Alzheimer’s Disease

Working for a road of recovery through Ayurvedic treatment -- Part 1

by Dr. Shubhankari P Rao

Those who had seen Mrs. Wagle in early eighties had picturised her as a lady of Magnetic personality, proud and totally confident - an epitome of a devoted wife and an excellent homemaker. She was a pillar of strength for the functioning of the rest of the household and a wife who would stay night after night with her husband in ill health and praying him back to health with rock bound faith. Today Mrs. Wagle after almost 20Years is unperturbed, unconcerned and undisturbed even on death of her husband. She has sunk into profound memory loss and failed to recognize even her husband --- a disease medically termed as Alzheimer’s (dementia) a brain disorder which is irreversible.

Mrs. Wagle underwent Hysterectomy in mid eighties. Shortly after this she started having problems of short-term memory loss. Forgetfulness is a natural part of menopause and ageing and none of them considered getting an expert evaluation done for her. In two years they noticed that there was a decline in her ability of managing finances or making calculations. She started developing an escapist behavior and would simply shrug from undertaking new activities and complex tasks. These are initial signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

The disease slowly progressed to long-term memory loss. She developed loss of reasoning; difficulty in communicating with others, decreased judgment abilities and found it difficult even in performing daily activities. Initially, precaution had to be taken to ensure safety and comfort because she was prone to wandering and getting lost.

In mid eighties, she sank into moderate degree of dementia. She had profound memory loss that interfered with her daily activities and she needed help from others to complete them. She was in a state of confusion and her judgment power also was severely impaired. Her sleep pattern suffered and there was hostility and verbal outburst in her behavior pattern. Most of the time she had a vacant look in her eyes.

In late nineties Mrs. Wagle was graded as having severe dementia. She developed severe impairment of mind and body. She no longer recognized her spouse and children. She had no sense of time or current location. Verbal communication was decreased to a point of phrases or mere syllables. This was when her husband passed away in the year 2000. Recently her communication degenerated to complete inability to speak. She was in the bed needed help for dressing, bathing, grooming, eating and toileting. Though her heart was ticking she was unaware of her surroundings.

What happens in Alzheimer’s?

People with Alzheimer’s experience difficulties in communicating, learning, thinking, and reasoning. These problems are so severe that they could affect the individual’s work, social activities and family life.

Inside the brain are hundreds of billions of nerve cells connected by trillions of fibers called axons and dendrites .The activity between them controls your thoughts, feelings, drives, aspirations, and personality. This control center of all that you do think and feel is very vulnerable to its environment as it floats in a bath of cerebrospinal fluid just like a fish in a tank absorbs whatever is put in the tank. In Alzheimer’s disease many conditions like the reaction to foods drugs, herbs, body activities, lifestyles and sometimes genetic mapping etc create a confused interlacing of these fibers followed by neurotic plaques, granular vascular degeneration, Brain sink age and decreased amount of brain chemicals involved in communication called neuro transmitters. All of these changes impair the function of the brain cells and eventually lead to cellular death. The sad part is unlike other cells the brain is unable to regenerate new neurons.

Ayurveda terms this as "Smruthi Nasha", caused by the depletion of dhatus or tissue elements and upward movement of the excessively accumulated bio energies. Intellect is pure, transparent, sharp, accurate, and subtle. The abode of intellect, which is the carrier of the three types of gunas- satvik, rajasik, tamasik, gets disturbed and their balance is lost. Satvik guna, which represents purity and consciousness, gets visually impaired by rajas, (the attribute of mind which usually represents energy and dynamism) and. Tamaa ,(the attribute of mind representing passivity and ignorance). manovaha srotas channels carrying cyclic impulses principally responsible for memory is kindled by the satva or the intellect.When this is completely evolved in tamaha or darkness the person is effected and there is malfunctioning of the mental activities. It is easier to prevent alzhimer’s then looking for treatment for correcting it.

Treatment Modalities for Alzheimer’s disease in stages: Continue >>>>

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