Multiple Sclerosis: Who’s at Risk and Why

Multiple Sclerosis RiboonMultiple Sclerosis (MS) is often a debilitating disease of the central nervous system. A person’s immune system attacks the protective covering—the myelin—of the body’s nerve fibers and disrupts communication between your brain and other parts of your body. Ultimately, MS can cause the deterioration of the nerves, and they can be damaged permanently. There's not a known cure for this progressive neurological disease.

People who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis can experience a variety of symptoms depending on which nerves are damaged and how badly. MS can affect a person’s motor functions and disrupt his ability to walk, stand, and hold objects.

An MS patient may experience visual problems, fatigue, and even mental impairment. However, some people with MS may be in remission for long periods of time.

Because MS can be significantly disabling, the Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes this condition in the Neurological section of its Blue Book listing of impairments. However, to better understand the requirements for receiving benefits, you may want to enlist the help of a Social Security Disability lawyer to assist you with your claim.

Research Findings About MS And Who’s At Risk

It’s possible to develop Multiple Sclerosis at any age, but most patients are diagnosed between ages 20–40. MS is considered to be the most common disabling neurological condition of young adults, according to an article cited by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

It’s estimated that over 400,000 America have MS with approximately 200 new cases diagnosed each week, and approximately 2.5 million suffer from this condition around the world.

Although the cause of MS is unknown, researchers have found some interesting statistics about the disease, including:

  • There is a 2–to–1 ratio of women with MS to men.
  • While not an inherited disease, researchers do believe some people may have a predisposition to developing MS. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, approximately 15 percent of people with MS have a relative or a family member with the condition. If the patient is an identical twin, there is a one in three chance for the disease to affect the other sibling.
  • Some researchers believe that MS may be caused by an environmental or viral factor combined with the predisposition for the disease.
  • People with autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, thyroid disease, and Type 1 diabetes may have a slightly higher risk of developing MS.
  • Researchers are studying other infections such as Epstein-Barr and varicella-zoster to see if there’s an association between them and MS.
  • There is a higher rate of MS in areas farthest from the equator.
  • The rate of MS is two times higher in people who live in northern states above the 37th parallel.
  • MS is more prevalent in people who live in colder climates.
  • Native Americans, Africans, and Asians have the lowest risk of developing MS, while those of Northern European descent have the highest risk.

We Can Help You File for MS Disability

If you have MS, obtaining disability benefits can be challenging, especially for younger patients. It’s important that you provide the Social Security Administration with strong, specific medical evidence about the symptoms of your condition that limit your ability to perform routine, daily tasks and makes it impossible for you to work. You can strengthen your claim with a neurologist’s diagnosis that corroborates your record of symptoms cited by your primary care physician.

To fully understand the application process and the requirements to qualify for MS disability, hiring a Social Security (SS) disability attorney to advocate on your behalf can increase your chances of receiving an approved claim.

If you or a family member suffers from MS and you want to learn more about SS benefits, the attorneys at Cuddigan Law can offer experienced, skilled assistance to help you get the financial support you need and deserve. Cuddigan Law handles SS disability claims for clients who need help with their applications or the appeals process if their claim was denied. We are here to help you.

Contact us online or call us directly at 402.933.5405.

 

 
Sean D. Cuddigan
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska