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How to Prolong Walking (Ambulation) in DMD Boys ?

The Ayush Samiti / DMD  / How to Prolong Walking (Ambulation) in DMD Boys ?

How to Prolong Walking (Ambulation) in DMD Boys ?

Children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy may start walking later than average, and have large calves as toddlers. Often the disease goes unnoticed until age 3-5, when muscle weakness affects walking, climbing steps, and other activities. Children with Duchenne MD may: run slowly. Many families try Ayush treatment in the hope to prolong ambulation (walking). Ayurvedic Rasayana medicines, TMP procedure and Yogic support help to prolong age and ambulation in DMD boys. Ayurvedic Rasayana remedies and therapies target multiple pathogenic pathways simultaneously and should be considered as strong candidates for the long term treatment of NMD including muscular dystrophies.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a genetic disorder that causes muscles to gradually weaken over time. A person with DMD will eventually lose the ability to walk and will have problems with breathing and his or her heart. Children who have DMD make no or low amounts of a protein called dystrophin. Dystrophin acts like glue, holding muscles together by keeping the structure of muscle cells. Without it, muscles weaken over time and become unable to work properly. A simple and inexpensive blood test called creatine kinase (CK) can help make the diagnosis. If the test results are positive, you should confirm it by DNA finger printing and muscle biopsy.

DMD is typically managed with corticosteroids but often have a number of side effects, including fluid retention, Osteopenia, high blood pressure and weight gain, among others. Currently there is no curative treatment available. In India 54 babies born every day with DMD. India could have 8-10 lakh patients of various types of muscular dystrophies. DMD children in India don’t survive beyond 20 ears but they live even up to 40 years in western countries due owing to good healthcare.

In Ayurved, DMD disease can be referred to as ‘Adibala pravrit Mamsgat Vata Kshay due to Beej dosha. According to Charak Acharya, the Muscle is embryologically derived from Matruj avayav/bhav therefore the defective gene transferred/deleted from maternal x chromosome. The aim of the Ayurvedic treatment is to strengthen muscles and to prolong age and ambulation by checking inflammation and fibrosis in the muscle tissues.

Ayurvedic Rasayana medications and procedures usually help delay the loss of muscle mass and prolog ambulation. Ayurvedic Rasayana preparations such as Mamsagni Rasayana, Sukumar Guggal Rasayana and Myocons, either alone or in combination, are being studied to determine if they are able to increase strength and muscle mass. These nutritional supplements have been found to protect cell membranes from oxidative injury. It may also be essential for proper mitochondrial function and cellular energy production.

The Ayurvedic Rasayana medications gives good results along with TMP physical therapy, diet and Yogic support. These therapeutic supports can help prevent deformities, improve movement, and keep muscles as flexible and strong as possible. The physical supports include passive stretching, postural correction, and exercise. An Ayurvedic program is developed by AMDS India to meet the individual patient’s needs. The Ayurvedic Program should begin as soon as possible following diagnosis, before there is joint or muscle tightness. Passive stretching can increase joint flexibility and prevent contractures that restrict movement and cause loss of function. Passive stretching on children may be easier following a ayurvedic massage (TMP procedure), warm bath or shower.

Regular, moderate Yogic exercise can help MD patients maintain range of motion and muscle strength, prevent muscle atrophy, and delay the development of contractures. Persons with a weakened diaphragm can learn deep breathing exercises that are designed to keep the lungs fully expanded.

Proper nutrition is essential, for overall health. Limited mobility or inactivity resulting from muscle weakness can contribute to obesity, dehydration, and constipation. A high-fiber, high-protein, low-calorie diet combined with recommended fluid intake may help.

Support aids such as wheelchairs, splints and braces, other appliances, and overhead bed bars (trapezes) can help maintain mobility. Braces are used to help stretch muscles and provide support while keeping the patient ambulatory. Spinal supports can help delay scoliosis. Repeated low-frequency bursts of electrical stimulation to the thigh muscles can produce a slight increase in strength in boys with Duchenne MD.

If your child is diagnosed with DMD, there are many groups that can help you, including the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy: and the Muscular Dystrophy Association: . For Ayurvedic treatment you can contact the Ayush Muscular Dystrophy Society (India)

Dr. Mukesh D. Jain

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