Indiana Social Security Disability Attorneys for Neurocognitive Disorders

Neurocognitive disorders, commonly known as dementia, involve abnormalities of the brain that affect thinking, memory, and even mood or personality. If you have a loved one with a neurocognitive disorder, you know how devastating it can be. For a family member not to recognize you or even to be scared of you can be heartbreaking.

If your loved one suffers from a neurocognitive disorder, he or she may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. Our firm can help you navigate this difficult time and help you apply for benefits. Call the Indiana Social Security Disability attorneys of Hankey Law Office at (317) 634-8565 today for a free consultation.

Why You Need a Lawyer

The Social Security Administration (SSA) makes it difficult for people to apply for benefits. Their long forms are complicated, and if even one answer is filled out incorrectly, the whole application can be denied.

Social Security Disability(SSD) attorneys are intimately familiar with the SSA application process. Our team of SSD attorneys can help you with your or a loved one’s claim for benefits. We have extensive experience navigating the complicated forms and applications SSA requires and know exactly what to do to help you.

If you or a loved one have been denied benefits, we may be able to help you, too. Don’t be discouraged if your application was denied. There may be more that you can do. Let our Hankey Law Office attorneys review your case and help you appeal the denial.

What Are Neurocognitive Disorders?

Although neurocognitive disorders were formerly classified as dementia, the DSM-V now lists dementia as an umbrella term that encompasses both major and minor neurocognitive disorders. Neurocognitive disorders are usually progressive and impair the sufferer’s daily life and ability to function independently.

Some signs of a neurocognitive disorder include:

  • Short-term memory problems
  • Not recognizing people they know
  • Frequently losing purse or keys
  • Failing to remember obligations or appointments
  • Misuse of words
  • Problems walking
  • Inability to pay attention
  • Decrease in awareness of social cues

Major neurocognitive disorder is evidenced by a decline from the previous level of cognitive performance in the areas of attentiveness, decision-making, planning skills, learning, memory, social interactions, or language. This decline interferes with a person’s ability to live independently and complete daily life functions. To qualify as a major neurocognitive disorder, these symptoms must not be caused by a mental disorder such as schizophrenia or by a major depressive disorder. The symptoms may also be accompanied by behavior changes, such as mood changes, agitation, apathy, or psychotic symptoms.

Minor neurocognitive disorders are evidenced by a slight decline from the previous level of cognitive performance in the areas of attentiveness, decision-making, planning skills, learning, memory, social interactions, or language. While these symptoms do not interfere with a person’s ability to live independently, they may cause the affected individual to have to use greater effort in these day-to-day activities. In order to be classified as a minor neurocognitive disorder, the symptoms must not be better explained by a mental disorder.

Types of Neurocognitive Disorders

Some types of neurocognitive disorders are reversible, while others are permanent. Causes of permanent neurocognitive disorders include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease – This disease is the most common cause of neurocognitive disorders. It affects levels of proteins in the brain and makes it difficult for brain cells to communicate with each other.
  • Huntington’s disease – This fatal and inherited disease usually appears when a person is in their thirties or forties. It causes certain nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to deteriorate, resulting in cognitive decline and physical impairment.
  • Lewy body disease – This disease is caused by deposits of protein in the brain called Lewy bodies that affect a person’s thinking, memory, movement, and behavior.
  • Parkinson’s disease – This disease affects a person’s movement and speech. A person may begin to have tremors or move more slowly and may slur their speech. This disease is caused by a breakdown of neurons that produce dopamine in your brain.
  • Traumatic brain injury – Injuries involving the brain disrupt normal brain function. When the disruption is severe enough, it has been shown that a person is more likely to develop different types of neurocognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, later in life.

Neurocognitive disorders can sometimes be treated, and the effects reversed. Some causes of potentially reversible neurocognitive disorders include:

  • Hypoxia – Lack of oxygen to the brain can result in neurocognitive symptoms. The symptoms can dissipate once normal oxygen flow is restored.
  • Infections – The body’s attempt to fight off infection through fever or other immune processes can result in neurocognitive symptoms.
  • Medication reactions – Neurocognitive symptoms can result from allergic reactions to certain drugs.
  • Nutritional deficiencies – A lack of vitamins B-1, B-6, or B-12, as well as dehydration, can result in confusion and other cognitive symptoms.
  • Poisoning – Recreational drugs and alcohol can result in cognitive symptoms. Exposure to high levels of metal or other poisons can also result in these symptoms.
  • Subdural hematoma – A subdural hematoma occurs when there is bleeding between the brain and the brain cover. This bleeding and the subsequent pressure on the brain can result in cognitive symptoms.
  • Brain tumors – Occasionally, a brain tumor can cause cognitive symptoms.

Contact Our Experienced Social Security Disability Attorneys Today

This can be an incredibly stressful time in your and your family’s lives. Don’t suffer through it alone. Call our Social Security Disability attorneys today at (317) 634-8565 for help. We will deal with the SSA for you, and we can help you with all aspects of the application process. Call Hankey Law Office today for a free consultation.