AAN Supports Veterans' Access to Treatment for Illnesses Associated with TBI

February 8, 2013

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The AAN recently weighed in on the proposed rule published by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regarding secondary service connection for diagnosable illnesses associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI). While the AAN applauds the VA's decision to expand the list of diagnosable illnesses secondary to TBI to include parkinsonism, unprovoked seizures (epilepsy), dementia, and depression, we believe that the following diagnoses also warrant inclusion:

  • post-traumatic headache
  • chronic post-traumatic stress disorder
  • exacerbation or precipitation of a psychotic disorder
  • attentional disorders
  • sleep and wake disorders
  • anxiety
  • mild traumatic brain injuries

The VA decided to amend the existing regulations in response to a report released by the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, Gulf War and Health, Volume 7: Long-Term Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury. The intended effect of this amendment is to establish that if a veteran who has a service connected TBI also has one of the diagnosable illnesses, then that illness will be considered service connected as secondary to the TBI.