Motor neuron disease
The motor neuron diseases are the collective name for a group of neurological orders that destroy motor neurons, the cells that regulate the voluntary muscle actions such as breathing, speaking, swallowing and walking. The degeneration of the motor neurons leads to loss of mobility in the limbs, and difficulties with breathing, speaking and chewing are the part of nerve disorders.
Motor neuron diseases can affect both adults and children. In children, the disease is mostly inherited from parents and symptoms appear before the child starts to walk. In adults, women are more likely than women to be affected by motor neuron disease.
The motor neuron diseases are of different kinds, inherited or sporadic. It is also further classified according to whether degeneration affects upper motor neurons, lower neurons, or both. Inherited and spordiac conditions can cause problems in arms , legs or facial muscles. Primary lateral sclerosis affects upper motor neurons, while progressive muscular atrophy upset the lower motor neurons in the spinal cord.
Common symptoms of motor neuron diseases
- Difficulty in breathing
- Difficulty in speaking
- Involuntary contraction of muscles
- Spasticity of the Limbs
- Loss in weight
- Speech is affected
- Difficulty in walking
- Inability to hold the objects in the hands
- Loss of Tendon reflexes
- Emotional disability
The end stage symptoms of motor neurone disease include total body paralysis and significant breathing difficulties.
Ayurveda considers motor neuron disease as the disease of the Vata dosha. In this condition normalcies of Vata like its Gunas and Karmas are being affected. The sensory and motor activities in the brain are affected by other doshas (pitta and kapha) which also contribute to the disease. The aim of the Ayurvedic treatment is to remove the hindrance caused by specific dosha and maintain the normalacy of the vata. Motor neuron diseases are efficiently managed by panchakarma and other rejuvenation therapies
Muscle is a unique kind of tissue that facilitate our bodies to move. This tissue is under the control of the nervous system, which sends messages to all parts of the body.
Paralysis can be defined as the inability of a muscle to move voluntarily in any part of the body. The condition occurs when something goes wrong with way messages travel between your brain and muscles. The condition may lead to loss of feeling or loss of mobility in the affected area.
Paralysis occurs due to strokes or injuries such as spinal cord injury. Nerve diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and autoimmune diseases such as Guillain-Barre syndrome can also lead to paralysis. Bells’s plasy (inflammation of the nerves in the face) and other nerve damages can also cause paralysis. Environmental factors such as toxins, radiations or poisons can also contribute to paralysis.
Paralysis may be either partial or complete. Paralysis symptoms can occur on one or both sides of the body. It can be limited to just one area of body or it can be widespread. When paralysis affects lower half the body, including both legs, it called paraplegia. Quardriplegia is the paralysis caused to both arms and both legs.
Signs of paralysis
- Weakness of the limbs
- Muscle cramps
- Loss in vision
- Loss of conciousness
- Abnormal sweating
- Changes in circulation and respiration
- Difficulty in speaking and swallowing
In Ayurveda paralysis is discussed under vata vyadhi disorder. Paskhaghata, Paksha vadha and Ekanga vata are thre three terms used in Ayurvedic texts to depict Paralysis. Facial paralysis is mentioned as a separate entity in ayurveda and it is called Ardita vata. Various treatment guidelines for these patients are mentioned in the ayurvedic texts.
The patient should follow a strict diet and make sure to avoid barley, millet and rye. Avoid dry fruits such as apple, figs, pears and pomegranate during the treatment period. The patient should say strict “no” to poorly cooked or raw food. White meat like chicken and fish is preferred than red meat like mutton and beef.
Aswagandha (winter cherry) is a highly effective ayurvedic medicine used to cure paralysis. Bala commonly known as country mallow is also considerd to be an effective medicine for paralysis. Some ayurvedic therapies are also recommended in treatment of paralysis..