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08/28/2010 03:04 PM

Are you a veteran?`

Julian
Posts: 11
New Member

I have been trying for a year to get the VA to recognize MG as a service connected disability (SCD), regardless of how long after separation from service it takes to manifest.MG is recognized as a SCD provided it manifests within one year of separation. Due to the difficulties in diagnosing, I believe it can take much longer, years in fact, before it is correctly diagnosed.

Let me hear from all you vets who have MG.

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08/29/2010 08:03 AM
Hoz
Hoz  
Posts: 81
Member

Greetings Julian,Smile

I am not a veteran or have never been associated with any wars or anything to do with the military. I have done alot of homework on MG since I was diagnosed with it this past January and have went thru a life altering crisis in March. I would be very interested in hearing any thing as far as facts or studies that would show that this disease is related to any type of Service Connected Disibility(SCD. I have never read anything about that anywhere. Maybe others in this group have heard or read about this but I always thought this was a neuro & immune disease that was due to lack of certain chemicals in the body. I have never heard of it from any military or chemical exposure or combat stress or military experiments point of view though.

I would be very interested in seeing any published articles or studies on this subject.

Thanks in Advance Smile

Stay Well Smile

Hoz


08/29/2010 09:26 AM
Julian
Posts: 11
New Member

Thanks for your questions.

MG is already recognized as a SCD provided it is diagnosed within one year of separation from service. This is the same as was true for ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) until last year. After considerable work and lobbying by a victim of ALS, it was recognized by the VA as a SCD regardless of when it was diagnosed if the patient had over 90 days continuous service. This was based on a statistical study by the NIH which showed veterans had a higher incidence of ALS than the general population. We are trying to get the NIH to do a similar study on MG. One of the major problems in diagnosing MG as you know is to get a physician who knows enough about the condition to recognize its symptoms and to do the tests necessary for an accurate diagnosis. That was true in my case. I have severe Agent Orange exposure and as a result have 100% VA disability for that exposure. I suggest that the MG may also be a result of that exposure. (emphasis on MAY).

JC


08/29/2010 11:56 AM
Hoz
Hoz  
Posts: 81
Member

Greetings Julian,

Thank you for your response. After posting my initial post to you, I did some Google searches and indeed did find MG on the SCD list. I guess I still have alot to learn about this disease. Like I said, I'm not a veteran or have never been in the service but would like to take this time to "Thank You" very much for your service to our worderfull free country and helping protect all the people in it. Smile

Best Wishes Smile

Stay Well Smile

Hoz


08/31/2010 07:11 PM
mem9478

Hello Julian, I would like to thank you, as well, for your service.

There are hundreds of immunotoxicologic reports out there that will confirm chemically-induced myasthenia gravis, i.e, neuromuscular blocking agents (agent orangeErmm Sad ) being number one on the list for unmasking this condition.

MG can take 15 minutes, or, 20 years or more, to diagnose. Hopefully, Vet or two will contact you soon.


09/29/2011 01:48 PM
bluestocking
Posts: 1
New Member

Julian,

I see that your post about service related MG is just over a year old. Have you had any success? My husband, a former Army medic, was diagnosed a couple decades after he left the service, and we're exploring Agent Orange connections. Would be interested to hear about your progress or lack of it.

Thanks so much.


11/01/2011 09:52 PM
VietnamVet
Posts: 15
New Member

I'm a Vietnam Vet with MG. There is no evidence that Agent Orange causes this disease. However, organophosphates is a causative and it was in the malathion insecticide sprays used in the Central Highlands from Oct 1966 to Dec 1971. The spray was to combat mosquitoes because so many GI's were coming down with malaria. The way the regulations work is that if a Nam Vet was diagnosed with MG within 1 year of service in Vietnam, it is compensable otherwise, it is not. There were plenty of chemicals sprayed on Vietnam Vets but the only one recognized is Agent Orange. Gulf War Vets qualify for MG but not Vietnam Vets. Doesn't seem right but that's the way it is at present.

11/02/2011 08:22 AM
mem9478

Hello Vietnam Vet, Smile You are correct when you state there is no evidence that Agent Orange can "cause" MG; we are still uncertain of the cause. However, it is well-documented that these chemicals can "unmask" MG.

To limit the diagnosis of MG within one year of service indicates to me a lack of understanding of this condition. You said, "It doesn't seem right..." It isn't!

saluting you...


11/02/2011 08:52 AM
VietnamVet
Posts: 15
New Member

The best friend and Agent Orange spokesman we had is dead: Admiral Zumwalt. One of the problems of the chemicals of mass destruction was settling in on a single barrel: orange. There were many chemicals sprayed over there and the government homed in on only one and then did inadequate studies or no studies on the others.

One of the issues never fully investigated was how the chemicals affected the immune system of which the thymus plays an important role. Since malathion was sprayed so liberally (1.6 million liters in 5 years), the effect isn't immediate as it, like Agent Orange, settles into the fat cells and then takes years to leach out into a person's system.

My MG was diagnosed this past July while I was convalescing from back surgery in April to remove a synovial cyst. I was reading a book and my vision all of a sudden went double. Then other things started happening and it took 3 doctors to make the correct diagnosis. The first one sloughed it off; the 2nd one called it diabetic neuropathy of the eyes but did refer me to a neurologist.

I suspect my MG symptoms first started about 20 years ago with some swallowing difficulties. Then about 5 years ago my speech changed but no one correctly identified the problem until the vision went double and then, as noted above, it took 3 doctors to order the blood work which showed a high % of acetycholine receptors.

My immune system is already compromised with Type II diabetes, peripheral neuropathy and other issues. I'm 100% P&T from Agent Orange exposure and now have MG. While I personally have nothing to gain from the V.A. accepting MG as service connected, my beneficiary could if I die of a non-service connected problem before 10 years lapses from the date of my 100% award. With MG, I am concerned it may be the catalyst.

For medications, I've had 5 bottles of IVIG therapy; take Mestinon @ 3-4/day; and 1,000 mg of Cellcept twice/day. So far, the swallowing problems are improved but sometimes I struggle getting things down at bedtime. Most foods go down except I have trouble with crumbly things like cereal and crackers so have stopped eating them. Heat really exacerbates the symptoms so if I do anything outside, it has to be cool or late in the day. I've passed out twice in the yard because of the heat. Exercise is minimal and restricted to walking.

I've been in contact with other Vietnam Vets who have MG but there aren't many of us and because we're so few in number, the V.A. probably will never take a look at this disease. It should but we have to remember this statement from a good friend and researcher: "its all about the money."

Ermm


11/02/2011 09:10 AM
Julian
Posts: 11
New Member

Wow. Your story sounds an awful lot like mine. I, too, am convinced I had MG looooong before it was finally diagnosed. After I retired from AD, I worked in construction. I founded and ran a specialty subcontracting company with about 8 employees. We worked in the metro NY area and shortly after we opened our doors, I began to notice I was unstable on my feet and had little or no upper body strength. After having been a paratrooper, I certainly was put off by that condition. Finally, in 2008, a neurologist diagnosed my MG. As I stated in an earlier post, I tried to get the SC congressional delegation to refer this problem to the NIH for study to see if it could be recognized as Service Connected longer than 1 year after separation. Apparently, re-election and getting on the weekly Sunday talk shows was more important than constituent service and the effort has died aborning. My 100% disability is due to my diabetes and complications therefrom and I have told my son (also a retired Army officer) that when I die to be sure the cause of death is diabetes related.

My MG is fluctuating. We started a support group here in the lowcountry of SC and we have about 22 members. Looking to expand the SG to the Piedmont and Upstate areas. Doing all we can to increase public awareness of this doggoned illness. Keep the Faith and Press On!

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