The SSA does not specifically recognize cerebral atrophy in its listing of impairments. However, many of the underlying causes of cerebral atrophy are listed.
Cerebral atrophy means shrinkage and a loss of connection between neurons. Some degree of cerebral atrophy, or brain tissue atrophy, is a normal part of aging.
Some degree of cerebral atrophy, or brain tissue atrophy, is a normal part of aging.
Cerebral atrophy means shrinkage and a loss of connection between neurons. The brain reaches its peak size around age 25, and then begins to gradually shrink. After age 60, the average person loses .5 to 1 percent of brain volume. In most cases, this does not noticeably affect cognitive function. Cognitive testing shows older people perform just as well, and in some cases better, than young people. Abnormal cerebral atrophy, however, can have a noticeable influence on comprehension and memory. Cerebral atrophy at an accelerated rate, especially at a younger age, is generally a sign of a serious disorder.
Cerebral atrophy is most associated with age-related mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. However, any condition that affects brain tissue can cause cerebral atrophy:
- Tissue-destroying diseases
Cerebral palsy, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy can all contribute to brain shrinkage.
- Poor Nutrition
Dietary disorders such as malnutrition, anorexia, bulimia, or even diabetes can result in cerebral atrophy. Alcohol use is another major cause of cerebral atrophy, and one study has shown as few as two drinks a day may increase the risk of cerebral atrophy.
- Mental illness
Interestingly, psychological disorders such as depression, PTSD and bipolar disorder can cause physical changes in the brain, including brain tissue atrophy.
Cerebral atrophy can be reversible in some cases, depending on the underlying cause.
In cases of alcoholism and malnutrition, the brain is usually capable of regrowth under more healthy conditions. Similarly, those suffering from mental disorders often recover, at least partly, from brain atrophy when they begin to recover from their psychological condition. In cases where the underlying cause cannot be reversed- such as multiple sclerosis- brain atrophy can only mitigated. A healthy diet high in omega-3s, a regimented exercise program, and a high-level of social interaction are all helpful in reducing cerebral atrophy.
If you have cerebral atrophy, you may be eligible for Long Term Disability (LTD) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
The Social Security Administration does not specifically recognize cerebral atrophy in its listing of impairments. However, many of the underlying causes of cerebral atrophy are listed. Some of those conditions, such as Lou Gehrig’s disease and Parkinson’s, are even eligible for compassionate allowances- a program that pays applicants benefits before their application is processed. Additionally, depending on what part of the brain is affected, cerebral atrophy can be cause of Aphasia. Aphasia is a severe impairment of the language center of the brain which can result in an inability to speak, read or write. Loss of ability to speak does qualify for benefits under the bluebook. Even if an applicant’s brain tissue atrophy is not the cause or effect of a listed condition, they may still qualify for benefits under medical equivalence.
The disability attorneys at Bemis, Roach and Reed have experience helping Texans claim Social Security and Long Term Disability benefits. Our Austin offices service central Texas including Travis county, Bexar county, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Dallas and Houston. If you live in central Texas and are unable to work due to an injury or illness, contact our attorneys for a free consultation.
Most initial Social Security Disability claims are denied. Long Term Disability Insurance also denies most claims upfront. If you have been denied benefits, having an attorney to help appeal your case can help you win the support you need. Call 512-454-4000 and get help NOW.
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