This condition – which is medically known as progressive spinal muscular atrophy – is a progressive wasting of individual muscles or groups of muscles due to the degeneration of nerve cells and pathways affecting the spinal column and parts of the brain that control muscle movement. It is a particularly distressing disorder because it slowly and relentlessly diminishes an individual’s ability to move, swallow and communicate but leaves the thought process, awareness and pain receptors intact.

The condition, which can strike at any age, usually occurs after the age of 50 years and can progress to an incapacitating level within two years but it may take up to 15 years to reach its end point. Usually individuals will die from infection because of an inability to breathe properly, allowing bacteria to settle into the lungs. The cough and gag reflexes eventually disappear.

There may be a genetic factor but an infective or toxic cause is most likely. The condition has been known to be triggered by deficiencies in vitamins, specifically vitamins B12, B6 and E.

I do not recommend self-help in this condition because aggressive treatment is best suited and a course should be set and monitored by an experienced medical practitioner.

More so than with other neurological conditions, a philosophical attitude must be taken and I believe the question needs to be asked: ‘what lessons can be learnt on a spiritual or karmic level by being struck with a condition that slowly moves an individual to a position of total dependence?’ More so than many conditions, the question of euthanasia arises in patients who have this condition and full and frank discussions must be undertaken on a spiritual level as soon as motor neurone disease is diagnosed.


A full blood and hair analysis for deficiencies in vitamins, nutrients and amino acids and toxicity from heavy metals and agrochemicals must be undertaken.

Assessment of digestive capabilities, both stomach acid and pancreatic enzyme production, must be assessed.

Deficiencies of vitamins and amino acids must be plugged.

A herbalist should assess the possible benefits from herbal medicines, especially alfalfa, broom and mushroom or toadstool derivatives.

A homeopathic consultation with an expert is essential.

Yoga and Qi Gong training, along with the Alexander technique, may maintain neurological and muscular control for longer.

Specialized Ayurvedic and Tibetan massage techniques such as Marma and neurotherapy must be undertaken.

Tibetan medicine, based considerably on energy flow through neurological pathways, may have some answers.