Health Magazine

Ayurvedic Treatment For Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)

Posted on the 25 December 2019 by Dr Vikram Chauhan @Planetayurveda9

The term Atrophy refers to wasting away of cell components or tissues ultimately deteriorating the affected part of the body decreasing its functions. Multiple System Atrophy, therefore as it may clearly imply is the condition that involves atrophy of multiple systems of the body. Basically, it is a progressive neurological condition that involves atrophy of the cerebellum, brainstem, and basal ganglia which play an essential role in the regulation of internal autonomic functions of the body; thereby affecting body's involuntary (autonomic) functions, including blood pressure, breathing, bladder function and muscle control.

Ayurvedic Treatment For Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)

Impaired balance, movement difficulty, muscle rigidity, poor coordination, bladder dysfunction, sleep disturbances, and poor blood pressure control are the characteristic symptoms of the disorder which are more or less like other neurological conditions like parkinsonism's . However, patients with MSA typically show symptom onset at a younger age, with the average onset in the early 50s in contrast to patients with Parkinsonism's. It is imperative to understand that patients with this condition can never be cured completely, only symptoms be improved as this rare disorder slowly eats away the neurological control. Therefore, medications and lifestyle changes are helpful in the management but cannot revert the condition back to normal.

Causes of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)

The disorder which was first known as Shy-Drager Syndrome is believed to be a "sporadic," implying that there are no genetic or environmental factors identified that cause the disease, the exact cause is still unknown. The probability of genetic inheritance is also very rare.
However, identification of a protein called alpha-synuclein in the cells that support neural cells and more specifically in 'oligodendroglia', a cell which forms a coating on nerve cells to enable them to speedily conduct electrical signals is a distinguishing feature of MSA. Studies show the possibility of α-syn causing disruption in the support and maintenance of the neurons &altered neurotrophic factor levels

Symptoms of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)

The initial clinical symptoms are lightheadedness, dizziness, and episodes of passing out when the patient sit up or stand up - a condition c termed as a postural neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (NOH), a kind of low blood condition.

The other general characteristics symptoms are

  • Difficulty Initiating Movement.
  • Body Stiffness.
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Increased Falls.
  • Slowness of Movement
  • Lack of Coordination
  • Tremors
  • Impaired Speech
  • A Hoarse, Quivering Voice
  • Constipation And Loss of Bladder Control
  • Reduced Production of Sweat, Saliva And Tears
  • Sexual Dysfunction Like Loss of Libido
  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Difficulty in Controlling Emotions.

MSA in Contrast to Parkinsonism

  1. MSA affects several areas of the brain, including the cerebellum, the brain's balance and coordination centers, and the autonomic nervous system whereas Parkinsonism is the imbalance of neurotransmitter Dopamine in the brain.
  2. Parkinson's disease only affects the dopamine-producing neurons of a motor-controlling portion of the brain known as the nigro-striatal area whereas MSA on the other hand affects both neurons and glial cells.
  3. Onset of symptoms of MSA is in early 50s whereas Parkinson's have no definite age.
  4. Changes to a person's speech such as low pitch or quivering voice is also evident and absent in a patient with Parkinson's

Types of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)

MSA is characterized into two main subtypes based on the predominant symptom

1.MSA-Predominant Parkinsonism (MSA-P)

  • The most common symptoms in MSA-P are more similar to Parkinson's disease, hence the designation.
  • This condition may respond to medications used for Parkinson's disease; however, MSA-P tends to progress more rapidly than Parkinsonism.

2. MSA-Predominant Cerebellar Ataxia (MSA-C)

  • Patients are present with symptoms that affect the cerebellum, which plays a role in synchronizing motor movement.
  • Those who have this condition may look like intoxicated with alcohol, as they have difficulty in coordinating walking, hand movements, speech, and eye movements.

Diagnosis of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)

There is no specific test to diagnose Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), however, doctors rely on a combination of symptom history, physical examination, and laboratory tests to evaluate the motor system, coordination, and autonomic function to arrive at a probable diagnosis.

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) measures activity levels in the brain and can demonstrate areas of impaired brain function.
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET scan)
  • DaTscan.
  • Evaluation of a particular type of protein molecule, known as ABCA8, could provide a causative explanation and a screening tool for MSA.

Managing Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) With Ayurveda

Managing symptoms of Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) is the only way out to improve the condition of patients so as to allow them to carry out day-to-day activities. According to Ayurveda, this condition involves an imbalance of the 'Vata' energy of the body. The deranged 'Vata' energy cause slow and progressive damage to most parts of the sufferer's body. Therefore, herbal formulations prepared from pure and natural herbs can effectively help to balance the body and improve the condition in many positive ways.

Following herbal formulations benefit the patients with Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) in managing the severity of illness:

Ayurvedic Treatment For Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)

Ayurvedic Treatment For Multiple System Atrophy (MSA)

1. Brahmi Capsule :

Ingredient: Prepared from standardized extract of 'Brahmi' ( Bacopa Monnieri) herb. Benefits:

  1. Improves brain function and boosts memory
  2. Manages blood pressure, stress and anxiety
  3. Antioxidant properties keep the body healthy

Recommended Dosage: Two capsules with plain water two times a day, after meals.

2. Arjuna Capsules

Ingredient: Formulated using the bark extract of the 'Arjuna' herb ( Terminalia Arjuna)

Benefits:

  1. Manage heart problems and other potential metabolic diseases
  2. Treat high cholesterol, blocked coronary arteries, blood pressure, high triglycerides, and effectively manages congestive heart failure.

Recommended Dosage: 1-2 Capsules twice daily, with plain water, after meals.

3. Gotukola Capsules

Ingredient: Herbal extract prepared from ( Centella Asiatica) is an excellent herb for balancing the body's three energies - Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

Benefits:
  1. Balance the psychic energies of the body Satva, Rajas and Tamas
  2. Improve brain health, promote healthy blood circulation and maintain healthy metabolism
  3. Proven efficacy in management of depression, anxiety, and stress.

Recommended Dosage: 1-2 capsules two times a day with plain water, 30 minutes after meals.

4. Ashwagandha Capsules

Ingredient: Contains standardized extract of 'Ashwagandha' herb ( Withania Somnifera), provide relaxation to the muscles and enhance mental capabilities.
Benefits:

    Helpful in manging nervous breakdown, ageing, anxiety, stress, palpitations, and debilitating disorders.

Recommended Dosage: 1 capsule with plain water two times a day.

5. Curcumin Capsules

Ingredient: Prepared from pure and natural extracts of the 'Haridra' herb ( Curcuma Longa), a herb commonly known as turmeric or haldi.

Benefits:
  1. Contains a bioactive compound called as Curcumin which tends to balance the three psychic energies of the body.
  2. Improves Postural instability

Recommended Dosage: 2 capsules with plain water, twice a day.

6. Boswellia Curcumin Capsules

Ingredients: This contains pure and standardized extracts of traditionally important herbs like Shallaki ( Boswellia Serrata) and Curcumin ( Curcuma Longa).
Benefits-

    These capsules are very beneficial in managing various disorders like strains, inflammation, arthritis, sports injuries, etc.

Recommended Dosage- 1 capsule two times a day with plain water after meals.

7. Hakam Churna

Ingredients: Kalonji ( Nigella sativa), Methi ( Trigonella Foenum-Graceum), Ajwain ( Trachyspermum Ammi)and ( Lepidium Sativum).
Benefits:

    This herbal supplement works efficiently in reducing symptoms of liver diseases, diseases caused due to inflammation, digestive ailments, etc.

Recommended Dosage: It is recommended to take 3-5gm with hot water two times a day.

8. Shilajit Capsules

    Planet Ayurveda has formulated with pure purified and natural extracts of Shilajit which makes it beneficial in rejuvenating brain cells, increasing metabolism and cell regeneration.

Recommended Dosage: 2 capsules two times a day with plain water or milk after meals.

9. Giloy Capsules

Ingredients: Giloy ( Tinospora Cordifolia)
Benefits:

    This product is beneficial in treating urinary infections, Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), weakness and manages blood platelets count naturally.

Recommended Dosage: 1-2 capsules two times a day with plain water after meals.

Conclusion

Ayurvedic formulations can be extremely beneficial for Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) patients in coping with their degenerative condition, and also in the prevention of some possible complications like breathing abnormalities while sleeping, breakdown of skin due to progressive immobility, injuries from falls resulting from poor balance, difficulty in swallowing, and vocal cord paralysis.


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