West syndrome is a type of epilepsy which mainly affects babies. Infantile spasms are the type of seizures that are linked to epileptic condition known as west syndrome. Epilepsy is a chronic communicable disease of the brain that affects 50 million people around. It is characterized by recurrent seizures with involuntary movement including the whole part of the body and sometimes partial with loss of consciousness and bladder control. These are the result of excessive electric discharge in brain cells. Epilepsy is two or more unprovoked seizures, different parts of the brain can be the site of discharge, they can vary from brief lapse to jerks for prolonged convulsions. In ayurveda it can be correlated with apsarmara. In this condition we will discuss its causes, signs, symptoms and its ayurvedic aspect to maintain a healthy life.
West syndrome (infantile spasms, epileptic spasms, hypsarrhythmia) causes seizures which last for a few seconds but they happen in bunches called clusters. 150 seizures in a cluster but babies have 60 clusters in a day. There is a triad of infantile spasms with changes in EEG known as hypsarrhythmia. This syndrome is caused by brain dysfunction whose origin can be prenatal, perinatal, postnatal. This can be seen in older patients known as epileptic spasms. Infantile spasms are linked with mental delays. These spasms begin in the early months after birth and sometimes get relief by medications. They are known as flexor spasms due to their appearance. Infants often cry during and after seizure. Babies who have infantile spasms stop developing, or they lose skills like sitting, rolling, lose their interest in surroundings and they interact less socially. Most infantile spasms start by 1 year of age and stop by 2-4 years of age.
- Epilepsy is a chronic non communicable disease of the brain that affects all age groups.
- 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy.
- It is estimated that 70% of people living with epilepsy could live seizure free if treated well.
- 80% of people with epilepsy live in low and middle income countries.
- The risk of premature death is three times higher than the general population.
- Metabolic disorders
- Brain infection
- Brain injury due to lack of oxygen
- Malfunction of neurotransmitter
- Alteration in GABA transmission process.
- Hyper production of corticotropin releasing hormone.
- It can be divided into 3 groups-
- Symptomatic- epilepsy is a known or suspected disorder.
- Cryptogenic- The cause is hidden, it is presumed to be symptomatic
- Idiopathic- No underlying cause, possibility of hereditary factor.
- Patients with down syndrome- 1 to 5% of infants with down syndrome appeared with west syndrome. Difficult to treat, as seizures are very difficult to control.
- Cryptogenic- When the cause is not known the case is referred to as cryptogenic west syndrome. Most commonly seen in boys is X linked hereditary.
- Loss of appetite
- Upper body bending towards knees.
- Head thrown back
- Knee curled toward body
- Lightning attack- Severe myoclonic convulsions on the entire part of the body and legs are bent.
- Nodding attacks- Conclusion of throat and neck flexor during which the chin is jerked towards the breast and the head is moved inwards.
- Salaam/ jackknife attacks- Rapid bending of the head, raising and bending of the arms with partially hands in front of the chest.
- History of child development
- Neurological examination
- EEG (Electroencephalogram)
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
- MEG (magnetoencephalography)
- CT Scan
- ACTH Hormone
- Vigabatrin ( a seizure medication)
- Steroid like prednisone
- Vitamin B6
- Ketogenic diet- High in fat and low in carbohydrate.
- Surgery- if a scan shows some lesion then the baby undergoes brain split surgery. After surgery there might be seizures but the intensity will be lower. About 7-10 babies might get autism, tuberous sclerosis complex ( a condition caused by non cancerous tumors in the body and brain) Usually seen before 10 years of age.
In ayurveda epilepsy is correlated with apasmara. Epilepsy is a condition where there is transient loss of consciousness for a certain period of time which lasts for a few seconds to minutes. It is generated from cerebral neurons. It may be associated with loss of memory, feeling of entering a dark room with involuntary movements. Aggravated doshas get accumulated in the brain which exerts illusion of mind, hallucination, seizures, tonic clonic movement of limbs. Later on this phase passes and the person goes back to sleep. In apasamar doshas are vitiated and are related to vata and rajo dosha. The main feature is impairment of memory (smriti).
- Consumption of unwholesome food and habits.
- Debilitated mind
- Over excited doshas
- Subconscious fear
- Delusion of mind.
- Contracted eyebrows
- Auditory hallucination
- Expiratory dyspnea
- Head retraction to one side
- Involuntary speech
- Dribbling of saliva
- Red and black discoloration on the body.
- Vataja apasmara- Due to vata dosha which is characterized by-
- Vomiting froth
- The patient aura is rough, black.
- Rigorous breathing
- Pittaja apasmara- Due to pitta dosha which is characterized by-
- Yellowness in limbs, face, eyes
- Visual aura yellow red spots
- Kaphaja apasmara- Due to kapha dosha which is characterized by-
- Feeling of coldness
- Patient aura is white
- White color foam of body, face and eyes.
- Shalaismika – Due to kapha dosha.
- Sannipatika- Due to imbalance of three doshas.
- DOSHA- Vata dosha predominant with raja and tama dosha
- DUSHYA- Smriti nash( loss of memory)
- ADHISTHANA- hridya and manovaha srotas
- SROTAS- Manovaha and sangyavaha.
This restores the activities of heart, channels and mind which are blocked by doshas by remedies like vamana.
- For vataj apasmara- Basti
- For pitaja apasmara- virechana
- For shlaismika apasmara- vamana
HERBS USEFUL IN WEST SYNDROME
Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) is the best remedy for epilepsy, has anti aging, anti diabetic and antioxidant properties. It is useful in depression, manic depressive disorder, insomnia, hearing and vision loss. Bacopa is useful in treating high B.P so controls stress and anxiety which further protects nerves and blood vessels. It improves the digestion power, in skin diseases, and in spleen disorders. Act as a good cardiac tone, reduces blood sugar level due to its antioxidant property and improves cell tissues. It is a natural detoxification herb and extensively used in ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). It is used as an anti stress tonic.
Shankhapushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) is used to improve memory and intelligence. Has tikta (bitter) taste, coolant in nature, and has snigdha and picchil properties. Shankhapushpi balances pitta and kapha doshas. Improves life expectancy, useful in cough, cold, mental disorders and depression, in skin disease, induces sleep. It has mild diuretic action so relieving fluid retention, treating migraines, and high blood pressure. It improves hair growth and quality of hair.
Chorka (Angelica glauca) is used in treatment of various skin diseases and in psychiatric disorders. Has ushna guna, katu (pungent) rasa. It reduces the vitiated kapha and vata dosha, strengthens the heart muscles and induces alertness. Helpful in many skin diseases, bites from poisonous animals. It is a shrub growing in himalaya region having green white flowers. Used to treat rhinitis, to control fever, improves the memory of a person, induces appetite, improves the evacuation of bowel movement.
Jyotishmati (Celastrus paniculatus) has katu, tikta rasa, ushna veerya, used as medhya rasayan. It balances vata and kapha dosha, improves digestion, and intelligence. Useful in liver disorder, anaemia, herpes virus. It relieves constipation and helps in quick healing of wounds. Mainly found in Punjab and kashmir. Induces vomiting, improves memory. It has a strong pungent taste.
Rasona (Allium sativum) Eliminate the mercury out of the urine. It offers hepatoprotective effect, Garlic has the whole taste except sour taste. It induces motility, causes diarrhoea, and increases pitta dosha. Balances vata and kapha, Has ushna veerya, useful in treating skin diseases and relieve worm infestation and used in infected wounds. Has anti inflammatory action, and has tissue rejuvenating property, used in treatment of fractures and further strengthening bone, Reduces cholesterol level improves blood circulation.
HERBAL REMEDIES BY PLANET AYURVEDA
Planet ayurveda is a GMP certified hub for manufacturing of ayurvedic products. It has many branches overseas, products are made according to classical ayurvedic texts. The products formulated by planet ayurveda are free from any conservatives, resins, colors, the products made are free from any animal origin, they are pure and completely vegetarian. The products are free from any side effects and provide many health benefits to one being.
- Neurogenie Capsules
- Neuroplan Syrup
- Kumar Kalyan Ras
- Brahmi Ghrit
- Anu Tailam
1. Neurogenie Capsules
They are polyherbal capsules formulated by planet ayurveda using ingredients like – Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). These capsules are helpful in improving both mental and physical health. It reduces the free radicals which are helpful in removing toxins out of the body. Neurogenie capsules are reducing vata dosha and are effective in neurodegenerative disorders. It has brahami which improves memory and reduces anxiety and ashwagandha has the property of improving the activity of brain memory.
Dosage– 1 capsule twice daily with plain water after meals.
It is an alcoholic preparation which is formulated by planet ayurveda by many herbs consisting of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Harad (Terminalia chebula), Saunf (Foeniculum vulgare), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) and many more. It is a nerve tonic used in treatment of epilepsy and memory weakness. It promotes brain sharpness, improves immunity, cures digestive and bowel problems. Useful in both males and females fertility, and quality of semen. It helps to improve digestion and voice.
Dosage– 2 tsp twice a day with equal amount of water.
3.Neuro Plan Syrup
It is polyherbal syrup which is formulated by planet ayurveda consisting of ingredients like Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Mandukaparni (Centella asiatica), Bhojpatra (Betula utilis), Sonth (Zingiber officinale), Madhuyashti (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and many more. This syrup is used as a nerve tonic for calming and relaxing effects on the brain. It manages the symptoms of eye blinking, shoulder movements ( elevation and rotation), lip contraction, opening and closing of mouth.
Dosage– 2 tsp twice a day with equal amount of water.
4. Kumar Kalyan Ras
It is herbal mineral ayurvedic formulation in the form of tablets prepared by planet ayurveda using ingredients like- Mukta bhasma (Calx of pearl ), Swarna bhasma (Calx of gold), Loha bhasma (Calx of iron) and many more. It is used to treat pediatric (fever, jaundice, vomiting, digestive power) and heart related ailments. Kumar kalyan ras balances pitta dosha.
Dosage- 1 tablet once daily with plain water after meals.
5. Brahmi Ghrit
Brahmi ghrit is classical ayurvedic preparation formulated by planet ayurveda using ingredients like- Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Kutha (Saussurea lappa), Ghee (cow’s ghee), Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) and many more. It balances tridosha (vata, pitta, kapha). Used in the treatment of improving intelligence and learning skills. Brahmi ghrit is useful in skin diseases, myalgia, and stress disorder.
Dosage– 3 drops of brahmi ghrit twice daily, but if the child is 7 yrs of age then 1/2 tsp with warm milk.
6. Anu Tailam
It is ayurvedic herbal oil used as nasal drops to maintain healthy organs, which is formulated by planet ayurveda using ingredients like- Til tail, Aja dugdha, Jivanti, Ushir, Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra) Agar and many more. Anu tailam is used as nasya (nasal instillation) strengthens the ear, nose, tongue. Balances tridosha, used in the treatment of headache, hairfall, premature graying of hair.
Dosage– 2 drops in each of the nostrils (if child is above 7 yr of age)
West syndrome is a type of epilepsy which mainly affects babies. This syndrome is caused by brain dysfunction whose origin can be prenatal, perinatal, postnatal. This can be seen in older patients known as epileptic spasms. In ayurveda epilepsy is correlated with apasmara. Here we discussed many herbal remedies by planet ayurveda which show effective results in patients.