A look into aspects of Friedreich’s Ataxia
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I recently had a new patient that presented with an interesting neurological condition called Friedreich's Ataxia and I wanted to discuss some of the ‘less clinical’ aspects of such a condition and how it affects practical daily life, as well as some of the specific recommendations that I made to him, with regard to improving his quality of life.
FA is an inherited disease that leads to progressive degeneration of the nervous system over the course of years. Whilst cognition is not damaged (my client is owner of his own multi-million pound business), gait, speech and fine motor control is significantly degraded, leading me onto the first ‘non-clinical’ point for you to consider:
Because of his stumbling gait and slurred speech, the initial impression given off by this man, is one of extreme drunkenness. Consequently, he has been shopped in to the police many, many times, by concerned citizens….something which I didn’t consider, but which makes perfect sense. Imagine...you cannot even buy a newspaper, without people whispering “he’s drunk out of his tree” and calling the police.
The slurred speech becomes much more pronounced, later in the day, to the point where he cannot effectively communicate with strangers after about 6pm. When he first rang me to book an initial consultation, at about 8pm one evening, you can imagine the miscommunication that ensued! My clinical recommendation for him to help with this issue was 2 doses of Neurostim per day, as a way of replenishing his high ACh demands. Combine this with the ability of neurostim to help the CNS deal more efficiently with high levels of neurological arousal. In other words, this guy has to focus so hard on walking and talking correctly, that it’s seriously draining him, leading to extreme mental fatigue. The Neurostim made a significant positive impact on his ability to walk and talk, whilst thinking and interacting with people.
FA also causes seriously compromised mitochondrial function and expression, leading to poor daily energy (both physical and mental) and increased risk of diabetes and other metabolic conditions. My client is not fat and I suspect the sheer effort of walking and talking has kept him relatively lean. My clinical recommendation to him was a high dose co-enzyme Q10, dissolved in coconut oil to try and improve mitochondrial function. He reported improved physical energy and less morning fatigue from this treatment, though strictly speaking, the introduction of more than one variable (because he started the neurostim at the same time as the Q10 and the high-dose fish oil) makes true evaluation difficult.
FA, like MS involves inflammation and destruction of the myelin sheath, leading to seriously compromised saltatory conduction in the faster, larger diameter nerves. My clinical recommendation to him was to increase his dose of omega 3 from 1000mg/day to 5000 and then to 10,000mg per day. Since O3 is anti-inflammatory as well as the building block for myelin repair, this makes sense on 2 levels.
Summary: When confronted with people who seem drunk or drugged up, try to eliminate the possibility of a neurological or medical condition (such as the onset of a hypoglycemic attack). When dealing with a neurological condition, consider trying to offset the negative symptoms such as mental fatigue with a product that increases ACh and improves ease of cognition. When there is an issue with mitochondrial function, consider Co-enzyme Q10 and/or Neuroprime.