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Chronic Encephalomalacia/post-traumatic Encephalopathy


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#1 RockyA1911

 
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Posted 27 May 2006 - 06:39 PM

I have a report from the VA neurologist that diagnosed

"Post Traumatic Encephalopathy, this is (more probable than not) as a result of service connected open head injury (chronic encephalomalacia seen on MRI)."

He explained that it is old dried blood, dead or dying neurons, and dead tissue intermingled with live tissue and live neurons of the brain.

I'm trying to find out if this is something that warrants a claim and if so where exactly can I find it in the CFR 38 as rateable?

Is encephalomalacia the same as atrophy? I just found a good link for medical definitions and it said encephalomalacia is "Loss of tissue and/or softening of the brain due to injury, infarction, etc." It said it gets worse over time and with age.

There has to be some way to claim this as softening of the brain is no joking matter and causes increased cognitive disorders with more tissue dying all the time as the years go by.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

Semper Fi,

RockyA

Edited by RockyA1911, 27 May 2006 - 07:00 PM.


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#2 Hoppy

 
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Posted 27 May 2006 - 09:59 PM

RockyA

Stay on it. He could wind up 100% sooner than you would like. I had a freind with this same condition. I used to go to his doctors appointments with him. His doctor showed me the MRI's. The cognitive loss became very noticable. Short term memory loss was the big problem. He could not remember the last time he ate, took meds etc. He once was a nice dresser. After the symptoms started he would go days without bathing or changing his clothes. Social services came out because a neighbor complained that he was endanger. He did not want to be hospitalized and as long as he could remember where he lived social services would not force hospitalization.

Atrophy just means shrinking. It is pretty much the same as that big word they are using, encephalomalacia. That doctors report should get things rolling. File it with a formal claim, It sounds pretty strong. They could rate it on symptoms of a psychiatric condition due to organic brain injury. The DSM IV has provisions for medical conditions that cause cognitive loss. Get a psychiatric evaluation.

#3 Berta

 
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Posted 28 May 2006 - 07:22 AM

Ricky- this claim might help you-
this is a ratable condtion according to its affect-

http://www.va.gov/ve...es2/9214657.txt

It states:

"The veteran developed post-traumatic encephalopathy
following an inservice motorcycle accident which resulted in
a closed head injury. A rating board action of December
1986 granted service connection for post-traumatic
encephalopathy and assigned a 30 percent evaluation for this
disorder, effective November 8, 1986. This evaluation has
been confirmed and continued thereafter.

Under the criteria of Diagnostic Code 8045, a 10 percent
evaluation is the maximum assignable for complaints such as
headaches which are recognized as symptomatic of brain
trauma. Ratings in excess of 10 percent require utilization
of Diagnostic Code 9304 for nonpsychotic organic brain
syndrome with brain trauma. According to the criteria of
Diagnostic Code 9304, a 30 percent evaluation is warranted
for post-traumatic encephalopathy with symptoms which result
in definite impairment of social and industrial
adaptability. A 50 percent evaluation warrants
symptomatology which results in considerable impairment of
social and industrial adaptability. A 70 percent evaluation
requires severe impairment of social and industrial
adaptability."

This claim involves secondary conditions due to SC encephalopathy:


http://www.va.gov/ve...es4/9930148.txt

ORDER

An increased 100 percent rating for residuals of
encephalopathy with an anxiety disorder and headaches is
granted.

#4 RockyA1911

 
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Posted 28 May 2006 - 01:04 PM

Thanks both of you, that helped a lot! Hey Hoppy, I have had the psychiatric, psychology, neurology, and neuropsychology exams and evaluations already. I just put together a formal claim as an additional condition to my now pending claim conditions. I will send it off priority mail Tuesday morning. I have one more C&P exam June 7th for Tinnitus and hopefully I am done and they can get on with adjudicating my claim. I hope this new condition (that the neurologist proved existed since the injury occured in 1972) doesn't start the whole process all over again with the VA as I have been waiting 16 months already and now just awaiting the tinnitus thing. So far I have pending claims with completed exams with diagnosis of:

Skull Loss 4.5 x 4.5 cm
Cognitive Disorder, NOS
Mood Disorder, NOS
Depression, NOS
Chronic PTSD
Disfiguring Scar on head (surgical)
Skin Disorder, NOS
Post-Traumatic Encephalopathy

All of the above with the exception of skin disorder and PTSD are related to already service connected head injury of which I am currently rated at 10% Post concussion residuals. I sure hope they provide an increase of more than the 10% I am currently getting.

The skull loss was claimed in Nov 1976, evaluated and examined by the VA (VA documents as proof from C-File) but there was never an adjudication for it so that one is still considered a 30 year open claim even though it is documented in the same rating decision that awarded 10% for post concussion residuals, left temporal lobe, chronic due to brain trauma.

The VA Neuropsychologist stated that in a social and employment settings he is severly compromised and the civilian psychiatrist stated I am disabled and unemployable as a result of his condition.

Hopefully after the C&P for tinnitus in June I should hear something withing a few months from then, I hope.

Hoppy, I'm not going to get my hopes up as I know what the VA can do as far as rating claims. Two vets with identical conditions can leave one with 10% and the other 100% for the same conditions. Would a 100% be great, you betcha but good things like that never happen to me, but it would be very nice.

Thanks again all for the great info, it really helped me a lot.

Semper Fi,

Rocky

PS: Berta........again and again the name is Rocky not Ricky :^)!




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