Locomotor Ataxia

Dr. Dewey discusses the homeopathy treatment of Locomotor Ataxia in his bestselling book Practical Homeopathic Therapeutics….

Argentum nitricum. [Arg-n]

      This remedy, perhaps, presents more symptoms of a typical case of locomotor ataxia than any other, yet, according to Hughes, it is rarely homoeopathic thereto, as it rather causes a paralysis. It produces an imperfect co-ordination of muscles in the first place, and we have symptoms like these; unable to stand in the dark or with the eyes closed; legs weak and calves feel bruised; there is loss of the pupillary reflexes, and perhaps incontinence of urine. It is the great remedy for inco-ordination. The legs feel as if they were made of wood or padded. Sexual desire is destroyed, sensation is disordered. For the fulgurating pains without any sense of inco- ordination or exhaustion **Ammonium muriaticum is our chief remedy, since it has rending, tearing, painful jerks in the thighs, lower limbs and joints, with a sense of soreness. **Argentum nitricum has a feeling of soreness in the small of the back, which is worse on rising; it has trembling of the hands; the patient is nervous. It is remedy used largely by the old school in large doses for this affection, but it works harm rather than good when indiscriminately used, both as to indications and as to dose. Atrophy of the optic nerve is also a symptom. The fulgurating pains are present but inco- ordination is the main characteristic, hence the remedy comes in not so much in the incipient stage as when the disease is further advanced.

Alumina. [Alum]

      **Alumina is a remedy which has a number of important symptoms corresponding to this disease, and it stands with **Argentum nitricum and Secale, near the head of the list. It has impairment of co- ordination and symptoms like these:

Sole of feet feel swollen and too soft, numbness of heels. Heaviness of limbs–can scarcely lift them.

Inability to walk, expect with eyes open and in the daytime.

Pain in the back, as if a hot iron were thrust through the vertebrae.

Lightning-like pains shooting to and fro in the back and abdomen.

Sensation as if ants were crawling on his legs; extremities go to sleep.

Thus it is seen that **Alumina must be a very important remedy. It has the ataxia, and the fulgurating pains, the weakness and the formication. It was recommended first by Boenninghausen, and has repeatedly verified since his time. One case of the author’s was remarkably benefited therewith. A prominent symptom is a sensation as if a cobweb were on the face, or as if the white of egg had dried on it. Paralytic phenomena are marked and even extend to the genito- urinary organs and rectum. Thus we have ptosis and diplopia and the typical Alumina constipation.

Secale cornutum. [Sec]

      This remedy produces a condition very similar to locomotor ataxia. It has in the first place three of the principal symptoms of the disease, namely:

1. Absence of knee jerk.

2. Fulgurating pains.

3. Ataxia.

Cases of poisoning by ergot have proved that changes in the spinal cord, wonderfully similar to those found in locomotor ataxia, are produced by the remedy, and also that the symptoms of the two conditions bear a strong similarity. The prominent symptoms are these:

Difficult, staggering gait, even complete inability to walk, not from want of power, but on account of a peculiar unfitness to perform light movement with the hands and limbs.

Contraction of lower limbs, on account of which the patient staggers. Inability to govern the movements.

Trembling of limbs, sometimes with pains.

Formication of hands and feet. Numbness of extremities.

Excessive sensation of heat with aversion to being covered.

These are all symptoms found in tabes, and will stop the sclerotic tendency.

Silicea. [Sil]

      This remedy has a tendency to over-nutrition, an overgrowth of neuroglia, with its resultant contraction and sclerosis. It is to be prescribed for these symptoms:

Fulgurating pains, inco-ordination, weakness of the lower extremities, with a tendency towards destruction of tissues, particularly ulceration of the feet and about the toe nails.

It has great nervous irritability and debility.

It may be advisable to give it for a long time–for months with any other as an intercurrent. It is especially useful for the obstinate constipation dependent on spinal diseases.

Plumbum. [Plb]

      **Plumbum, too, perhaps is a near pathological simillimum to locomotor ataxia. It produces paralysis with atrophy loss of co- ordination, anaesthesia and impotence. The fulgurating pains of this remedy are worse at night and sometimes so severe as to make the patient cry out. Dr. James E. Lilienthal suggested the use of **Plumbum phosphoricum in this disease, reporting favourable results from its use.

W.A. Dewey
Dewey, Willis A. (Willis Alonzo), 1858-1938.
Professor of Materia Medica in the University of Michigan Homeopathic Medical College. Member of American Institute of Homeopathy. In addition to his editoral work he authored or collaborated on: Boericke and Dewey's Twelve Tissue Remedies, Essentials of Homeopathic Materia Medica, Essentials of Homeopathic Therapeutics and Practical Homeopathic Therapeutics.