VA makes 5 illnesses presumptive for TBI claims
By Patricia Kime
Posted : Friday Dec 7, 2012
The Veterans Affairs Department is proposing to add five medical conditions to a list of diseases that, if diagnosed in a patient with a brain injury received during military service, automatically would be presumed service-connected.
The proposed regulations change, expected to be published Monday in the Federal Register, would make it easier for afflicted veterans to receive benefits and health care from VA.
Illnesses under consideration include unprovoked seizures, symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, certain types of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and hormone deficiencies caused by changes of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands.
Service connection will depend in part on the severity of the traumatic brain injury and onset of the illness, which will be considered secondary to the TBI, according to VA.
Officials said the change was made based on a 2008 Institute of Medicine report that noted “sufficient evidence of an association” between the diseases and moderate and severe TBI, and in the case of depression, mild concussions.
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