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Dr. Vikram Chauhan - MD (Ayurveda)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Ayurvedic treatment of Hereditary Motor and Sensory Neuropathy (HMSN)

Moves of body are way to express our expressions and work. These all are controlled by nerves and brain. Nerves are integral part of human nervous system. Our nervous system comprises two parts-Central nervous system and the Peripheral nervous system. Nerves comprise within peripheral nervous system, which leave the brain and make network with all body parts. It has two important parts: sensory division that collects the impulses from body and send to brain and motor division who does the opposite from the sensory division.

NEUROPATHY a term used to explain diseases due to problem in nerves.

Neuropathy can either be sensory neuropathy or motor neuropathy. If disease occurs in both the systems, it is known as sensorimotor neuropathy.

Hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy (HMSN) is a group of inherited conditions that damage the peripheral nerves. It's also known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT).


  • HMSN (Type 1): It involves enlargement of the hypertrophic nerves with degeneration of the sheath called 'Myelin,' made up of fatty acids. This insulates a number of the body's nerve fibers.
  • HMSN (Type 2): It affects the person's muscles in their lower limbs more than the smaller muscles in their hands. It affects the nerve fibers known as 'Axons,' instead of the Myelin Sheath.


Genetically, it is caused by mutations in genes that produce proteins who make the basis of structure and function of either nerve axon or the myelin sheath .There is no single gene responsible for HMSN. It is X-linked inherited disorder that can be autosomal recessive or autosomal dominant. Due to concern with X chromosome, more prone to males than females.

General conditions in which this disease can evolve are alcoholism, vitamin B12 deficiency, thyroid disease, diabetes mellitus, HIV infection, neurosyphilis, heavy metal intoxication, and immune-mediated neuropathies such as chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP).


It appears gradually between the ages of 5 and 15, although sometimes during the middle age or later. The severity of symptoms varies greatly among individuals.

Early Symptoms are:

  • Finding difficult to walk because problems in lifting their feet from the ground
  • Toes dropping forward as they lift their feet (known as foot drop).

Some of the main symptoms of HMSN include:

  • Muscle weakness in the feet, ankles and legs at first
  • Having feet that are very highly arched
  • Curled toes ('hammer toes')
  • Very cold hands and feet, caused by poor circulation
  • Feeling tired a lot of the time, as a result of the extra effort it takes to move around
  • As it progresses, the muscle weakness and lack of sensation gets worse and affect hands and arms more. This can lead to problems with hand strength, making tasks such as doing up the buttons of a shirt very difficult.
  • In rare cases, individuals may have respiratory muscle weakness, HMSN is not considered a fatal disease and people with these have a normal life expectancy.

This disease can be diagnosed as first most by physical examination and further by certain tests like nerve conduction testing, EMG and nerve biopsy.

TREATMENT: There is no known pharmacological treatment to hereditary motor and sensory neuropathies. However, people with these diseases can walk and be self-sufficient. Relief for the disease include certain modes like physical therapy, stretching, braces etc.


Ayurveda theory explains that everything in the universe is connected. Good health is achieved when your mind, body, and spirit are in harmony with the universe.

Every person is made of a combination of five basic elements found in the universe:

  • Space
  • Air
  • Fire
  • Water
  • Earth

These elements combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. They control how your body works. These are:

  • Vata dosha (space and air)
  • Pitta dosha (fire and water)
  • Kapha dosha (water and earth)

Each dosha controls a different body function.


Ayurvedic medicine -known as Ayurveda - one of the world's oldest holistic (whole-body) healing systems. It is an ancient treatment originated in India.

It is based on the fact that health is combined balance of mind, body and spirit. It works on the principles of body types. Hence for the same disease, different people are given different medicines.


Ayurvedic herbal cure for HMSN disease includes the use of herbal medicines to cure the inflammation and degeneration of peripheral nerves, mainly of the lower limbs. Medicines that act on the central nervous system as well as the individual nerve cells form the chief support of treatment. Medicines which improve neuromuscular coordination and preserve the functioning of muscles are also used in combinations.

Hereditary Motor and Sensory Neuropathy, Herbal Remedies, Ayurvedic Treatment


1. Ashwagandha Capsules:

Ashwagandha is a plant with great medicinal values. The root extract is used as to make medicines for therapeutic benefits. Modern research has found several types of alkaloids in Ashwagandha of which somniferin and withaniol are responsible for its multiple actions. The roots of the plant have been reported to have Alkaloids, Withanolides and many Glycosides.

Regular use of Ashwagandha capsules give strength to muscles, relieves the muscles and calms down the system. It is a nervine tonic, enhances stamina physical as well as mental. It can be given to growing children, as well as to old age people.

2. Brahmi Capsules:

Brahmi is a plant of great use in diet by ancient Ayurvedic practitioners for a healthy and strong body. It is a creepy herb that grows in branches.

Brahmi has been used since ancient times for Brain and memory power. Recent studies and research show that Bacosides- an active compound in Brahmi has therapeutic influence on the degrading cells of brain in Alzheimer's disease. The research also showed that Brahmi can also influence regeneration of brain cells in a very positive way.

3. Chanderprabha Vati:

Chander means moon and Prabha means glow. Regular use of this enhances glow on your face and improves functions of the body systems.

It is used as Herbal Remedy for emotion related stressful conditions, diabetic neuropathy. In females it is helpful in general weakness, lower back pain, ovarian cysts, painful and irregular menstruation and lack of glow on face.

4. Yograj Guggul:

Yograj Guggul is a very famous Ayurvedic medicine in tablet form. It is a combination of many Ayurvedic herbs with guggulu which are traditionally used in Ayurveda for old Vata (Air) related problems of joints and muscles. Yograj Guggulu contains detoxifying herbs which helps to remove excess Vata (Air) from the joints as well as from muscles and nerves.

At the glance, Ayurvedic herbal formulations can significantly improve quality of life of patients with HMSN disorders and can help to bring about a significant remission of the symptoms. Ayurvedic herbal formulations thus have a significant role to play in the management and treatment of Hereditary Motor and Sensory Neuropathy.

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