Not every seizure disorder is related to epilepsy. Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures are emotionally-based seizures and have a tendency to go undiagnosed in veterans for much longer periods of time than civilians, according to an article in U.S. News & World Report. For those suffering from this disorder and not being properly diagnosed, valuable time can be lost from their veterans disability claim.
Despite psychogenic non-epileptic seizures having a vastly different origin than epileptic seizures, the physical manifestations of both, the seizures, appear to occur the same way. This means it is very difficult to tell the seizures from each apart from each other. Because that is the case, diagnosis of psychogenic non-epileptic seizures becomes very difficult.
A recent study examined 50 veterans and 50 civilians. Each had been diagnosed with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures. From the time when symptoms began manifesting themselves, it took an average of 5 years for veterans to receive their final diagnosis. It only took about 1 year for civilians. Almost 60% of veterans had their symptoms and seizures written off to being side effects of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), which can, under some circumstances, lead to epilepsy.
Researchers were able to offer very little explanation as to why there was such a long period of time of delayed diagnosis among veterans. One potential reason suggested was the lack of epilepsy monitoring units available at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers across the nation.
There are two main problems accompanying a mis-, or delayed, diagnosis. First, it can extend the veteran’s disability being untreated. Second, many veterans are initially given epilepsy medication, which not only do not help, they can cause very serious side effects.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability attorney from LaVan & Neidenberg is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veterans disability rights firm today – 1-888-234-5758.