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For those living with multiple sclerosis, every day brings challenges

Imagine waking up one day and having difficulty walking. The next day you may not even make it out of bed due to extreme fatigue and dizziness. For those living with multiple sclerosis, every day brings new surprises and challenges that can adversely impact an individual’s mental and psychological health.

MS is a disease that affects an individual’s central nervous system. The symptoms associated with MS are devastating and unpredictable. For an individual with MS, the disease disrupts signals the brain tries to send to different parts of the body. When these signals are disrupted; a host of painful, unpredictable and highly disruptive symptoms may present.

Scientists and medical researchers have yet to identify why certain people develop MS, but do know women are nearly 3 times more likely than men to develop MS. Genetic and environmental factors also play a role as well as certain health risks, such as smoking, which appear to marginally increase the likelihood that an individual will develop MS. There is also no cure for MS, although several medications exist today that help reduce the severity of common symptoms.

It can take years for an individual to be officially diagnosed with MS. Often; early symptoms are not consistent in nature and mimic those of other conditions or diseases. Prior to a formal diagnosis, an individual's health may continue to deteriorate to the point where he or she is unable to participate in everyday activities or hold a steady job.

Once a formal diagnosis has been made, those living with MS may qualify to receive Social Security disability benefits. The process of applying for SSD benefits requires the submission of extensive medical background information to prove an individual's disability is severe enough to warrant SSD eligibility. In many cases, an individual's application for SSD benefits may initially be denied. If this happens, it's wise to enlist the assistance of an attorney who handles SSD matters and can help ensure an individual begins receiving disability benefits as soon as possible.

Source: National Multiple Sclerosis Society, "MS News & Research," 2014

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