Neurodegenerative Disorders – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Neurodegenerative disorders form a group of diseases in which there is a progressive loss of structure or function of neurons or nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in progressive degeneration and death of the nerve cells causing problems with movement (ataxia) or with mental functioning (dementia). These disorders are characterized by a standard pathological process involving inflammation; oxidative stress; abnormal depletion or insufficient synthesis of neurotransmitters; and genetic mutations, causing damage to protein synthesis and premature cell death. This results in aggregation or deposit of abnormal protein clumps in various parts of the brain and spinal cord, and characteristic symptoms which help in identifying specific diseases. More than 200 such diseases are listed in this group; the commonly known diseases include Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), Huntington’s disease (HD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and Ataxias [including Spino-Cerebellar Ataxia (SCA)].

AD is characterized by cognitive impairment causing loss of memory; disturbance in reasoning, planning, language and perception; and behavioral changes. This disease causes deposits of fibril clumps of abnormal β amyloid protein known as senile plaques. This causes gross atrophy and degeneration of different parts of the brain including the temporal lobe, parietal lobe, parts of the frontal cortex, and the lingulate gyrus.

PD is a chronic and progressive movement disorder characterized by slow movement (bradykinesia), rigidity, resting tremor, and postural instability. There is an abnormal accumulation of protein known as Lewy bodies, causing death of dopamine generating cells in the substantia nigra, a region of the midbrain. Both AD and PD are usually associated with advanced age.

HD is an adult onset, autosomal dominant, inherited disorder characterized by involuntary movements, dementia, and behavioral changes. There is a loss of neurons in the basal ganglia and frontal and temporal cortex. The subthalamic nuclei send control signals to the globus pallidus which initiates and modulates motion. Weaker signals cause reduced initiation and modulation of movement resulting in the characteristic choreiform (repetitive, rapid and jerky) movements of HD.

ALS is a disease in which motor neurons are selectively targeted for degeneration. Motor neurons are nerve cells located in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord which serve as controlling units and communication links between the nervous system and voluntary muscles of the body. Motor neurons in the brain are known as upper motor neurons while those in the spinal cord are known as lower motor neurons. ALS is a rapidly progressive neurological disease affecting both the upper and lower motor neurons. There is a loss of voluntary control over arms, legs, and respiratory muscles. Muscle wasting, atrophy, and twitching (fasciculation) cause problems with movement, dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing), dysarthria (difficulty in speech) and spasticity. Sensory function and cognition are usually well maintained. ALS pathology includes protein aggregates, mutation in the gene encoding the antioxidant Superoxide Dismutase 1 (SOD 1), and mutation in chromosome 9. The mutation first acts on the local astrocytes, which later causes a toxic effect on the entire motor neuron.

Ataxias are a group of neurological disorders in which there is degeneration and atrophy of the cerebellum, causing abnormal and uncoordinated movements, gait abnormalities, fine motor in-coordination, speech and swallowing difficulties, visual abnormalities, increased fatigue, and cognitive and mood problems. Ataxia types include episodic ataxia, idiopathic ataxia, ataxia telangiectasia, oculo-motor apraxia, vitamin E deficiency ataxia, and COQ10 deficiency ataxia. Freidrich’s ataxia is an autosomal recessive variety. SCA is an autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia. It has subtypes 1, 2 and 3; SCA 7 is a slightly different type where vision abnormalities precede the ataxia.

There is currently no cure for neurodegenerative disorders; conservative treatment is mainly symptomatic and supportive in nature. Vitamins and supplements are given to help reduce symptoms or slow down the rate of progression of the disease. Occupational therapy and physiotherapy are given to maintain muscle strength and tone. Medications are given to reduce anxiety, induce sleep, reduce pain and twitching, increase blood supply to the brain, and to help balance neurotransmitters.

In this scenario, Ayurvedic treatment has a special role to play in the comprehensive management and control of neurodegenerative diseases. Preclinical and clinical studies have conclusively shown that herbal medicines bring about autoimmune modulation and neuro-protection; reduce inflammation in nerve cells; reduce mitochondrial damage; and possess antioxidant properties.

Ayurvedic treatment is therefore very useful in improving general body immunity as well as specific immunity of the nervous system. Ayurvedic medicines strengthen the nervous system and bring about immunomodulation where there are definite signs of immune mediated damage. Herbal medicines reduce abnormal protein synthesis and aggregation, and help remove abnormal protein deposits. These medicines also help reduce nerve inflammation and help repair and reduce demyelination. Ayurvedic treatment helps improve muscle strength, tone, and neuromuscular coordination; helps rebuild damaged nerves and damaged and dysfunctional parts of the brain; modulates and halts programmed cell death of nerve cells; reduces and reverses mitochondrial dysfunction and genetic mutation; and also helps reduce damage due to the hereditary component of nerve degeneration.

Currently, scientific treatment of neurodegenerative disorders with Ayurvedic medicines is still in the infancy stage, with drug regimes being planned more on a clinical basis to treat functional impairment. This approach is reaping good dividends; affected individuals – with a previous lack of response to all medications – have started improving at a significant pace. Hopefully – in the near future – specifically targeted treatments will emerge, which will treat and reverse damage in specific parts of the nervous system. This will help expedite treatment results, and identify uniform treatment approaches, which in turn will help reduce the devastating effects these diseases have on affected individuals, and hopefully bring about a complete remission.

Dr. A. A. Mundewadi is Chief Ayurvedic Physician at Mundewadi Ayurvedic Clinic based at Thane, Maharashtra, India. He is available as an online Ayurvedic Consultant at http://www.ayurvedaphysician.com

The online clinic offers Ayurvedic treatment for all chronic and refractory health problems. Dr. A. A. Mundewadi, B.A.M.S., has clinical experience of over 28 years and clinical research experience of 15 years. He has conducted extensive research in HIV infection, Schizophrenia and many other chronic diseases.

Essential Oils: For Perfect Wellness and Health Standards

The essential oils have been in use since the time immemorial because of their countless benefits. These are basically the oils that have been extracted from the leaves, stems and roots of various species of plants. These contain the essence of the plants which is widely used for various purposes.

These are basically extracted from the herbs. The herbs are widely known for their healing properties. Some of the most popular attributes of these plants are antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and unique medicinal properties. Owing to these properties, the extracted oils from the herbs are widely used. Some of the most popular usage of essential oils is discussed below.

Improve Your Physical Wellness

The drastic change in the lifestyle has given birth to several problems & diseases. The toxicity level, poor diet, lack of exercise and various other environmental factors are responsible for degrading health standards. The essential oils and essential oils infused supplements help in improving your health standards. As these are extracted from naturally occurring herbs, these contain minerals & vitamins that provide proper nourishment to the body.

Refine Your Skin

The essential oils are considered as the best remedy for various skin related problems. The beauty products containing these oils help in providing proper cleansing of the skin. These help in providing nourishment to the skin cells. There are various environmental factors like sun rays, dust, weather and pollution, adversely affect our skin. To counter the effect of these factors and to provide proper nourishment, these oils are widely used.

Rejuvenate Your Spirit

Our body needs pampering in order to get complete relaxation. To get rid of anxiety and stress, the massage is the best therapy. The essential oils are widely used in this therapy because of their pleasing fragrance and healing nature.The massage helps in revitalizing your spirit. Moreover, the pleasing odor of these compounds helps in developing a positive energy inside the body.

Purify Your Home

The essential oils infused compounds also act as insecticides. Their pleasing odor acts as an insect repellent. Owing to this property, these are widely used in making various insect repellent compounds.

Spiritual Healing & Meditation

The essential oils and products contain these are widely used in aromatherapy. In this therapy, the fragrances play a crucial role in providing healing from various diseases. The pleasing odor of these compounds helps in rejuvenating the spirit. These help a lot in providing complete wellness to an individual.

Some of the most popular oils are lavender, clove, jasmine, sandalwood and various others. These are widely used in the manufacturing of medicines, cosmetics, beauty products, insect repellent and various other products.

Natural Therapy India is an online b2b portal that is offering information of various essential oils manufacturers & wholesale supplier in India. It contains listing of various companies that are offering olive oil, fish oil gel at competitive prices.

Overcoming Fear of Autism

We all have our share of irrational fears based on personal experiences, beliefs, and misinformation. Although there is the intellectual reasoning which tells us some fears are really baseless, yet they persist. There are instances where fear results from our lack of knowledge about a particular subject, or simply not understanding it. Some of the anti-autism rhetoric that has permeated segments of society is fear based. The element of fear is hindering employers from granting job opportunities to ASD prospects who may demonstrate behaviors rarely seen in the workplace. Many employers fear their liability will skyrocket if they hire autistic employees, however research does not support their position. Additionally, feedback from companies who have hired workers on the spectrum indicates no significant safety or health care liability costs. Moreover, employers have been pleasantly surprised that employees with autism are extremely steady, loyal, safety conscious, and willing to learn new skills. In essence, those hiring managers faced their fear of autism – only to discover the humanity behind the label.

Fear of autism is by no means limited to employers and hiring managers. Actually, the problem sometimes strikes much closer to home as there are family members incapable of showing unconditional love to an autistic relative. For myriad reasons, some individuals view autism as a badge of inadequacy or brokenness, leaving them feeling out of control. What is overlooked in these situations is the fact that family members on the spectrum are usually completely innocent. While this is not meant to dismiss the emotional component of autistic families, it spotlights the depths of dysfunction that sometimes surrounds the disorder. Driven by fear, and to some extent narcissism, some family members alienate those who only want them to accept and love, free of bias. Given the complex nature of family dynamics, it is difficult – if not impossible- to pinpoint a reason for this type of behavior. Suffice it to say, it would be much more prudent getting to really know the person with autism and basing any decisions on relevant facts.

This brings us to the final area of fear involving autism spectrum disorder. This one is personal and we could even say it pertains to matters of the heart. As sure as Winter gives way to Spring, young people fall in love. Contrary to popular belief, young adults on the spectrum do feel – very deeply I might add, with some relationships leading to commitment and marriage. There are those of the opinion that two adults on the spectrum should not have children, for fear of producing children with autism. While this may seem like antiquated thinking, it is a position held by many in society today. As we are all aware, heredity can be unpredictable and even our safest assumptions are often wrong. Ultimately, we have neither the moral or legal authority to dictate affairs of the heart. This brings to mind the sage advice of Buddha, “Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.” Fears surrounding who gets married and any subsequent offspring are not the areas we should be focused on. The real fear is not being proactive and allowing precious time to slip away before we decide to act.

George D. Williams, MS – Author of “Who Will Care For Them – What the Future Holds For Millions of Autistic Adults.” He is an in demand speaker whose focus is addressing the challenges facing the growing young adult autism spectrum disorder population.

Would I Benefit From Acupuncture?

Many people have heard about acupuncture and the first comment is usually “Stick needles in me? No way!” In general, we fear that which do not know or the unfamiliar, especially if we think pain is involved.

Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of medicine; it has been in practice for more than 2000 years! Acupuncture has provided billions of successful treatments with minimal side effects for centuries. In 1978 WHO, (World Health Organization) recognized acupuncture as a valid medical modality for treatment of various diseases and conditions.

Despite the success and history of acupuncture, for many, the fear of needles is greater than the potential health benefits. If you are among those who have a fear of needles, you are not alone. Unlike getting a shot, acupuncture does not hurt. Sensation of tingling or mild electric sensation is possible. The acupuncture needle is so thin, thinner than a strand of your hair. In fact, approximately 14 acupuncture needles can fit in the hollow needle used for a standard blood draw. Think about that the next time your doctor orders a blood test!

A licensed acupuncturist will use a single use sterile acupuncture needle recognized by FDA as a medical instrument. Acupuncture is a healing art; causing pain diminishes the body’s ability to heal, which is contraindicative of the goal of providing healing. The trained acupuncturist is skilled in placing the needles to maximize healing without discomfort or pain.

Take a moment and think of the benefits, put the needle fear behind you and try acupuncture. After a treatment or two, you may begin to notice the benefits of acupuncture. In fact, you will most likely fall in love with this ancient, healing technique. Especially as your pain is reduced, stress becomes manageable, sleep comes easier and better, your digestion and heartburn are eased or your migraines are a thing of the past! We all suffer from any one of the above items at some point or another and an acupuncture treatment is a great solution.

In addition to the therapeutic effect of acupuncture in the treatment of many diseases, acupuncture offers excellent support for healthy weight loss, addiction treatments including smoking.

Have you noticed a friend suddenly looking different? Healthier, looking like they just received a facelift but there are no scars or swelling? In recent decades acupuncture has become widely used for cosmetic purposes leaving patient with a younger healthier appearance.