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Peridoic Limb Movement Disorder/sleep Apnea


RichL

Question

I have been diagnosed with Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD) and Sleep Apnea by a civilian doctor. I use a CPAP machine nightly. I am currently S/C for PTSD at 30%. I asked civilian doctor if it was possible that my Sleep Apnea could be related (a secondary condition) to my PTSD, and if so, would he state that in my medical records.

What my civilian doctor did was to write To Whom It May Concern Letter for me. The letter said "This is to confirm the Mr..........has a diagnoses of obstructive sleep apnea, periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), anxiety, and PTSD. It is my impression that his sleep apnea, PLMD, and PTSD/ Anxiety Disorder are all service related. If you have any questions please feel to call me."

Based on this doctors letter, it that enough for me to file for sleep apnea as either a primary condition, or a secondary condition to my S/C PTSD. Additionally, is PLMD a S/C condition? I was not treated for sleep apnea or PLMD while on active duty, but I was diagnosed with both conditions within one year of discharge.

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The letter is a little lacking Rich. The doctor can not determine service connection. He can however, determine if the problems are due to your PTSD.

He should have provided that the problems are more than likely due to your PTSD and then provided his reasons why he has determined this (ie...experience treating PTSD patients, medical litature etc....)

Discuss this with him and see if he will write another letter for there is no way a rater will give any probative weight to the one he has written.

Sorry I know that this is not what you wanted to hear but it is the way VA is required to operate.

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i believe ricky is absolutely right, the statement you have is not probative of any link between service and sleep apnea, or between a service connected condition and sleep apnea. a rater will dismiss it out of hand.

periodic limb movement disorder is not a disability for rating purposes. just a pain in the neck for your wife.

sleep apnea is not a chronic presumptive condition so it does not matter whether you were diagnosed within one year of discharge. review your service medical records to find any complaint of daytime somnolence, snoring, or the like while on active duty. if you can find that, you can argue that the symptoms were present on active duty, and the date of diagnosis would then not be a problem.

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That opinion wont help -

please see Getting an Independent Medical Opinion under the search feature-

the IMO must contain a full medical rationale for any statement the doctor makes in regards to service connection, directly or as secondary-

Also see my post on Aggravation of NSC condition due to SC disability

"but I was diagnosed with both conditions within one year of discharge."

The IMO doctor also has to see your SMRs to opine on that as well as all of your medical records.

Did you clearly state that in your claim?

And he/she should state their medical expertise that renders them competent to opine on these issues.

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I just received my notice from the VA. I was awarded 50% for OSA. Thanks for everyones advise.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

I have sleep apnea with a VA prescribed CPAP and I also have restless leg syndrome where my legs shake and move quickly disturbing Mrs Pete unless I go to bed late and take a xanax to relieve symptoms.

Rich does this sound like symptoms that you have? I don't have PTSD but I do have an anxiety disorder or Panic Disorder diagnosed by VA.

PS I am happy for your win but think that if you have service connected sleep apnea that the rating should be higher with a CPAP machine?

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It sounds very similar. I also take meds to sleep at night. I received 50% for OSA. It was not secondary to my PTSD.

I was not diagnosed with OSA while I was on active duty. It was not until November 2006, almost nine months after I was discharged the most recent time that I was diagnosed with OSA. I was already SC for PTSD from 2003 in Iraq.

What connected my OSA to my active service was a letter from a fellow Soldier who was on AD with me in Iraq. He described the symptoms of OSA that I displayed while I was on AD in 2003. I believe that without this letter, I wound not have received the SC for the OSA. (I hope that answer your question too 1968 Nam Vet)

I now have an overall rating of 80%!!!! I guess that sometimes the system does work.

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The letter from that guy was good, but since you filed within the first 12 months after separation was THE key for your claim. :mellow:

As for me, I'm 38 years after separation and I filed for Sleep Apnea in May 2007. What are my chances? There is a VA diagnosis and I use a VA issued CPAP machine, but the NEXUS is the problem. It would have to be Secondary to a SCed condition or possibly because I was a Combat Vet, maybe I can get the benefit of the doubt. I claimed the problem originated in Vietnam. I was wounded in the head in RVN and SCed with PTSD.

How can I get my Sleep Apnea SCed ? I've researched the medical studies on OSA and PTSD and they don't exist. I wonder if my Sleep Apnea was due to my exposure to Agent Orange ? Comments, pls ?

Part of my disability rating is for diabetes II due to Agent Orange. I also use a CPAP for sleep apnea, but in my case I'm confident that the sleep apnea is due to my tremendous weight gain within the past ten years. Just my case, nothing more...

Good Luck!

Edited by Manitou Sprgs
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Guest rickb054
How can I get my Sleep Apnea SCed ? I've researched the medical studies on OSA and PTSD and they don't exist. I wonder if my Sleep Apnea was due to my exposure to Agent Orange ? Comments, pls ?

Seems like a stretch but anything is possible.

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Sleep apnea can result from significant weight gain that results from medications taken for service-connected disabilities, such as hydrocortisone, depotestosterone, and synthroid, to name a few -- that is one place to look for a nexus. Check the secondary effects of the meds you take for service-connected conditions.

A weight gain that results in a neck circumference in excess of 17 inches is one possible link to a nexus for OSA.

Another is the fact that sleep apnea can be a by-product of hypertension, hypothyroidism, or cervical spine problems. Google sleep apnea, and see what you can dig up on what can cause it. Then follow Berta's advice as to how an IMO needs to be structured, she's right on the money on that one.

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The letter from that guy was good, but since you filed within the first 12 months after separation was THE key for your claim. :mellow:

As for me, I'm 38 years after separation and I filed for Sleep Apnea in May 2007. What are my chances? There is a VA diagnosis and I use a VA issued CPAP machine, but the NEXUS is the problem. It would have to be Secondary to a SCed condition or possibly because I was a Combat Vet, maybe I can get the benefit of the doubt. I claimed the problem originated in Vietnam. I was wounded in the head in RVN and SCed with PTSD.

How can I get my Sleep Apnea SCed ? I've researched the medical studies on OSA and PTSD and they don't exist. I wonder if my Sleep Apnea was due to my exposure to Agent Orange ? Comments, pls ?

OSA is not a presumptive service disiability. So being discharged with in 12 months of my diagnosis did not make it SC. I believe that the letter is what provided the nexus for SC in my case.

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Guest rickb054
OSA is not a presumptive service disiability. So being discharged with in 12 months of my diagnosis did not make it SC. I believe that the letter is what provided the nexus for SC in my case.

Service connection can be granted on a direct basis if a disease or injury is manifested with 12 month of discharge. Presumptive service disability has nothing to do with the 12 month rule.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

For those who had a large weight gain they may be able to be service connected based on the meds prescribed by VA. I know that I am looking into that angle although I have a hook as I was given three glucose tolerance tests in the Army all considered abnormal.

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Service connection can be granted on a direct basis if a disease or injury is manifested with 12 month of discharge. Presumptive service disability has nothing to do with the 12 month rule.

The VA will presume certain specific listed conditions to be service connected by presumption, provided that they became manifest during a certain period of time after service. These include certain “chronic “ diseases, including arthritis, gallstones, psychoses, sarcoidosis, ulcers, and heart conditions (including hypertension). OSA is not on that list to the best of my knowledge

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Guest rickb054
The VA will presume certain specific listed conditions to be service connected by presumption, provided that they became manifest during a certain period of time after service. These include certain "chronic " diseases, including arthritis, gallstones, psychoses, sarcoidosis, ulcers, and heart conditions (including hypertension). OSA is not on that list to the best of my knowledge

While I am not aware of the list you mentioned, I state again any condition can be service connected if diagnosed within 12 month of service, I have looked for the proper va info but cannot find it when I do I will post it for you.

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How long has sleep apnea been in existance? I know everything always leads to service connection but us older vets some cannot recall these new diseases and tests like MRI"S

Cat scans. We only had -X-rays when we were in service 40+ years ago.

Jan

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