Ayurvedic Treatment of Multiple System Atrophy

Abstract

Multiple system atrophy is also known as shy-drager syndrome. It is a rare degenerative neurological disorder that affects your body’s involuntary movement. Involuntary are basically the autonomic functions that include blood pressure, breathing function, bladder function and also motor control. This condition is also known by the names like olivopontocerebellar atrophy or striatonigral degeneration. It has got many similarities with parkinsonism disease like slow movement, poor balance while walking but without tremors and rigid muscles. This condition is manageable and modern medication can slow down the progression of multiple system atrophy. But it has no definite cause mentioned and because it usually appears in late 50′s or 60′s it is understood to be directly related to adulthood. In this article we will discuss the causes, symptoms according to types of MSA, general signs in these conditions, complications and how it can be managed using ayurvedic medications.

Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)

Introduction

Multiple system atrophy is a relatively rare sporadic condition seen in middle aged and elderly patients. Features of parkinsonism often without tremor are combined with varying degrees of autonomic failure, cerebellar involvement and pyramidal tract degeneration. The parkinsonism is usually of an akinetic rigid form and often accompanied by marked neck flexion. Autonomic features can be very disabling with severe postural hypotension, sphincter disturbances and sometimes respiratory stridor. In ayurveda this condition can be compared with vata vyadhi which is understood as a group of neurological disorders.

Causes

In modern science the cause of this condition is not known. They believe that it is the result of environmental toxins. But there is no present theory to support this belief. Shy drager’s syndrome causes shrinkage or atrophy of portions of your brain that are cerebellum, basal ganglia and brainstem. These portions of the brain are responsible for regulating internal body functions, gastric and motor controls. In multiple system atrophy there is overexpression of alpha- synuclein named protein in brain neurons.

Ayurveda explains many causes of vata vyadhi like ruksha aahar seven (food articles having ruksha gunna), shitta aahar seven (eating cold food), alpa ahara seven (eating food in less amount), vishma ahara seven (toxic food articles consumption), katu, tikta, kashaya rasa seven (consumption of pungent, tikta and astringent), ati maithun (excessive sex), upvas(prolong fasting), vegadharan (controlling urges), shoka (sadness), bhaye (fear), krodh (anger), plavan (swimming), divashayan (sleeping at day time) and abhighat (injury). (ch chi 28/15-17).

Symptoms

MSA have two types

  1. Parkinsonism Type: Some symptoms are very much common in parkinsonism and MSA like rigid muscles, difficulty in flexion of arms and legs, bradykinesia (very slow movement while walking) and postural imbalance.
  2. Cerebellar Types : In this type the main problem lies in the coordination such as unsteady gait or loss of balance, slurred speech, low volume voice, visual disturbances (blurred vision or difficulty in focusing your eyes) and difficulty swallowing.

General Signs

General signs include signs that are related to different systems like orthostatic hypotension that makes you feel dizzy and light headed, constipation, bowel incontinence, reduced production of sweat, tears and saliva. Patient usually develops heat intolerance, acting out dreams, blood pooling causing changes in hands and feet and difficulty controlling emotions .

In ayurveda the lakshana of vitiated vata resembles a lot with the symptoms and signs of MSA. these lakshana are contractures in affected parts, stiffness in joints, piercing type of pain in bones and joints, stiffness in legs, head and back causing difficulty in movement, lameness with one leg, lameness with both legs, organ dystrophy, insomnia, numbness and throbbing sensation in body. (ch chi 28/20-23).

Complications

Patients generally develop conditions like breathing abnormalities, injuries due to fall because of poor balance or fainting, progressive or long term immobility, lack of ability to do routine work and take care of themselves. In advance stages vocal cord paralysis and complete inability to swallow can develop. Patients typically live for around 7-10 years after he or she has been diagnosed with multiple system atrophy or Shy-drager syndrome.

Treatment

Ayurveda treats this kind of vata vyadhi with both shodhan chikitsa and sanshaman chikitsa. In shodhan chikitsa shashti shali pinda sweda (sudation with bolus of medicated cooked rice), shirobasti (taila dharan on head), anuvasana basti (enema with medicated oil) and baladi kshir basti is given. In samshaman chikitsa classical preparations are administered orally that also helps in balancing the vitiated vata.

for the management of Multiple system atrophy, Planet Ayurveda offers some of its best herbal medications that are very much potential in managing this condition. These medications are:

  1. Brahmi Capsules
  2. Ashwagandha Capsules
  3. Pitta Balance
  4. Musli Strength
  5. Gotukola Capsules
  6. Vrihat Vatchintamani Ras

Herbal Remedies for Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)

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1. Brahmi Capsules

Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) is a very useful herb that helps in increasing the coordination between the functioning of brain neurons. It also helps in enhancing memory. Brahmi as a herb helps in reducing stress, anxiety, mood swings and irritation by keeping your mind calm.

Dosage: one capsule daily twice after meals.

2. Ashwagandha Capsules

These capsules are made from the extract of Withania somnifera. This particular herb has very unique properties and hence it is also called as king of herbs. It helps in removing toxins from the body, enhances vital organ functioning, behaves as a stress buster, provides nourishment to the body muscles, tissues and cells. It also helps in pacifying vata dosha and is very useful in reducing symptoms in case of MSA.

Dosage: one capsule daily twice after meals.

3. Pitta Balance

It contains herbal extract of akik pishti, jawar mohar pishti, praval pishti and many more. These all help in maintaining healthy digestive fire and pacify pitta which is the fire element of the body.

Dosage: One capsule twice a day after meals.

4. Musli Strength

Musli strength contains two herbs Safed Musli (Chlorophytum borivilianum) and Gokshura (Tribulus terrestris). These two are very potential in improving and maintaining brain functioning and muscle strength. This formulation helps in improving stamina and hence makes you more active.

Dosage: one capsule twice a day after meals.

5. Gotukola Capsules

Gotukola is known as centella asiatica scientifically. This herb shows impressive results in maintaining muscle health because it contains vitamins like vitamin A, B, E and K along with magnesium.

Dosage: One capsule twice a day after meals.

6. Vrihat Vatchintamani Ras

It is a classical formulation that contains swarna bhasma, loha bhasma, mukta bhasma etc. These ingredients together behave as a nerve tonic is very helpful in boosting immunity.

Dosage: Two tablets twice daily after meals with milk.

Conclusion

MSA is a rare condition which makes its management a little challenging. People should not avoid any unusual symptoms they notice in their bodies or in their behaviours because such ignorance makes conditions like MSA difficult to even manage. The herbal products offered by Planet Ayurveda in this condition are made from the best quality of herbs and do not cause any side effects. In case of any query kindly visit www.PlanetAyurveda.com

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Dr. Vikram Chauhan
Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurvedic Medicine) is an expert Ayurveda consultant in Chandigarh (India). He has vast experience of herbs and their applied uses. He has successfully treated numerous patients suffering from various ailments, throughout the world. He is CEO and Founder of Krishna Herbal Company and Planet Ayurveda in Chandigarh, India. He researched age old formulas from ancient Ayurvedic text books to restore health and save human beings from the worst side-effects of chemical-based treatments.