New Parkinsons Therapy Affirm The Need of Disability Tax Credit

September 27, 2015 by dccinc

Parkinson’s disease affects nearly 70,000 Canadians. It is one of the most debilitating of the various neurological diseases and second only to Alzheimer’s in prevalence. There is no cure for Parkinson’s and often the afflicted must endure many years, sometimes decades, of increasingly severe shaking, restricted movement, rigidity and depression. Drug therapies can have some impact on symptoms but most sufferers face an increasingly difficult path as the disease plays out. They must rely more and more on family members and health care providers to tend to their basic needs along with programs like the Disability Tax Credit to provide financial relief from overwhelming medical bills. (Find out your eligibility for disability tax credit if you suffer from Parkinson’s disease).

Progress in understanding Parkinson’s and treating the afflicted has been slow in coming and punctuated only too often by disappointment. A recent article on the website of Johns Hopkins Medical School however, holds out hope for a promising new type of treatment.

People with Parkinson’s disease (PD) tend to slow down and decrease the intensity of their movements even though many retain the ability to move more quickly and forcefully… a team of Johns Hopkins scientists report evidence that the slowdown likely arises from the brain’s cost/benefit analysis, which gets skewed by the loss of dopamine in people with PD.

The article continues:

In Parkinson’s, dopamine neurons generally die on one side of the brain, affecting the ability of the patient to exert effort with the opposite side of the body. In urgent situations as simple as preventing a ball from falling off a table, for example, people with PD can often still make rapid, intense movements with their affected arm, but it seems as though the brain’s ‘cost assessment’ for making everyday movements is abnormally high.

Armed with this knowledge and working with a small group of patients researchers used external electrodes to stimulate the cortex of the brain. Remarkably, this stimulation was found to provide temporary improvement in the motor skills of some members of the group.

In spite of this apparent breakthrough doctors remain cautious about the new therapy because Parkinson’s has proven itself a stubborn foe and will often adjust to medications or new therapies over time, rendering them ineffective. It’s still too early to tell whether that will happen with this new therapy but for the moment it provides a modest bright spot to focus on.

The Disability Tax Credit: A Lifeline to the Disabled

While dedicated teams of researchers toil away attempting to find effective methods of treatment the country’s 55,000 housebound Parkinson’s patients must find a way to pay for their current therapy while still putting food on the table and keeping a roof over their head. Few are able to handle both the increase in healthcare costs and the simultaneous reduction in income that accompany a diagnosis of Parkinson’s and at some point most start making choices between medication and housing, or medication and eating.

The Disability Tax Credit was designed to help the disabled offset the financial burden created by extraordinary health related expenses. It’s a model piece of progressive social legislation that has been emulated in many other developed countries. And yet participation rates for those eligible are lagging. The Canadian Revenue Agency’s own numbers put participation at just over 50%. Ask most of those who chose not to claim the credit why they’re turning their back on this potentially transformative benefit and what you’ll hear more often than not is that the application process is just too complex.

Making a Difficult Application Process Easy

At Disability Credit Canada we believe in access. Access to this important program for those housebound by Parkinson’s disease or any of a host of other disabilities. Our job is to tear down bureaucratic walls and create access to the Disability Tax Credit through use of our knowledge and experience in dealing with government agencies. We understand the process down to the last piece of fine print and stay on top of your application until your benefits are disbursed to you. We know that trying to get the wheels of government to turn on your behalf can be a frustrating, even disillusioning experience and that’s why we’re here. To get things moving. Call us now at 1-855-765-4458.

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