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Parkinson’s Disease Caused By Camp Lejeune’s Contaminated Water
Parkinson’s Disease Caused By Camp Lejeune’s Contaminated Water
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Exposure to the Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune Caused Parkinson’s Disease in Some Cases

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder. It has both physical and cognitive symptoms, and while some patients can take medications to mitigate these symptoms, there is currently no known cure. As the National Library of Medicine (NLM) notes, “[s]ometimes [Parkinson’s disease] is genetic, but most cases do not seem to run in families.” Instead, most Parkinson’s disease diagnoses are the result of exposure to chemicals in the environment or contaminated water. Over the past several decades, many individuals have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease as a result of exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Individuals with Parkinson’s disease can experience a wide range of effects—and these effects will often get worse over time. According to the NLM, “people with the disease may have trouble walking, talking, or doing simple tasks. . . . [and] may also have problems such as depression, sleep problems, or trouble chewing, swallowing, or speaking.” While Parkinson’s disease is not considered to be fatal, its effects can both negatively impact patients’ quality of life and shorten their life expectancy.

Understanding the Signs of Parkinson’s Disease Caused By Camp Lejeune’s Contaminated Water

As explained by the National Institute on Aging, with Parkinson’s disease, “[s]ymptoms usually begin gradually and worsen over time.” The National Institute on Aging divides these symptoms into four main categories:

  • Tremors – Tremors, most commonly in the hands, are typically the first noticeable sign of Parkinson’s disease. Patients may also experience tremors in the arms, legs, jaw, or head. These tremors may be barely noticeable initially, but they will typically become much more consistent and pronounced over time.
  • Stiffness – Parkinson’s disease causes the nerve cells in the portion of the brain that controls movement to die. As this occurs, patients will typically begin to experience stiffness in the hands and other parts of the body. This can also manifest as muscle contractions, with patients being unable to open their hands or move their arms or legs for elongated periods of time.
  • Slowness – The effects on the nervous system that cause tremors and stiffness can also cause a general slowness of movement. Individuals with Parkinson’s disease will often walk slowly, and they may notice that it takes longer than normal to perform routine tasks.
  • Impairment – Over time, tremors, stiffness, and slowness can cause impairments that can become dangerous for Parkinson’s disease patients, particularly as they age. As the disease progresses, it can cause imbalance and loss of coordination, and this will often result in falls.

Along with these four main categories of symptoms, the National Institute on Aging identifies various other conditions as being symptomatic of Parkinson’s disease as well. Since there is no specific test that doctors can use to diagnose Parkinson’s disease, they will often look for a combination of these symptoms when deciding on a diagnosis. This is especially true when diagnosing patients who report having been exposed to toxins such as those contained in the water at Camp Lejeune from the early 1950s through the late 1980s:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Mood swings and other emotional change
  • Bowel or bladder problems
  • Skin changes (i.e., excessively dry, oily, or flaky skin)

Understanding the Causes of Parkinson’s Disease

In most cases, Parkinson’s disease is caused by exposure to environmental toxins or harmful substances contained in contaminated water. This includes all four of the harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina from 1953 through 1987:

  • Benzene
  • Perchloroethylene
  • Trichloroethylene
  • Vinyl chloride

In terms of the duration of exposure, doctors have not identified any specific length of time necessary to trigger Parkinson’s disease. While those who were exposed to the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune for years or decades may be at the greatest risk, those who spent far less time at Camp Lejeune may have experienced sufficient exposure as well.

What Financial Compensation is Available to Individuals and Families Affected By Parkinson’s Disease Caused By the Water at Camp Lejeune?

The financial compensation that is available to individuals and families affected by Parkinson’s disease depends on their unique circumstances. In some cases, individuals and families can file claims related directly to the cause of Parkinson’s disease—such as claims related to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune. Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, eligible claimants can seek compensation not only for their medical expenses and other direct out-of-pocket costs but also for their pain, suffering and other losses. For a comprehensive assessment of your legal rights, schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at Martin & Jones, PLLC.

Speak with a Lawyer about Your Parkinson’s Disease Claim Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022

If you would like to schedule a consultation with a lawyer at Martin & Jones, PLLC, we invite you to get in touch. To discuss filing a claim for Parkinson’s disease under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, please call 855-941-1975 or tell us how we can reach you online today.

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