Parkinson's disease has a major socioeconomic impact on society. It is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by sensory and motor impairment involving resting tremor, postural instability, gait difficulty, rigidity, speech difficulty, behavioral changes etc. The chronic progressive course of the disease often leads to severe disability resulting in high expenses of treatment and rehabilitation of patients. The treatment mainly consists of amelioration of the symptoms with Ayurvedic Medicines and Panchakarma treatments.
Parkinsonism plus syndrome/Atypical Parkinsonism
Primary symptoms can be divided into two:
1. Motor symptoms
2. Non-motor symptoms (Cognitive) - autonomic dysfunction, neuropsychiatric problems (mood, cognition, behavior or thought alterations)
Motor symptoms are considered cardinal in PD:
Secondary symptoms of Parkinson's disease
While the main symptoms of Parkinson's disease are movement-related, progressive loss of muscle control and continued damage to the brain can lead to secondary symptoms. These vary in severity, and not every individual will experience all of them. Some of the secondary symptoms include:
Stage 1: mild symptoms (tremors and/or movement symptoms like swinging arm while walking) do not interfere with daily activities and occur on one side of the body.
Stage 2: Symptoms worsen with walking problems and both sides of the body are affected.
Stage 3: Main symptoms worsen with loss of balance and slowness of movement.
Stage 4: Severity of symptoms requires help; usually the person cannot live alone.
Stage 5: Caregiver is needed for all activities. The individual may not be able to stand or walk and maybe bedridden and have hallucinations and delusions.
In ancient Ayurvedic treatises, there is a reference for Kampavata (Parkinson’s Disease)
“Kara paata thale kambe dehabhramana dukhitae,
nidra bango smriti ksheena kampavaatasya lakshana” -(Ref: Besavarajeeyam)
The classical treatment advised for Kampavata (Parkinson’s Disease) are
Ayurveda takes a unique approach to the management by Ayurvedic principles with a special emphasis on eliminating their causes by Panchakarma and medicinal treatment with the help of a wide range of herbal and herbal-mineral drugs. Ayurveda describes a large number of nootropic drugs (stimulating to mental activity, causing cerebral or intellectual activity) and nervous system tonics (i.e., Rasayana in the treatment of Vata diseases). Being a neurodegenerative disease, Parkinson’s disease is treated by Rasayana or Rejuvinative approach in Ayurveda. Rasayana drugs are essentially nutraceutical agents and Medhya Rasayana is specific neuro-nutrients or nervine tonics with nootropic effect.
Internal medicines and external applications of medicines play a key role in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Internal medicines include Kashaya(Decoction), tablets, capsules, Ghruthas(medicated Ghee) Bhasmas and medicated oils.
Pathya (Dietary Regimens)
Pathya for kampavata a nutritious diet:- high fibre food, wheat, jowar, kulatha, masha, til and sarsha (mustred) oil, ghee, milk, lashuna, hingu, ela, and specially meat of some selective animals.
Avoid the natural urges, ratri jagarana, katu tikta kashya rasa,exessive chinta, shoka, cold water etc.