Fragile X Syndrome – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

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Fragile X syndrome, also known as Martin-Bell syndrome or marker X syndrome, is the most common cause of inherited mental retardation and is present at birth. A family history of mental retardation is usually present in relatives. Delayed milestones; speech and language impairment; low IQ; autistic-like behaviour including poor eye contact, hand biting or hand flapping; aggressive tendency and attention deficit; convulsions; musculoskeletal abnormalities; feeding difficulties; growth retardation; depression; and anxiety, are common features of this condition.

The Ayurvedic treatment of fragile X syndrome is aimed at treating the medical problems commonly encountered by people affected with this condition. Cognitive deficit is treated using medicines like Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), Mandukparni (Centella asiatica), Vacha (Acorus calamus) and Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). Delayed milestones can be treated using medicines like Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Bala (Sida cordifolia), Naagbala (Grewia hirsuta), Laghu-Malini-Vasant, Madhu-Malini-Vasant and Suvarna-Malini-Vasant.

Aggressive tendencies and autistic-like behaviour can be treated using medicines like Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina), Jayphal (Myristica fragrans), Khurasani ova (Hyoscyamus niger) and Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi). Musculoskeletal problems and deformities can be treated using medicines like Laxadi-Guggulu, Yograj-Guggulu, Trayodashang-Guggulu, Ekang-Veer-Ras, Maha-Rasnadi-Guggulu, Vat-Gajankush-Ras and Maha-Vat-Vidhwans-Ras.

Feeding difficulties and failure to gain weight can be treated using medicines like Vishwa (Zinziber officinalis), Marich (Piper nigrum), Pippali (Piper longum), Chitrakadi-Vati, Shankh-Vati, Agnitundi-Vati, Sutshekhar-Ras, Praval-Panchamrut-Ras, Panchamrut-Parpati and Suvarna-Parpati. Patients with recurrent respiratory infections can be treated using medicines like Tribhuvan-Kirti, Sitopaladi-Churna, Talisadi-Churna, Gojhivhadi-Qadha, Ras-Sindur, Sameer-Pannag-Ras, Shrung-Bhasma, Pippali, Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Kantakari (Solanum xanthocarpum),Vasa (Adhatoda vasaka) and Pushkarmool (Inula racemosa).

Because of the associated multi-system and multi-faceted abnormalities, fragile X syndrome needs to be treated by a multi-specialty team of physicians. Family counseling and genetic counseling are important aspects of the management of this condition. For most children affected with this condition, life expectancy is normal and limitations of activity are not indicated.

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