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Muscular Dystrophies

The Ayush Samiti / Muscular Dystrophies

How to fight Muscular Dystrophies?

Families of several children and adults afflicted with muscular dystrophy are registered with AMDS India, and are being helped with information about all aspects of muscular dystrophies including Ayurvedic Treatment, Yoga, physiotherapy, diet, monitoring breathing, and updates about upcoming new forms of treatments.

Supportive care is essential to preserve muscle activity and to allow for maximal functional ability of the patients, and also to prolong their life expectancy. The primary focus includes prevention and correction of skeletal abnormalities, such as scoliosis, foot deformities, and contractures so patients can, maintain ambulation. In order to improve quality of life (QoL) and to prolong life expectancy preventing Lung and cardiac complications is the other main concern.

Ayurveda considers dystrophy condition as Mamsa-Vata-kshaya related to beeja dosha and impairment of Mamsagni (muscle enzyme). The pathology involves gradual deletion of Vata energy and subsequent degeneration of muscles and structures related to it. Ayurvedic treatment might slow or even stop the progression of muscle degeneration. A combined strategy of Til-Mash Pinda procedure, physiotherapy and Mamsagni Rasayana, Sukumar Guggul along with Yoga exercises is found to be effective in (i) preventing contracture, (ii) maintaining muscle strength and (iii) preserving respiration. Researchers have shown a fall in serum CPK level and improved functional abilities through the application of above treatment, which suggests that further muscle destruction can be checked.

Patients are diagnosed by modern methods after which Ayush specialists carry out a family-support based rehabilitation program to improve the duration of patient’s ambulatory stage. The Ayurvedic treatment agenda has been developed to actively involve the patient’s care taker in the rehabilitative programs at a special Ayush clinic. This integrated holistic approach has proven to be efficient to control symptoms, increase mobility and lengthen the patient’s life. Ayush approach has been proven to benefit the families of patients and is being explored further.

Diagnosis & Further Research

To confirm the diagnosis of muscular dystrophy, muscle biopsy & DNA test are the most important investigations along with detecting high levels of Creatinine phosphokinase, or CK, in the blood. Electromyography shows the typical features of muscle dystrophy. Histochemistry & Immuno-Histochemistry uses antibodies to detect the presence or absence of proteins. This analysis can show whether the cells are missing dystrophin (indicating DMD or BMD), sarcoglycans (limb-girdle MD), merosin (congenital MD) or other proteins whose absence causes specific types of muscular dystrophies.