Parkinson’s Disease & Agent Orange

Agent Orange continues to cause problems for veterans of the Vietnam War. Now it has been linked to the development of Parkinson’s disease too.

Agent Orange, and other toxic herbicides, have been found to affect the development of Parkinson’s disease. During the Vietnam War, Agent Orange was sprayed on jungle foliage to thin it out so snipers could be seen. One of the active ingredients in Agent Orange is dioxin, and dioxin is known for its linkage to the development of multiple health problems, including Parkinson’s.

Three new “presumptive” conditions have been added to the list of illnesses veterans may develop as a result of being exposed to Agent Orange. The development of the disease is presumed to be a result of exposure to dioxin. Bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, and Parkinson’s are the three newest presumptive conditions related to Agent Orange exposure. If you filed a claim with the VA and were denied in the past, your claim will automatically be reviewed again.1

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement.2 Symptoms develop gradually, over a period of years, and may include rigidity of the face and limbs, along with gait and balance issues. Although the disease cannot be cured at this time, treatment can help. The earlier treatment is started, the better.

If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and believe it is a result of your time serving in the military, you can file a claim with the VA for disability compensation. You will have to include supporting documentation showing that you’ve been diagnosed with the disease, and you were in the areas where the exposure took place. If you need help submitting a claim, you can go to your nearest VA regional office, or call 800-827-1000.

1 American Parkinson’s Disease Association, 2022.
2 Mayo Clinic, 1998-2022. Parkinson’s disease.