Agent Orange and Neurological Disorders
I just read a post from a veteran who discussed the effects of Agent Orange and Parkinson’s Disease. It made me wonder if there are others who have had similar experiences? If so, is there anything you have learned from your medical team and/or the VA regarding this? Please feel free to share your story.
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Brain & Nervous System Support Group.
Good questions Teresa with respect to Agent Orange and neurological disorders. I’d like to bring @mivy @johnjames @ggopher @macbeth @retairforceman and @Robert43DAP into this conversation as they have experiences to share.
All I know is that it has been recognized as related to a host of diseases in Vietnam vets, including Parkinson’s, diabetes, some cancers, and ischemic heart disease, among other conditions. The vet who helped us file a claim, at a nearby VA regional office, (and a comp doctor there) also believe it may also be connected to dementia/early onset dementia, which makes sense, due to the relationship to Parkinson’s and ischemic heart disease (the higher rate of ischemic build-up around the heart is bound to be happening elsewhere in the body – such as in the brain), but, that not enough veterans or their families are making the connection and filing claims. More claims filed = more attention from the government. Also, I am being told that it will take many more years of research before the connection is officially recognized between AO and dementias, in general. I realize that not everyone who gets a disease has a family history of that disease, but my husband’s family has no history of dementia, and I began to notice symptoms or wonder about him, as early as in his early – to – mid sixties, and maybe before that, looking back. But I was in denial. He also has the AO related ischemic heart disease. One of my brothers (Vietnam vet) had an AO related carcinoma, and had to have his leg amputated. It can wreak havoc decades after exposure. I know that many children of Vietnam vets have had problems that are being traced back to the AO exposure of a parent.
All you have to do, is begin to research this stuff on the net. There are a lot of very sad, very frustrating experiences related there.
I know that there is strength in numbers, and that being civil is very important, but that being tooooo polite does not get a job like this done. Vietnam veterans and their families need to be heard about these facts and overwhelming coincidences. They need to file claims. They need to write letters. They need to get louder. They need to push. They need to extend the support to Vietnam veterans that they rarely or never received for their service.
O. K. Now I’ll dust off my hands and get off my high horse. Can you tell I’m a little passionate about this?
@macbeth Your passion is well founded! Thanks for sharing your research and personal experiences.
I’m glad that you are ” passionate it about it” there isn’t that many people to really lobby for the needs of Viet Nam Vets- there in far more ( and I’m glad) for the Vets who served in the Iraq war( which I did as well) but most of om health issues are from being shot and injured in Viet Nam-as well as the agent orange issues of Parkinson’s, The heart attack I had just over 3 months ago- and much more I won’t bother folks with. It’s not about just me- it’s about countless VN-Vets, who have been left behind in ways the general public never sees. AS far as Agent Orange- let me share of couple of resources, 1. Check out the web site at : US Dept of Veterans Affairs, and 2. Military times. com- they both list the various health problems that been approved by DOD as AO related and the disability that goes with it. Also you can call the local VA ” Viet Nam Agent orange line at : 602-277-5555, ext: 6749. Ask for William, he is in charge of the Viet Nam Agent Orange Registry. He can answer most all your questions and also who ever the Vet is-who served in country, he can help with getting you the certified Doc: you need for disability, plus put you on the approved list to see any doctor that would relate to ones key injury or disease caused by AO. Once to have been diagnosed with any one(1) disease-deemed to be caused by AO, all other diseases that is on the list automaticly adds to your claim of disability. But let say I’m not the authority on the whole issue- this is what I have learned with my own cases and how they were approved and how I was given the help I needed and still need. Hope this helps someone seeking and hurting- you also have my prays for you and your family. JJ.
Thanks for the info. My husband was in Viet Nam for 2 years. He is 68 years old. He has had 2 major face surgeries on his right check. Malignant Melanoma. I say Agent Orange has something to do with it. He goes to the VA Hospital in MN. He has to have a private doctor to look at him to say it’s caused by the sun from Viet Nam. I think that’s Bull Shit!!! It seems to me the Government doesn’t want to own up to this terrible poison called Agent Orange. I have been to the VA hospital with him and have seen many of these men suffering from all of this. God Bless them All!!! Thank You for your Service!
@0716 Pam: Thanks for adding to the discussion. I am so sorry to hear of your husband’s health problems. Has he had any neurological problems as well? My best wishes to you both.
Not so far. Thanks for your wishes, and to you as well.
@716, I agree with you 100%, I was diagnosed with Agent Orange over two years ago, not it’s in my tissue, I have Parkinson’s because of it, and they now believe my heart attack 4 months ago was caused by AO. They did approve skin cancer for Viet Nam Vets-if they were is the area where they sprays- and I’m sure he was- I was there 1966 and 1967, my wife was there as a OR Nurse in the field for 15 months and has had 16 serious skin cancers. But the VA only has approved the disability for the men. I really feel for you both and the many cover ups- we all know about. Does he have a AO Certificate? that will really help the process- you can get one by going to the VA Hospital and go to the Registry Office for AO-only, bring his 201 file and any orders showing his tours in Viet Nam. Johjames
Hi @johnjames, thanks for providing additional, helpful information
Thanks for the info! My husband has had several skin cancers, but that was not on the list we were given, of AO related diseases. We have just been running them through his regular insurance at a nearby clinic. Chloracne was one of the skin related OA diseases on the list we got, but not skin cancers. So, thanks for that. To get the AO certification, my husband needed his DD 214, and something else, but that was a while back, and I can’t remember what else. You’ll have to make an appt. anyway; I’m sure they’ll let you know what to take along.