Monomelic amyotrophy is a rarely occurring motor neuron disease which affects more men as compared to women. Age group of 15-25 years is common for onset of this disorder and symptoms start to appear in adolescent years. Monomelic amyotrophy usually affects Asians, however its distribution has been found throughout the globe. MMA or Monomelic amyotrophy is characterized by insidious development of atrophy of upper limb muscles and this grows further in about 2-5 years. After that there is no change in muscle atrophy, i.e. neither there is improvement nor worsens. No sensory loss or pain is reported in these cases and also MMA is not a hereditary disease. In this article you can get all the information about MMA along with its herbal management.
INTRODUCTION TO MONOMELIC AMYOTROPHY
MMA or Monomelic amyotrophy is a rare motor neuron disorder which causes weakness of muscles in the upper limb. Lower motor neurons are affected in MMA. These lower motor neurons are the cells which aid the communication and transfer of information to muscles from the brain, specifically skeletal muscles, the muscles which are responsible and involved in movements. There occurs loss or muscles mass and weakness of muscles in fingers and arms, i.e. upper extremities. Affected people usually develop the signs and symptoms around the age of 15-25 years. MMA is distributed worldwide but the countries which are affected most are Japan and India. It is not a hereditary disease but sometimes is found to run in families, however no specific gene or genetic mutation causing it is found yet.
AYURVEDIC ASPECT OF MONOMELIC AMYOTROPHY
As per Ayurvedic concept, the diseases in which muscle wasting or muscle weakness occur are co related with Mamsa-vata-kshaya which is caused due to the impairment in muscle enzyme (Mamsagni) or Beeja dosha. Here the Vata dosha is impaired which leads to degeneration and wasting of muscles.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF MONOMELIC AMYOTROPHY
There can be various signs and symptoms of MMA, however symptoms may vary in persons and not all the symptoms and signs will be found in one person:
- Weakness of muscles of fingers and hands
- Onset of symptoms is seen in forearm or hand and on one side of body
- Onset is usually between the age group of 15-25 years
- Wasting of muscles which progresses in three to nine years
- Other side of the body remains unaffected
- No pain or numbness
- In rare cases there can be seen spread to disease on other side f body usually after the age of 40 years
- Weakness worsens in cold temperature, i.e. Cold paresis
- Muscle cramps
- Hands remain cold mostly
CAUSES OF MONOMELIC AMYOTROPHY
The exact cause behind MMA remains unknown and not properly understood. However, the shift in position of the dural sac or thecal sac, i.e. the covering material which surrounds the spinal cord is considered to be the cause of this rare disease condition. Due to repeated flexion (downward movement) of the neck this may occur. It occurs on the spinal cord due to the changing position of the dural sac. Due to all these things, the ability of signals from the brain to arm muscles can be hampered and hence the signs and symptoms of MMA occur. Other than this there are some less common causes like an infection or dysfunction of the immune system.
DIAGNOSIS OF THE MONOMELIC AMYOTROPHY
The clinical history including signs and symptoms and physical examination will raise a suspicion of MMA in your doctor’s mind. Further this diagnosis is confirmed by certain laboratory tests and imaging tests. Imaging tests like CT scan and MRI shows the compression in the portions of the spinal cord. Further laboratory tests like EMG (Electromyography) shows the reduction in the response of the nerves which carries signals to arm muscles from the brain. However other causes of similar symptoms like trauma, muscle weakness or injury should be ruled out to confirm MMA.
TREATMENT OF MONOMELIC AMYOTROPHY
MMA is unfortunately considered to be an incurable disease and treatment is given to manage the symptoms of MMA and slow down the progression of disease and weakness of muscles. When the cause of the disease is compression of the spinal cord then a brace is given to be used around the neck which prevents the flexion, i.e downward movement of the neck. Certain muscle strengthening is recommended and in some cases even surgery can be suggested.
AYURVEDIC TREATMENT OF MONOMELIC AMYOTROPHY
Ayurvedic treatment aims at restoring the balance of the Vata dosha and preventing further damage to muscles. Treatment in Ayurveda aims at stopping or slowing down the progression of muscle wasting by removing the cause.
HERBAL TREATMENT BY PLANET AYURVEDA FOR MONOMELIC AMYOTROPHY
Planet Ayurveda is a very well known name in the field of herbal and Ayurvedic pharmaceutical companies and has been serving people for a very long time now. All the products and herbal remedies are purely vegetarian and free from chemicals, additives, dye, fillers, colors, yeast and preservatives. For MMA Planet Ayurveda offers a combination of herbal remedies which help in stopping or slowing down the progression of disease and relieves the complaints.
- Shilajit capsule
- Ashwagandha capsule
- Boswellia curcumin
- Vrihat vatchintamani ras
- Brahmi vati gold
1. Shilajit capsule
Shilajit (Asphaltum) is used in the standardized form in these capsules. These medicinal capsules impart strength to muscles managing the wasting and weakness of muscles. Shilajit capsule also helps in treating the weakness of muscles and symptoms associated with it.
Dosage– Take 1 capsule twice daily after meals with plain water.
2. Ashwagandha capsule
Ashwagandha capsules are prepared using Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) herb in its standardized form. Ashwagandha capsules help in preventing injuries to nerves and spinal cord, provide muscle strength and treat overall weakness.
Dosage- Take 2 capsules twice after meals with plain water
3. Boswellia curcumin
This therapeutic herbal capsule is prepared from two herbs, i.e. Shallaki (Boswellia serrata) and haridra (Curcuma longa) in their standardized form. Boswellia curcumin capsules act as herbal pain killers as they help in combating pain present in any part of the body and also inflammation is combated by them.
Dosage– Take 2 capsules twice daily after meals with plain water
4. Vrihat vatchintamani ras
Neurological disorders like MMA are caused due to the vitiation or imbalance of Vata dosha and these tablets help in restoring the balance of the dosha and treating disorder from root cause. These tablets are prepared using swarna bhasma (Calx of gold), pravala bhasma (Calx of coral), rajata bhasma (Calx of silver), loha bhasma(Calx of iron) and mukta bhasma (Calx of pearl) etc.
Dosage- Take 1 tablet twice daily after meals with plain water
5. Brahmi vati gold
It is the herbo-mineral combination of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Vacha (Acorus calamus), Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) Swarna makshika bhasma (Calx of copper and iron pyrite) etc. Brahmi vati gold tablets help in treating the nervous system disorder like MMA and also help in restoring the normal transfer of signals from brain to muscles.
Dosage- Take 1 tablet twice daily after meals with plain water
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Monomelic amyotrophy or MMA is a rare condition for which no proper treatment is yet established in modern medicine but as Ayurveda is the ancient medicine system, there is a solution of this disease in it. Taking the above mentioned remedies can help in slowing down or even stopping the progression of MMA.