The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has issued a proposed rule  to make it easier for veterans to receive health care and compensation for certain illnesses, including parkinsonism, dementia, and depression, which have been linked to traumatic brain injury (TBI).
The proposed rule cites an Institute of Medicine report  referencing three research studies supporting a connection between the development of parkinsonisms and TBI. PAN applauds the VA's effort to keep up on the latest science in this dynamic area and will be submitting comments to support the proposal.
The Parkinson's community has a successful track record in weighing in on expanded access to VA benefits and we're asking you to amplify our message. Please show your support for veterans by submitting comments by the February 8 filing deadline. Each comment will be recorded and counted!
Why This is Important:
More than 80,000 veterans living with Parkinson's disease receive care and assistance from the VA. Research supports a link between head injury and the development of Parkinson's.
How to Submit Your Comments:
Go to the comment form .
Enter your name, and share your support for this proposed rule. Feel free to use some of the language below to help guide you in your own comments.
Suggested Comment Text:
As a member of the Parkinson's community, I applaud the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) proposal to designate parkinsonism, depression, and dementia as service-connected for veterans who experienced a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) during their service.
Parkinson's is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease, which affects an estimated 500,000 to 1.5 million Americans. More than 80,000 veterans living with Parkinson's disease currently receive care and assistance from the VA and recent studies show a connection between TBI and parkinsonisms, including Parkinson's disease.
I also support the VA's effort to ensure all who deserve access to critical benefits have it. As the proposed rule states, research supports a link between head injury and parkinsonism. I encourage the VA to continue to review research to assess whether it supports extending eligibility for these benefits to veterans who experience any TBI, not just those classified as moderate or severe.