Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Muscular Dystrophy

In Muscular Dystrophy there is progressive weakness of muscles, so children, teens, and adults who have the disease will gradually lose their ability to do the things which other fellows can do without any problem. A fellow suffering from Muscular Dystrophy might start having muscle problems as a baby or their symptoms might start later. Some people even develop MD as adults.
There is no fixed pattern of loss of muscles functioning. A fellow might have problem in walking and other movements of hands and feet while other might find difficulty in breathing as the first sign of loss of muscle working. With progressive muscular loss; there will be loss of functions also.

Muscular dystrophy refers to a group of  diseases characterized by the progressive weakness and subsequent degeneration, destruction and deformation of muscles and structure related to it. Genetic flaws are also responsible for debilitating effects of different forms of muscular dystrophies. Ayurveda considers this condition as Mamsa-vata-kshaya (MVK) related to Beeja dosha and impairments of Mamsagni (muscle enzyme). It involves deranged Vata and subsequent degeneration of muscles and structures related to it. Ayurvedic treatment might slow or stop the progression of muscle degeneration.

Muscular dystrophy is diagnosed by blood test : Serum CPK (an enzyme found in muscle) and Muscle test: EMG: (electromyography).

1. Blood Enzyme: The body creates an enzyme called “Creatine Kinase” that normally lives inside muscles. When muscles are functioning normally, CK levels in the bloodstream are relatively low. But when muscles are damaged, the muscle cells split open, causing their contents to spill out into the bloodstream. This creates a rise in the levels of CK in the blood. Measuring CK levels may verify that there has been muscle damage and may indicate more muscle damage to come.
2. Muscle Biopsy/DNAMuscle biopsy is useful to determine the cause of the muscle damage and to determine what is happening inside the cells. This test is the most reliable way to diagnose Duchenne MD, and distinguish it from the other inflammatory disorders, and from other Muscular Dystrophies.
DNA testing (using blood cells or muscle cells) remains the best way to obtain exact genetic information leading to a conclusive Duchenne MD diagnosis. DNA testing is generally performed using a tool called a “PCR”, an acronym for “polymerase chain reaction”. Essentially this is a way to make large quantities of DNA from a small sample so that multiple tests can be performed. PCR uses the original DNA double helix to make copies of DNA, called cDNA.

Ayurvedic researchers are investigating the potential of certain muscle-building Rasayana medicines to slow down or reverse the progression of muscular dystrophy. Other trials are looking into the effects of the dietary supplements Withania somnifera (Aswagandha), Curcuma longa (Haldi), Creatine and glutamine on muscle energy production and storage.
Ayurveda visualizes 13 major types of Agnis (enzyme complex) which are responsible for the process of metabolism. Each of seven dhatus has individual dhatvagnis. The increase or decrease of a particular dhatus depends upon the increase or decrease of respective dhatvagnis. According to Charak, Mamsa-Kshaya may be present when there is prolonged majjagata kupita Vata. This is always followed by depletion of Vata element. It is genetic predisposition (Beeja dosha) that convert physiological Vata element in to pathological morbidity. The Srotodusti is responsible for the Mamsa dhatu Kshaya.
The concept of Dosha-Dhatu-Mala (D.D.M) is unique in Ayurveda. The dhatus are those substances which are retained by the body and always rejuvenated or replenished. Ras-Rakta-Mamsa-Meda-Asthi-Majja and Sukra are seven dhatus which develops in human body in a fixed, sequential manner one from the other. Each succeeding dhatu is a metabolic refinement of the previous dhatu and get nourished by it. The first dhatu, Rasa (nutrient fluid) is the metabolic end product of the digestion that takes place within gastro-intestinal tract. The Rasa dhatu has to be metabolized in to Rakta dhatu. The Mamsa dhatu comes from Rakta dhatu and in turn, give rise to Meda dhatu. The Asthi dhatu is the product of Meda dhatupaka that contains Majja dhatu which is the prime seat of Vata element.
We know that Vata (Prana) and Rakta dhatu are two major life sustaining elements in the body. The Vata has been attributed like genetic material that carries life information essential for different activities. The Rakta dhatu is the basis of biological force that provides nutrition at cellular level and paves the way of excretion of metabolic toxins. The driving force beyond Rakta dhatu is Vata element which circulates itself to cellular level along with Rakta. The conjoint circulation of both Rakta and Vata is manifestation of life (Prana). This Prana is responsible for the contraction and relaxation of muscle fibers or muscular activity. It means we have to focus our attention on the dhatvagnis paka of Rasa-Rakta-Mamsa and Meda dhatus besides Asthi and Majja dhatus.
Nervous System  Problems
Different types:-
1) Tension head ache:- Most common type . The pain usually is constant and generalised but often radiates forward from the occipital region. It is dull ache or tight feeling of pain and is characteristically less severe in early part of the day and becomes more troublesome as the day goes on.
Causative factor is excessive contraction of the muscles of head and neck, emotional strain and anxiety.

2) Migraine:- Characterised by head ache associated with visual disturbance, photophobia and vomiting. The cause of migraine is largely unknown. Strain and psychological stress may be one of the aggravating factors of migraine. Head ache can be correlated to shiroroga in Ayurveda. “ Shiroroga shabdena shriogatha shoola rupa ruja abhideeyate”. The disease in which headache is the prime symptom are named as shiroroga according to our science. The main cause of this are use of incompatible food, excess strain, stress, work, lack of exercise. Here the thridosha (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) are aggravated and causing the problem.

3) Vertigo:-This is the loss of consciousness with or without falling down. Can be correlated to dizziness. This may be assosiated with tinnitus and deafness, then it is called as Meniers’s disease.

4) Epilepsy:-Means tendency to have seizures and is a symptom of brain diseases, rather than a disease itself.

5) Stroke: - It is a condition where half part of the body completely/partially becomes weak, so that patient cannot do his daily regimen. May be because of cardiovascular disease or hypertension it occurs.
Risk factors include age, heredity, history of hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, smoking, intake of excess alcohol, oral contraceptives. According to Ayurveda, term Pakshaghada/Pakshavada is used for stroke. In this due to intake of Asatmyahara, too much oily or spicy food, stressful work, psychological stress etc leads to aggravation of one’s vata dosha and this aggravated vata causes contraction of Sira( Veins) Snayu (tendons) thus causing weakness or total paralysis of body.

6) Motor Neuron Disease- This is a progressive disorder of unknown cause, in which there is degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord, cranial nerve nuclei and pyramidal neurons in the moter cortex.
Clinical Features. Usually occur after age 50yrs, there may be limb muscle weakness, cramps, disturbance of speech and difficulty in swallowing.

7) Cervical spondylosis- This is the commonest disease in which degeneration of the intervertebral discs occurs. It is often asymptomatic but may be associated with neurological dysfunction at the C4/5 C5/C6, C6/C7 vertebral levels and C5 C6 C7 roots are most commonly affected. Patient complains of pain in the neck & stiffness and neck movements may aggravate pain. Numbness and sensory loss, weakness, wasting, reflex impairment may be found in the affected segment.
According to Ayurveda, aggravated vata dosha due to improper lifestyles, stays in the shoulder and neck region and does the contraction (samkocha) of Sira’s and causes pain and numbness in that region.

Lower Back Ache (Lumbar Disc Herniation)

Onset may be sudden or gradual. Constant aching pain is felt on the lumbar region and may radiate to buttocks, thigh, calf and foot. Pain aggravates by coughing, straining and may be relieved by lying flat.
Acute lumbar herniation is often precipitated by trauma, usually by lifting heavy weights, while spine is flexed. The nucleous pulposus may bulge or rupture through the annulus fibrosis, giving rise to pressure on nerve endings or nerve roots.

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