February 2015

Researchers split Schizophrenia into 8 separate diseases

Neglected lonely childDiscovery could improve treatment for victims

About 1 percent of Americans suffer from schizophrenia, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. As most Social Security lawyers in Chicago understand, the associated symptoms can be severely debilitating. Fortunately, new research may lead to better treatments for this disease. One impactful new study indicates schizophrenia may be eight different diseases. This understanding could eventually lead to more effective treatments for all forms of schizophrenia.

Underlying causes explored

Previous research has focused unsuccessfully on the contribution of individual genes to schizophrenia. The new study considered the way gene networks interact to contribute to the disease. Researchers studied the gene networks of 4,196 schizophrenia patients and 3,200 control patients.

The schizophrenia patients were grouped based on the positive or negative symptoms they displayed. The researchers created eight profiles, which may represent eight distinct diseases. Researchers also found that 70 to 100 percent of a person’s risk of developing schizophrenia is genetically based. Gene networks associated with one type of schizophrenia were correlated with a 100 percent risk of the disease.

Researchers hope these findings will lead to treatments focusing on the specific gene networks responsible for each patient’s condition. Since the cause of schizophrenia is unknown, current treatments can only mitigate symptoms. New treatments could directly address the underlying causes of the disease.

Some visual disorders may be eligible for Social Security Disability

pManHandPenLedger_shutterstock_96365117Claiming benefits with a Social Security Lawyer

At least 3.4 million Americans over the age of 40 are visually impaired, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An additional 21 million Americans may be at risk for vision loss due to existing health issues. Many people in Illinois may struggle to perform their jobs or other daily tasks because of visual impairments. Fortunately, as a Social Security lawyer knows, severe visual disorders may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.

Qualifying conditions

Several visual disorders are included in the Social Security Administration’s “Blue Book.” A condition is automatically considered disabling if it appears in the Blue Book and meets listed requirements. The Blue Book recognizes the following conditions as disabling: […]

If I get married, will it affect my SSD benefits?

Just married couple in poplar backgroundUnderstanding what to expect with a Social Security attorney

People who collect Social Security Disability benefits know that many factors help determine eligibility for benefits. However, marriage is one factor that many beneficiaries in Illinois may overlook. As any Social Security attorney can confirm, marriage sometimes provides grounds for benefit loss. In other cases, marriage has no impact on SSD benefits.

Personal benefits

Marriage does not affect a direct beneficiary’s eligibility for benefits. Eligibility is based on a person’s past earnings, medical condition and ability to work. Need, family earnings and marital status are irrelevant.

Beneficiaries who marry other beneficiaries may actually become entitled to greater benefits. The Social Security Administration awards spouse’s benefits worth up to half of a direct recipient’s benefit. A beneficiary with low past earnings may be eligible for a greater benefit based on a new spouse’s earnings.