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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic demyelinating disease of the central nervous system that leads to motor and sensory deficits. It is an auto-immune disorder caused by an initiation of inflammatory response leading to demyelination and loss of axons. This occurs at various focal points called ‘plaques’ which are distinguished by the presence of sclerosis. In the majority of the patients, the disease is initially characterized by episodes of reversible neurological responses followed by progressive deterioration of the central nervous system.
It is estimated that a total of 2.8 million people are living with MS worldwide (35.9 per 100,000 population).The incidence of MS has also increased since 2013, with May 30 being celebrated as World Multiple Sclerosis day.
The susceptibility of MS is twice as high in women as in men. Although there is a higher predilection towards the second and third decades of life, people of any ages including children can develop MS.
The exact cause of MS is unknown but recent researches throw some light on the involvement of genetic (HLA-DRB1) as well as extrinsic triggers that initiate demyelination and axonal damage.

What are the symptoms of MS ?

The onset is usually abrupt or insidious. It may begin as a mild weakness of limbs, fatigue or altered gait. Gradually it may progress into spasticity, hyperreflexia and sensory deficits.

• Spasticity: In 40% of cases the spasticity is often seen in the leg and is induced with movement.
• Hyperreflexia: Usually seen as Detrusor hyperreflexia occurs due to suprasegmental inhibition and manifests as urinary frequency, urgency and nocturia.
• Optic neuritis: Usually presents as blurred vision, dimness and altered colour perception. Diplopia or double vision occurs due to palsy of the sixth cranial nerve.

Other common symptoms include pin and needle sensation, tremors, vertigo, dysfunction of the bowel, cognition and sexual dysfunction. Psychological symptoms include depression, fatigue and loss of appetite.


Ayurveda and Multiple Sclerosis

Ayurvedic multiple sclerosis can be categorised under ‘Anukta Vatavyadhi’ presenting with nadi balakshayam,and Oja kshayam. This has been considered due to the involvement of neurological parameters in its pathogenesis. In chronic immune-compromising cases of MS, it would be wiser to include‘ Dooshi-Visha chikitsa’ as well which will help in pacifying the inflammation and decelerate demyelination.

Ayurvedic treatment for multiple sclerosis

Ayurvedic treatment focuses on reducing inflammation and decelerating the rate of degeneration. For reducing inflammation, procedures like Kizhi, Dhara etc are devised along with internal medications. For arresting degeneration and demyelination, Panchakarma procedures like Vasti, Tarpana, Nasya etc are useful.

Ayurveda for multiple sclerosis- Treatment for multiple sclerosis in ayurveda
Here at Maurya Ayurveda Hospital, we believe in a holistic approach that provides relief and rehabilitation. So we have integrated sessions of physiotherapy, speech therapy, yoga and meditation along with classical Ayurvedic treatment.

Ayurvedic cure for multiple sclerosis

The prime line of management is to eliminate the toxins that trigger inflammation. For this we administer pachana drugs and therapies. After the inflammation has subsided, our main focus is to manage further demyelination that causes Bala kshaya and Ojakshaya ( Loss of vitality). We provide santarpana therapies like Abhyanga, Shasthika Shali Pinda Sweda and Basti to control demyelination. Once the vitality is regained, measures to facilitate rehabilitation will be done. All this will ensure good relief from symptoms and an overall improvement in quality of life.

Multiple sclerosis in children ( Pediatric MS):

The term Pediatric MS is used when MS is seen in children less than 10 years of age and adolescents less than 18 years of age. It accounts to less than 5% of all MS cases reported. The highest incidence is seen between the age group of 13-16 years with female predominance. Vitamin -D deficiency and exposure to Epstein-Barr virus have been associated with the development of MS in children. Majority of the children (70%) are polysymptomatic and may present with one or more of the following:
• Gait abnormalities
• Sensory & Motor deficits
• Cognitive disability which includes visuo-motor integration,receptive speech,naming and task completion.
• Lhermitte’s phenomenon wherein there is a feeling of an electric shock running down their back and legs while bending their neck forwards.



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How is MS diagnosed?

A proper clinical examination along with supporting evidence obtained from ancillary tests like Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the brain, examination of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and IgG index can help diagnose MS. Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) is commonly used to assess the severity of the condition.

a. Relapsing–remitting MS: This is the commonest form of Multiple Sclerosis seen in 85% of MS patients. It is marked by flare-ups (relapses or exacerbations) of symptoms followed by intermittent periods of remission. b. Primary progressive MS: It affects approximately 10% of Multiple Sclerosis patients where symptoms continue to worsen gradually from the beginning. There are no periods of relapses or remissions, but there may be occasional plateaus. Such cases are more resistant to conventional drugs. c. Secondary progressive MS: This type of MS is less common and treatment with disease-modifying agents helps delay such progression. The course of disease continues to worsen with or without periods of remission d. Progressive-relapsing MS: This is a rare form of MS, seen in less than 5% of patients. It is progressive from the onset, showing intermittent flare-ups. However there are no periods of remission.

As it can compromise the mobility and sensory functionality of the person, it is always advisable to get medical aid as soon as possible.

Even though people with MS can live for many years after diagnosis, it is a debilitating disease that can alter the quality of life on a physical, mental and emotional level.

Even though people with MS can live for many years after diagnosis, it is a debilitating disease that can alter the quality of life on a physical, mental and emotional level.