Successful treatment of spinocerebellar ataxia 6 by systems therapy with medicinal herbs. T. Okabe Dept Integrated Traditional Medicine, University of Tokoy Graduate School of Medicine, Hongo, Tokyo, Japan.
The spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) are clinically and genetically a heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders. At present,we have no effective therapeutic tools. We report here two cases of spinocerebellar ataxia 6(SCA6)with typical symptoms, which were improved after administration of a mixture of traditional medicinal herbs. A 60-year-old Japanese female suffered from gait disturbance, ataxia and dizziness. Head MRI revealed a typical atrophic image in cerebellum. Genetic tests revealed an expanded allele of 22 CAG repeats at the spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 locus. She was diagnosed as SCA6. A mixture of 18 medicinal herbs (modified Chinkan-sokufu-to) was given according to the differential diagnosis based on the guideline of traditional herbal medicine. Most of the symptoms were remarkably improved after 60 days of the herbal treatment. One year after discontinuation of the treatment, she complained of gait ataxia. She was treated with the modified Chinkan-sokufu-to for 60 days. Gait ataxia was markedly improved by the second treatment. 15 months after discontinuation of the second treatment, she complained of gait ataxia again. The same remedy was given for 60 days. Gait ataxia was remarkably reduced again. Her total ataxia score was improved from 20 to 3 on a 100-point semiquantitative International Cooperative Ataxia Rating Scales(ICARS). Another case was a 75-year-old Japanese male suffered from unsteadiness of gait, ataxia of gait and stance and positional vertigo. Head MRI revealed a typical atrophic image in cerebellum. Genetic tests revealed an expanded allele of 22 CAG repeats at the spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 locus. He was diagnosed as SCA 6. A mixture of 18 medicinal herbs (modified Chinkan-sokufu-to) was given. Two weeks after the administration of the medicinal herbs, positional ataxia disappeared. Most of the symptoms were remarkably improved after 60 days of the herbal treatment. Together with the first case, the results imply therapeutic potential of the medicinal herbs for spinocerebellar ataxia 6.