MBius syndrome is a rare inherited neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system. It commonly appears in people of Italian and Greek origin who have an autosomal dominant X-linked dominant DNA trait. The diagnosis of this disorder is made based on the results of specific genetic tests and an imaging study that show characteristic features of the disorder. Symptoms include wasting of brain tissue, muscular weakness and wasting of hair at the base of the skull and scalp. Motor functions are usually impaired.
The Ayurvedic treatment of MBius includes medicines like Brahmi-Vati, Medohar-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), Mandukparni (Centella asiatica), Vacha (Acorus calamus) and Bhunimbadi-Qadha. Medicines that act on the ‘Rakta’ data (tissue) of the body are useful in this condition. These medicines include Patol (Tricosanthe dioica), Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Patha (Cissampelos pareira), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Triphala (Three fruits), Nimba (Azadirachta indica) and Kutaj (Holarrhina antidysentrica). Herbal medicines useful in treating neurological conditions include Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Kutki, Tulsi, Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Triphala, Pippali, Pudina (Piper longum), Yashtimadhuk, Panchamrut-Parpati, Suvarna-Parpati, Suvarna-Malini-Vasant and Apamarga-Bhasma.
In addition to the above, medicines like Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) and Mandukparni (Centella asiatica) can be used to treat the other symptoms of neurological implications. Brahmi has properties which can reduce pain and inflammation in the cranial cavity. Jatamansi and Shankhpushpi increase the blood flow to the brain, while Mandukparni relaxes the muscles and stimulates the vascular circulation. Since most of the symptoms of MB are based on local irritation of the nervous system, medicines like Brahmi and Jatamansi help the functioning of the body in general, while reducing the irritation to the central nervous system. Medicines like Mandukparni and Suvarna-Parpati can also help prevent or reduce seizures in affected children.
Other than medications, there are also a few unconventional methods of treatment for this condition. Ayurvedic treatment is an important part of treatment for MB, as the nervous system is believed to be involved in its pathophysiology. Medicines like Tapyadi-Loh, Kaishor-Guggulu, Ekang-Veer-Ras, Maha-Manjishthadi-Qadha, Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Pippali (Piper longum), Vacha (Acorus calamus) and Vishwa (Zinziber officinalis) are used to treat neurological implications associated with MB. Since MB is known to destroy both the myelin sheath and the protective myelin protein, medicines such as Tapyadi-Loh, Kaishor-Guggulu and Maha-Manjishthadi-Qadha are believed to improve the myelin content and decrease the amount of MB protein in the cerebrospinal fluid.
Herbal medicines are also used to treat neurological implications resulting from MB. These medicines include Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Rakta-Chandan (Pterocarpus santalinus) and Vishwa (Zinziber officinalis). Some of these herbs have antispasmodic, astringent, expectorant, anti-inflammatory properties and have other medical benefits. When given in high doses, they can also cause abnormalities in the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract and the liver. Hence, care should be taken in prescribing these medicines and they must be administered under the supervision of an experienced medical practitioner.
Patients with MB who do not respond to conventional treatment may resort to surgery for neurological implications. If the extent of neurological impairment is very severe, permanent surgical treatment is not possible. A combination of diet, stress management techniques and medicinal treatment is usually required for patients who undergo such therapy.
While patients with MB are more commonly diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome, this condition may lead to additional neurological implications. In most cases, Tourette’s syndrome is misdiagnosed due to the redundancy of symptoms seen in patients with Tourette’s syndrome. The syndrome is also often associated with a psychiatric disorder and thus it is given its own term.
Neuropsychological tests may help in identifying neurological implications of MB. A recent study has shown that a high percentage of Tourette’s syndrome patients have a MRI-based disorder in the vicinity of the anterior basal ganglia, which includes branches like the substantia nigra and the putamen. It is not clear what the link is but the authors believe it may be related to Tourette’s and their relation to the basal ganglia. Other cerebellar structures including periosteal cells and the basal ganglia may also be affected. When these structures are damaged, it opens up opportunities for additional neurological implications.
Another area where neurological implications of MB can be seen is in the psychiatric literature. Some research has shown a correlation between Tourette’s syndrome and disorders of the limbic system that are involved in mood, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Other studies have linked MB to conditions related to schizophrenia. Given the potential for multiple links between MB and other psychiatric disorders, future research may provide important knowledge about how to treat the syndrome and potentially even improve outcomes.