Case Studies Case Studies 19 : Ataxia.

Case Studies 19 : Ataxia.

Case of Ataxia

Diseases with genetic background have always been a challenge and usually find no treatment especially in conventional system.
These are considered to be progressive. Patients are usually left to its fate with some auxiliary Treatment to help.
Some of these diseases are such that leaves the patient incapable of doing even his day to day activities.
Can Homoeopathy be of help in these cases? Let’s see…….

This is a very interesting case of a patient aged 37 who had come to me from Australia. He was diagnosed to have a rare genetic disorder “Spino Cerebellar Ataxia”. He was a known Diabetic since 2001 and, was on insulin for 2 yrs. He was also shown to have Osteoporosis.

His symptomatic history is as follows:

Initially his family members and friends noticed the imbalance while walking as if a drunkard, in a zigzag manner.
Another symptom noticed was that he couldn’t close his eyes even for 30 seconds while standing as he would fall down as in bathing. His speech was getting slurry.
MRI was normal.genetic assessment reveled the diagnosis of Spino Cerebellar Ataxia disorder.

Spinocerebellar ataxia:

Signs and symptoms:

Spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) is a group of genetic disorders characterized by slowly progressive inco-ordination of gait and is often associated with poor co-ordination of hands, speech, and eye movements. Frequently, atrophy of the cerebellum occurs.
SCA results in unsteady and clumsy motion of the body due to a failure of the fine coordination of muscle movements, along with other symptoms.
Generally, a person with ataxia retains full mental capacity but may progressively lose physical control.


There is no currently known cure for spinocerebellar ataxia, which is considered to be a progressive and irreversible disease, although not all types cause equally severe disability.

Investigations: Molecular Med-lab 

Spicocerebellar Ataxia Type I.
Test Request: SCA1 DNA testing.
Interpretation : Normal range: 24-38 repeats.
Affected range: 42-82 repeats.
This result confirms a diagnosis of SCA1 in this patient. Children of the patient have a priority risk of 50% to inherit the disease.

1.   Abnormal gait– tottering, staggering since 4 yrs.

-        Gradual onset. Rapid progress since 1 yr.
-        Imbalance during walking. He fell down twice.
-        Can’t stand on one leg and also on closing the eyes.
-        < Mental exertion. 

2.   Slurred speech since 4 yrs. 
-        Gradual onset. Rapid progress since 1 yr.
-        < Tension.          

3.   Pain in both knee joints since 3 yrs.
-        Gradual onset.
-        Stitching type of pain.
-        He stands for 6 hours daily (for his work).
-        < Early morning.                       > Hard pressure.
-        < Rest.

Past History:
-        Appendicectomy 9 yrs before.
-        Jaundice in 1999.
-        Chikenpox in childhood.
-        # of Rt. metatarsal joints in 2008.

Family History:
-       Father  : D.M., C.R.F.
-       Mother: Spino Cerebellar Ataxia.

Physical Generals:
-  Habit            : Chronic Alcoholic for 17 years. Stopped since 4 years. Chronic Smoker for 17 yrs. 20 Cigarettes /day.
                         Stopped since 4 years.
-  Diet              : Veg.
-  Appetite       : Good. Can’t tolerate hunger.
-  Desire          : Sweets, Fried food, Ghee, Ice Cream, Cold Drinks, Milk.
-  Aversion      : Non-veg.
-  Eyes            : Wearing spectacles since 2000.
-  Head            : Frontal headache occasionally.
-  Thirst           : Good. 3-4 Lit./day.
-  Tongue         : Dry and pale.
-  Teeth            : Caries on Rt. side one tooth. 4 false teeth on lower jaw.
-  Gums            : Bleeding gums occasionally.
-  Back             : Pain in Lt. scapular region since 1994. Duration 2-3 hrs.
-  Perspiration  : Profuse, Hot sweating. Mole on nose and face.
-  Sleep            :  Sleep unrefreshing. Snores. 
                           Position: Lies on (Lt.) side.
-  Thermals      : Towards Chilly       


1.   Tell me about your childhood.

       I am brought up in a joint family in a village. I have 1 brother elder to me and a sister younger to me. I have 
       completed Diploma in Mechanical Engineering.

2. Tell me about your nature.
     I am short tempered. Mostly I get angry when I see anything untidy in my house. I like drawing. I love being in
     parties and enjoying with my friends. I get angry when my house is not clean or if someone is disobeying me. I
     express it by shouting at them.
     I am very close with my friends. Friendly nature. I’m very cool and jovial.
     I’m very sensitive to insults; if someone does I’ll be waiting for an opportunity to pinch them back. I am fond of
     company of people, yet I won’t like wasting money unnecessarily on others or helping others.
     I love watching movies.
     I was an alcoholic and smoker for 17 years. I enjoyed my life to the fullest.
     But when my BSL was raised, I was supposed to quit it.
     Even now, I feel why this happened to me in my young age? Feeling sad about my disease.
     I miss the parties and enjoyment with my friends.
     His brother, who was accompanying him, added that he is talkative and enjoys company.

3.   Tell me about your worries.
     I’m worried about my future and my family. I feel sad when I think about the prognosis of the disease.
     I am worried, feeling whether it will make me bedridden like my mother, since I have inherited the disease from her.
     Whenever any relative or anyone inquires about my health, I don’t like it. I feel hurt.
     I miss the enjoyment with my friends. Sometimes, when I’m alone I weep.

4.   Any fear?
     I have great fear of heights.

My Observation:
-        Jolly, jesting.
-        Excitement.
-        Talkative.
-        Cheerful.

-        Excitement.
-        Lively.
-        Jolly and Jesting.
-        Talkative.
-        Company desire.
-        Selfishness.
-        < Consolation.
-        Rt. to Lt. complaints.
-        Aversion: Meat.
-        Alcoholism.
-        Slurred speech.
-        < Mental exertion.
-        Gait, staggering, tottering.
-        < Standing.
-        Thermal :Chilly.
-        Miasm :Syphilitic.

      After giving single dose of Belladonna 30, he was admitted in my hospital for observation. Improvement started 
      from the very first day.
      On fifth day of his admission, when I was entering my hospital, I heard a very exciting “Hi” from my back. When I
      turned back, I saw him. His face and his gesture showed much excitement and surprise. And he was crying in joy
      that he could walk very well than before.
      Previously he was walking in a zigzag manner and couldn’t cross the road. But he eagerly crossed the road in front
      of me to show his recovery.
      Also he could close his eyes for more than 2 minutes without falling which was an inevitable task previously. Then 
      onwards he could enjoy his bathing.
      Then gradually his BSL levels reduced and so, his insulin level was reduced from 48 units/day to 30 units/day.
      The knee joint pain which was troubling him earlier, reduced gradually.
      His speech was also improved.
      He has consecutively sent his videos to show his progressive improvement.


Belladonna: Case fits well in Belladonna. The patient’s nature of getting excited easily, being lively, talkative, cheerful, high temper, screams and shouts when angry is very well covered by Belladonna. As per the medicine patient shows strong Rt. sided affection (Appendisectomy when 9 yrs old, hepatitis) and also complains advancing from Rt. to Lt. (left scapular pain in1994).

Also the neurological affection of spine and cerebellum causing ataxia, slurred speech, falling on closure of eyes is well covered by Belladonna.

Nux Vomica: This medicine is very close to the case. Most of the signs and symptoms are well covered by it, being it the pathology, mind, generals, habits etc. but the talkativeness, jolly jesting nature, loquacity with lot of excitement, cheerfulness is more marked in Belladonna and Nux Vomica shows advancement of complaints from left to right which is contradictory to that of the patient.

Lachesis: The foremost thing is that Lachesis has a lot of sexuality and malicious aspect in it which the patient is not having. Also Lachesis is thermally hot and predominantly left sided with complains advancing from left to right.

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