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Genetics may be cause of autism, study finds
Posted September 28, 2015
Autism may be caused by genetics, a study found.

Autism may be caused by genetics, a study found.

It is estimated that autism spectrum disorder affects 1 in 68 children, but there is still confusion about where and how it originates. One study has found that autism may be caused by genetic mutations.

A study from researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, looked at how gene-disrupting mutations play a role in the development of autism. These disruptions come at the beginning of a child’s life and many have thought they play a role in development of the disorder.

Lead author and CSHL assistant professor Ivan Iossifov found the genes that contribute to autism likely have fewer mutations than most other human genes. This is different from the idea that more genetic mutations are the cause of autism.

The study was able to find a list of 200 of the most likely genes related to autism.

While this data may not help a family who has a child suffering from autism, it is a great step toward future discoveries and future treatments of this disorder.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Harold W. Conick & Associates have successfully represented numerous children affected by autism.

It is very important to have complete medical records. These help support the diagnosis and witness observations of the daily behavior and functionality of the child in order to successfully claim social security disability benefits from the federal government.

Vitamin D, melatonin may prove fruitful in fight against MS
Posted September 21, 2015

Multiple sclerosis can be tough on those who suffer from it. At the Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates, we see clients who experience weakness, numbness, thinking problems, urinary problems and more from this terrible disease.

This is why we were glad to see new research from McGill University in Montreal that shows vitamin D, produced by light, and melatonin, produced in response to darkness, may help prevent and ease the symptoms of MS.

Helping reduce symptoms can be important while applying for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.

Research from the university, printed in PLOS Medicine in August, shows that a decreased level of vitamin D may lead to an increased risk of MS.

Brent Richards, a genetic epidemiologist at McGill, said those who have family who suffer should start taking more vitamin D as soon as possible via oral supplement.

The research also found that patients with lower levels of melatonin have a greater number of MS relapses. Melatonin can help produce anti-inflammatory immune cells and prevent inflammatory cells from forming, according to the study.

While this may seem like a small step toward solving the riddle that is MS, it is essential for clients applying for disability benefits to educate themselves on the disease and visit doctors. This will go a long way toward proving the case to the SSA.

300,000 veterans die waiting for their benefits, VA reports
Posted September 16, 2015
Too many veterans die while waiting for their VA benefits.

Too many veterans die while waiting for their VA benefits.

It’s not right.

That’s likely the first thought to come to mind for every American to read a recent report from the Department of Veterans Affairs’ inspector general. The report stated that more than 300,000 American military veterans likely died while waiting for their healthcare.

To add to the pain, the report continues that “nearly twice as many are still waiting” for their veterans benefits.

The inspector general’s report cites severe problems with veterans’ enrollment data, making it difficult to determine how many veterans were looking for healthcare for the VA and how many actively are now. The VA said there are “data limitations” to finding this information.

To make matters worse, the inspector general’s report said there were “thousands” of unprocessed healthcare applications marked as completed. An additional 10,000 electronic transactions, possibly more, were erroneously deleted.

The fact of the matter is this: our troops deserve better. They put their lives on the line on a daily basis while in battle and should be treated well physically, mentally and emotionally upon their return home to the U.S.

It’s no secret that the VA has trouble with proper treatment of our veterans, as it has also had a VA backlog of tens of thousands of cases for years. This can only be called a national shame.

In order to have their claim adjudicated, it is important for veterans with claims to appeal any adverse decisions themselves or through legal counsel. Our office stands ready to help veterans with their claims against the VA for benefits.

Blocking memory pathway may prevent PTSD
Posted September 03, 2015

A medical breakthrough may help those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the University of Colorado Boulder.

Blocking a memory pathway that encodes traumatic memories in those who are stressed could help prevent PTSD altogether, professors from this school have found.

About 8 million Americans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that PTSD affects about one-third of veterans who return home from war, including 11 percent of those returning from Afghanistan.

Michael Baratta, PhD, of the University of Colorado Boulder, researched the amygdala, a part of the brain that encodes painful memories. The research appeared in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

After testing mice, the doctors discovered serotonin promoted memory consolidation, which converted short-term memories into long-term memories stored in the brain. Blocking the amygdala cells interaction with the serotonin meant the mice in this study did not develop PTSD. They believe this could also work in humans suffering with PTSD.

Researchers believe the drug agomelatine, an antidepressant, may be able to help those with PTSD. While this may be an exciting discovery, it is imperative that veterans who believe they are suffering with PTSD get treatment as soon as possible.

While many receive veterans benefits, the mental anguish is not worth it. For many, a cure or treatment would be considered a miracle.

The law offices of Harold W. Conick & Associates, Ltd. are experts in presenting evidence of PTSD and stand ready and able to assist veterans in pursuit of their benefits.

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