What Are Neurological Effects and Disorders?
Neurological effects of Camp Lejeune water refer to issues within the body’s nervous system caused by exposure to toxic chemicals.
They can result in feelings of weakness, tremors in the hands or legs, or difficulties in maintaining a steady walk. These problems may mean that the chemicals in the water might have harmed your nervous system, which is what tells your body how to move.
Neurological disorders affect the central and peripheral nervous system (the brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves, and more). They can range in severity from relatively harmless to debilitating.
Some more severe neurological disorders linked with the toxic water at Camp Lejeune include Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease).
Did Camp Lejeune Water Cause Neurological Effects?
Possibly, yes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there could be long-term neurological effects of Camp Lejeune water.
A study published in the May 2023 issue of JAMA Neurology (a monthly medical journal by the American Medical Association) investigated the neurological effects of Camp Lejeune water.
The research used health records from 1997-2021 of over 340,000 service members. Approximately half were stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1975 and 1985, and the other half at Camp Pendleton (with clean water).
The study found that Camp Lejeune service members had a 70% higher risk of Parkinson’s disease than those at Camp Pendleton.
The neurological effects of Camp Lejeune water are believed to be caused by exposure to industrial solvents, fuel, and benzene leaking into the base’s water supply.
The toxic chemicals in these hazardous materials are called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and are linked with many health issues.
Anyone who bathed in, drank, or used contaminated base water between 1953 and 1987 is at risk of neurological disorders from Camp Lejeune water.
If you served on the base for at least 30 days during those years, you may be able to pursue compensation for a neurological disorder.
Learn more with a free case review now.
Symptoms of Neurological Disorders
Exposure to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune may lead to symptoms of neurological disorders.
These symptoms could be neurological effects of Camp Lejeune water:
- Concentration problems: Tasks or conversations may become challenging to focus on.
- Confusion: Ordinary things might start to seem difficult. You may struggle to remember people or places you know well.
- Coordination problems: You could find it tough to move smoothly or carry out activities that require organization.
- Depression: Feelings of sadness or anxiety might become a regular part of your life.
- Difficulty moving: You could have problems controlling your movements.
- Fatigue: You may feel exhausted and lack energy for day-to-day tasks.
- Headaches: You could have headaches more often than usual.
- Learning and behavioral disorders: You might find it harder to learn new things or notice changes in your behavior.
- Sensory disturbances: You might experience feelings like numbness or tingling.
See your doctor if you have any of these symptoms, especially if you spent time at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987. They could be warning signs of the neurological effects of Camp Lejeune water.
What Chemicals Were in Camp Lejeune Water?
Since the late 1980s, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has analyzed Camp Lejeune’s water. It has identified several dangerous chemicals that contaminated the base’s water for decades.
The chemicals found in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune include:
- Dichloroethylene (DCE)
- Tetrachloroethylene — also known as perchloroethylene (PCE)
- Trichloroethylene (TCE)
- Vinyl chloride
- Other contaminants
The ATSDR discovered that several different sources contaminated the drinking water at Camp Lejeune.
These included the disposal of toxic water by an off-base dry cleaning business, day-to-day base operations, and a long-term fuel leak that the U.S. Marine Corps hid for years.
Neurobehavioral Effects of Camp Lejeune Water
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) explains that neurobehavioral effects involve the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord.
Neurobehavioral effects are split into two categories:
- Cognitive Decline: Memory problems, headache, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suicide
- Motor Difficulties: Tremors, weakness, difficulty walking, and involuntary movements
Research suggests that TCE and PCE can cause neurological, behavioral, and psychological effects. Because both of these chemicals were present in the contaminated water at the base, those exposed could be at risk of neurobehavioral effects of Camp Lejeune water.
The neurobehavioral effects of Camp Lejeune water include trouble thinking clearly, memory lapses, mood swings, and problems concentrating.
If you experienced neurobehavioral effects, you should consult your doctor and mention your exposure history at Camp Lejeune. You may be at risk of developing serious neurological disorders.
Camp Lejeune Neurological Diseases
The neurological effects of Camp Lejeune water contamination have been studied in depth. Frustratingly, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) did not recognize neurological diseases for far too long.
Many veterans who suffered from neurological conditions were repeatedly denied VA benefits.
In one denial that was appealed and ultimately granted, a veteran suffering from the neurological effects of Camp Lejeune water lost awareness and cut off almost all of his fingers on one hand.
Before the incident, the veteran had been experiencing problems concentrating, abdominal pain, and fatigue. He had been seen by multiple specialists and tried various medications, but his symptoms did not go away.
If you have experienced any symptoms that you think could be neurological effects of Camp Lejeune water, get a free case review now.
Water Contamination and Parkinson’s Disease
Cases of Parkinson’s disease connected to Camp Lejeune water weren’t listed as a presumptive health condition until 2015. Before that, the government would not even acknowledge a link, much to the dismay of those suffering.
“The committee concludes that Parkinson’s disease is a neurobehavioral effect that may have resulted from the consumption of the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune.”
—Institute of Medicine (IOM), 2015
The signs of Parkinson’s disease tend to be different for everyone affected. In the early stages, there may be no noticeable symptoms. As the disease advances, one side of the body often gets worse.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:
- Contracted muscles that cause stiffness
- Difficulty writing
- Impaired posture, balance, and coordination
- Involuntary blinking and smiling
- Rigid muscles
- Slowed movement
- Speech changes
- Stooped posture
- Tremors in the hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head
If you or a loved one developed Parkinson’s disease after living or working at Camp Lejeune, file your claim today.
Even if you are already collecting VA disability benefits, you may be newly eligible to receive financial compensation through a lawsuit against the federal government.
Other Camp Lejeune Neurological Disorders
In addition to an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease, there are other diseases linked to the harmful neurological effects of Camp Lejeune water. These include ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and MS.
ALS is a neurodegenerative disorder that leads to rapid muscle weakness and, eventually, paralysis. Over time, affected individuals may lose their ability to eat, speak, or breathe independently.
A retrospective study conducted by the ATSDR found that Camp Lejeune Marines have double the risk of developing ALS if they were exposed to benzene.
MS is a neurological disease that causes the immune system to mistakenly attack nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. The condition is often progressive and can be debilitating.
What Other Health Issues Did Camp Lejeune Water Cause?
Camp Lejeune water caused a number of health issues besides neurological ones.
Conditions caused by chemical exposure depend on various factors. These include the amount of chemical exposure, how you were exposed, how long you were exposed, your age, gender, and more.
Because of these different factors, the true health impact of Camp Lejeune toxic water is not fully understood. That said, there are many conditions with a suspected link.
Camp Lejeune water contamination health conditions include:
- Aplastic anemia
- Birth defects
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Cervical cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Female infertility
- Heart disease
- Hepatic steatosis
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Renal toxicity
Thankfully, with the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, all victims of the toxic water — no matter the health problems they suffer from — may be able to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit.
Can I File a Camp Lejeune Neurobehavioral Effects Lawsuit?
Possibly, yes. If your neurobehavioral effects are due to a neurological disorder related to Camp Lejeune water and you lived or worked on the base for at least 30 days from 1953 to 1987, you may be able to file a lawsuit.
This includes family members who visited the base for 30 days or more, even if those days were not consecutive (back-to-back).
Is There a Time Limit to File a Camp Lejeune Claim?
Yes, there are strict deadlines to file a Camp Lejeune legal claim. This is why it is very important to act without delay.
The deadline for filing a Camp Lejeune claim against the government is August 10, 2024.
Because of these time limits, it is critical to hire a Camp Lejeune lawyer you can trust to handle your claim efficiently and effectively.
Find a Camp Lejeune Neurological Effects Law Firm
Skilled law firms can help you and your family get compensation for the neurological effects of Camp Lejeune water.
The best Camp Lejeune contaminated water law firms are personal injury firms involved in the fight to get justice for Camp Lejeune water supply victims.
Top Camp Lejeune water law firms have:
- Experience handling toxic exposure lawsuits
- Experience with class actions or mass tort litigation
- National reach needed to handle claims in all 50 states
- VA-accredited attorneys on staff
Our trained Camp Lejeune claims advocates are available 24 hours a day to help determine if you have a claim for the neurological effects of Camp Lejeune water.
Contact us now at (866) 473-4764 to speak with an advocate in confidence.
Neurological Effects of Camp Lejeune Water FAQs
What are the neurological effects of Camp Lejeune water?
The neurological effects of Camp Lejeune water exposure include disorders like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), and more.
If you experienced symptoms like weakness, coordination difficulties, and tremors, you may be suffering early warning signs of a neurological disorder. Contact a doctor as soon as possible and mention your toxic water exposure history.
What are Camp Lejeune neurological diseases?
The neurological disease most closely associated with Camp Lejeune water is Parkinson’s disease — a disorder that affects movement, causing symptoms such as tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination.
Since 2015, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has recognized Parkinson’s disease as a Camp Lejeune presumptive illness.
What are the neurobehavioral effects of water contamination at Camp Lejeune?
The neurobehavioral effects of Camp Lejeune water may include memory problems, headaches, difficulty concentrating, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), difficulty walking, and involuntary movements.
If you have any of these symptoms, talk with your doctor without delay. Make sure to tell them if you spent time at Camp Lejeune, as it could help them provide you with appropriate screening, diagnosis, and treatment.