral neuropathy is caused by diabetes mellitus (a common cause), it is called diabetic neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy can also be caused by other metabolic disorders, herpes zoster, HIV, nutritional deficiencies, toxins, cancer (directly or indirectly as a side effect of chemotherapy or radiation), immune disorders, or genetic disorders. Whatever the cause, peripheral neuropathy can be a very debilitating condition that can affect every aspect… Continue reading
Psoriasis, also termed, ‘psoriasis vulgaris,’ is a common, chronic, relapsing/remitting, immune-mediated skin disease characterized by red, scaly patches, papules, and plaques, which usually itch. The skin lesions associated with psoriasis may vary in severity from minor localized patches to, at its worst, complete body coverage.
The disease affects 2-4% of the population and often runs in families. The patches range in size and most commonly appear on the knees, elbows, scalp, hands, feet, and lower back. These red plaques usually itch and are often painful and sometimes bleed.
Psoriasis currently has no cure but there are medical treatments that help.… Continue reading
Adult Onset Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a relatively rare degenerative brain disorder that is inherited. The symptoms of the disease usually appear in adults in their 30s or 40s, and once present, progress rapidly, causing a wide range of ever-worsening symptoms that eventually leads to death. As a highly aggressive, untreatable, and terminal condition, HD is among the conditions that are part of the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) Compassionate Allowances (CAL) program, a disability initiative designed to get benefits to those who need them most and in as short of a time as possible.
HD is the most common genetic… Continue reading
Hearing Loss – Condition and Symptoms
A person hears when sound waves inside the ear are converted into nerve signals that are recognized by the brain as sound. The eardrum and three bones in the middle ear amplify sound vibrations as they travel to the inner ear. Inside the inner ear is the cochlea, which contains fluid and to which are attached tiny hairs that translate the vibrations to electrical signals which in turn stimulate the brain to hear sound. When these hairs are damaged, the electrical signals are not transmitted effectively, and Hearing Loss may result. Hearing Loss is… Continue reading