Cerebral ischemia can occur if blood flow to the brain is reduced, causing permanent cell damage in the brain. Claimants who have cerebral ischemia may suffer from a variety of neurological conditions and symptoms.
Medical experts suggest that the condition has a variety of causes which can include:
- Thrombus – a thrombus is a blood clot within the brain which blocks the blood flow to the brain, eliminating the necessary oxygen and energy for the brain to function properly.
- Irregular heart rate- claimants who suffer from an irregular heart rate may also experience disruptions in blood flow which can lead to cerebral ischemia. According to the Maryland Medical Center, the most common irregular heart rhythm associated with cerebral ischemia us atrial fibrillation, which is the rapid beating of the upper chambers of the heart.
- Injury to blood vessels within the brain- Injury to major vessels in the brain can be caused by injury to the neck or head. Damage to arteries can cause symptoms which include loss of consciousness and confusion.
- Disease- There is a variety of diseases which can cause narrowing of the arteries and can lead to loss of blood flow to the brain. Common diseases can include polyarteritis and granulomatous angitis which cause inflammation in the arteries.
Symptoms of Cerebral Ischemia
Some claimants who suffer from cerebral ischemia may have temporary symptoms which can be corrected with adequate medication or treatment. If the lack of blood flow is permanent or the damage it has caused is permanent the claimant may experience weakness on one side of the body, numbness, and visual loss.
Symptoms are too severe to work?
The main consideration for any condition, including cerebral ischemia, which is evaluated by the Social Security Administration (SSA), is whether or not the claimant is able to work (although there are conditions on the SSA Listing of Impairments which are so severe the SSA will automatically assume the claimant does not have the ability to work). So the first issue, before you apply for SSDI or SSI, is whether or not you are able to work full-time. If you can work, the SSA will determine you are NOT disabled, regardless of the severity of your conditions.
If you are not working the SSA will determine if your condition meets or equals a listing on the SSA Listing of Impairments. For cerebral ischemia the SSA will evaluate your condition under 11.00 Neurological. If you can prove your condition “meets or exceeds” a listing you should win benefits immediately, assuming you meet the nonmedical requirements of the Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs.
What if Cerebral Ischemia does not meet a listing?
If your condition and the corresponding symptoms do not equal a listing you may be able to win SSDI benefits but you will have to prove that your symptoms do not leave you with the ability to perform what the SSA calls substantial gainful activity. This evaluation is done through what is termed a medical vocational allowance. It will be much easier for older claimants (55 years and older) to prove they do not have the ability to retrain for new work. Talk to a disability lawyer if you have questions.
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