Parkinson’s disease is a nervous system disorder that deteriorates a person’s ability to control their movement over time. Parkinson’s disease can be difficult to initially detect as it progresses slowly and some of the initial symptoms may be overlooked. Unfortunately, there is currently no known cure for Parkinson’s disease, but there are some ways to slow the development of the disease.
Parkinson’s and Camp Lejeune
Individuals who were stationed at Camp Lejeune from the 1950s – 1980s may have used contaminated drinking water at the base. In fact, the water at Camp Lejeune has been linked to a variety of harmful chemicals, including:
- Vinyl Chloride
These toxic chemicals can lead to an array of disabilities for Veterans. One of the disabilities associated with Camp Lejeune water exposure is Parkinson’s. In fact, Veterans who were at Camp Lejeune during the specified timeframe and have Parkinson’s are presumptively service connected. This means they do not need to prove to the VA that their Parkinson’s was caused by service. Instead, the VA presumes that it was.
Initial signs of Parkinson’s disease can be difficult to notice because they do not all come at once and can be very subtle, sometimes mistaken for simple aging. Parkinson’s disease also affects everyone differently, adding to the uncertainty of some of the early symptoms. Some of the early symptoms may include:
- Trembling fingers or hands
- Slow movement
- Muscle stiffness
- Improper posture or imbalance
- Loss of automatic movements (blinking, smiling, swinging arms when walking)
- Speech impediments
- Difficulty writing
Parkinson’s disease is caused when certain neurons in the brain break down and no longer fulfill their purpose. This loss of cell function can be attributed to things like unlucky genetics or environmental factors.
Environmental factors could mean anything that happens to you or that you are exposed to throughout the course of your life. It usually means harmful chemicals, like toxic water at Camp Lejeune. Although the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease after exposure to certain chemicals is small, it is still possible.
Military personnel are exposed to harmful chemicals that may contribute to the development of Parkinson’s disease. Specific instances of exposure to harmful chemicals include contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Chemical exposure can lay dormant within the body for years before surfacing.
If you or a loved one served in the military and believe you were exposed to chemicals that may have led to you Parkinson’s disease, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) is responsible for paying compensation for your disease. Logically, if you had never served in the military, you would not have been exposed to the chemicals that triggered your Parkinson’s disease. This means you never would have contracted Parkinson’s if you weren’t in the military, and more specifically, Camp Lejeune.
Claiming benefits for conditions like Parkinson’s disease is nothing to be ashamed of; in fact, it is quite common. Many may think that disability benefits should go only to those that took bullet wounds, but Veterans can claim benefits for a multitude of conditions such as PTSD, Parkinson’s disease, sleep apnea, cancer, and a plethora of other ailments.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease due to your time at Camp Lejeune and have been denied disability benefits, call our team today. Berry Law consists of a talented team of VA attorneys, many of whom have served in the military themselves. Call our firm today for a free consultation to see how we can work with you to get compensation for your Parkinson’s disease.