What is Progressive Spinal Muscular Atrophy?
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a disease characterized by progressive degeneration of motor neurons in the spinal cord. The disorder causes weakness and wasting of the voluntary muscles. This weakness is often more severe in the legs than in the arms. Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) affects the nerves in an area of the spinal cord called the anterior horn. These nerve cells become damaged, breaking the link between the brain and the muscles. As a result, the muscles can't be used and become wasted or atrophied. SMA affects the voluntary muscles (especially those closest to the trunk of the body) used for activities such as crawling, walking, head and neck control and swallowing.
What Types There Are?
There are several different types of spinal muscular atrophy: type I (severe, also known as Werdnig-Hoffmann syndrome), type II (intermediate) and type III (mild, also known as Kugelberg-Welander disease) affect children, while there are a variety of types of adult-onset SMA that develop later in life.
Type I may begin before birth (lack of foetal movement in late pregnancy) or shortly afterwards, and an affected baby is rarely able to lift his head or develop normal movement. Swallowing, feeding and breathing may be difficult, and the child rarely survives to the age of two.
Type II usually appears in the first couple of years. The child may reach adulthood, although they may need help to sit or stand, and strain on the muscles can cause complications.
Type III may be diagnosed as late as adolescence. Those affected may have problems walking or getting up from sitting.
Unlike types I, II and III, which aren't usually progressive, adult-onset SMA tends to progress very slowly, although it's not usually life-threatening. Symptoms are variable and depend on the muscles affected. Fatigue may be a problem, but the muscles used for swallowing and respiratory function are rarely affected.
What Causes It?
Types I, II and III SMA are autosomal recessive conditions and affect boys and girls equally. It's estimated that about 1 million people in the UK are carriers of SMA (about 1 in 50 people) and around one in 10,000 babies are affected.
Adult-onset SMA may be autosomal recessive, autosomal dominant or X-linked recessive (a form of SMA known as Bulbo-SMA or Kennedy's syndrome). In a few cases, adult-onset SMA results from genetic mutations acquired during life rather than inherited.
How is spinal muscular atrophy diagnosed?
The diagnosis of spinal muscular atrophy is made after the sudden or gradual onset of specific symptoms and after diagnostic testing. During the physical examination, the physician will obtain a complete medical history of patients, and he/she may also ask if there is a family history of any medical problems.
Diagnostic tests that may be performed to confirm the diagnosis of spinal muscular atrophy include the following:
- Blood tests
- Muscle biopsy - a small sample of the muscle is removed and examined to determine and confirm a diagnosis.
- Genetic tests - diagnostic tests that evaluate for conditions that have a tendency to run in families.
- Electromyogram (EMG) - a test that measures the electrical activity of a muscle or a group of muscles. An EMG can detect abnormal electrical muscle activity due to diseases and neuromuscular conditions.
What is the Treatment?
Currently, there is no cure or treatment to repair the nerve damage, but support care including physio and respiratory drainage are very important. Within affected families, once the abnormal gene has been identified, carriers can be detected by a blood test, and antenatal screening using CVS (chorionic villus sampling) is available.
What is the prognosis?
The prognosis for individuals with SMA varies depending on the type of SMA and the degree of respiratory function. Some may appear to be stable for protracted periods, but improvement is not to be expected by using Western Medicine. .
Effective Chinese Herbal Medicine for Treating SMA
The following are main diagnosis points summed up by TCM
- Modified Formula for Muscular Paralysis
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA)
Radix Achyranthis 20g, Radix Angelicae Sinensis 20g, Fructus Chaenomelis 20g, Ramulus Mori 30g, Radix Aristolochiae Fangchi 15g, Lumbricus 20g, Scorpio 5g, Radix Codonopsis Pilosulae 20g, Rhizoma Atractylodis 20g, Semen Lablab Album 20g, Poria Cocos 20g
1. For patients with symptom as weak lower limbs, inability for long time standing, dizziness, ear ringing, enuresis, fine pulse, which fall into category of liver deficiency , sparrow withered and sinew paralysed, add following herbs:
Ramulus Loranthi 20g, Radix Dipsaci 20g, Semen Psoraleae 20g,
2. For patients with symptom as weakening limbs, poor appetite, belly distention, short breath, fatigue, pale complexion, which fall into category of deficiency of both spleen and stomach, stagnant transformation of essence, add following herbs:
Fructus Amomi 30g, Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae preparata 20g
3. For patients with symptom as heavy body, fever, short and yellow urination, yellow tongue fur, tidal heat arising from below, which fall into category of prevailance of both swampness and heat, stagnant movement of both Qi and blood, add following herbs:
Cortex Phellodendri 15g, Rhizoma Atractylodis Lanceae 15g, Radix Salviae Miltiorrhziae 30g, Celosia cirstata 15g,
4. For patients with symptom as vexation, thirst, dry stool, short and yellow urination, inner driness due to heat inside, which fall into category of liquid deficiency by heat with lung, less nourishment towards sinew, add following herbs:
Semen Persicae 20g, Rhizoma Anemarrhenae 20g, Radix Rehmanniae preparata 20g, Gypsum Fibrosum 20g.
Decocted with water. On time daily.
Clinical Fact Sheet
28 received the treatment. Among them 12 gained much improvement, 5 gained minor improvement.
- Gui Long Paralysis Removal Formula
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), ALS
Carapax Et Plastrum Testudinis Preparata 15g, Draconis Os Preparata 15g, Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides 9g, Herba Cynomorii 12g, Rhizoma Polygonati Officinallis 12g, Radix Ophiopogonis 9g, Radix Achyranthis 9g, Rhizoma Dioscorea Batatis 20g, Rhizoma Atractylodis 9g, Poria Cocos 9g, Radix Pseudostellariae 3g
1. For patients with much heat, add following herbs:
Gypsum Fibrosum, Rhizoma Anemarrhenae, Caulis Lonicerae
2. For patients with much dampness, add following herbs:
Rhizoma Atractylodis Lanceae, Semen Coicis
3. For patients with lower limbs paralysis, add following herbs:
Fructus Chaenomelis, tiger bone
4. For patients with waist and back impediment involved, add following herbs:
Cortex Eucommiae preparata, Gou Ji
5. For patients with deficiency of both Qi and Yin, add following herbs:
Radix Astragali preparata, Fructus Schizandrae
Decocted with water. On time daily.
Clinical Fact Sheet
Effective rate: 84%
- Formula for Recovery from Paralysis
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), muscular paralysis.
Radix Astragali preparata 20g, Rhizoma Anemarrhenae 12g, Ye Tai Ginseng 9g, Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae 9g, Radix Angelicae Sinensis 9g, Olibanum 9g, Ardisia japonica 9g, Radix Clematidis 5g, Rhizoma Zingiberis Siccatum 6g, Radix Achyranthis 12g
For patients with much heat, add Gypsum Fibrosum; with coldness, minus Rhizoma Anemarrhenae, add Radix Aconiti Lateralis Preparata; with bone and sinew suffering from wind, add Rhizoma Gastrodiae; with bone withered, add Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides, tiger bone; with both withered feet and hands, add Ramulus Cinnamomi
Chinese Herbal Medicine Treatment Amyotrophy Convalescence Pill
By applying Amyotrophy Convalesence Pill Series Medicine, till 2001 the out-patients with progressive spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) amounted to 194 in Ghangcheng Myelophathy Hospital, among them 137 are male and 54 female. The oldest patient aged 63, the youngest is 5 years old. The effective rate (improvement rate) is 77.3%. For more information regarding Amyotrophy Convalescence Pill Series please CLICK HERE.
Ghangcheng Myelophathy Hospital
189 Dongfeng Road
LiChuan District, Enshi City
Hubei Province, China 445000
Tel: 0086-133-8689-0186 (foreign)
For more Info please contact Doctor.lee