Acupuncture for Huntington’s Disease
Chief Complaint: Muscle Tetany
Western Diagnosis: Huntington’s Disease
Medical History: A 50 year old male collage professor. Two years ago began noticing he had difficulty thinking clearly. Soon after, his hands began to become shaky and he gradually degenerated more and more. Finally, he was unable to walk on his own or change his own clothes. He could not read anymore and suffered some dementia. He also had difficulty eating.
Questioning exam: The patient had a slightly purple complexion with very tense and slightly atrophied muscles. He had a slight tremor. His appetite was good, however he was unable to eat much. He was slightly constipated with soft stools and had frequent urination. He had no other physical complaints.
Pulse exam: His pulse was deep and week in all positions with a moderate rate. His left side bladder channel was very tight and contracted giving him a curving appearance to the left in his back.
Tongue exam: His tongue appeared slightly purple and deviated to the left. It also quivered slightly and was difficult to stick out.
OM Diagnosis: His pattern was described as qi and blood stagnation, internal wind, and spleen and kidney deficiency.
Treatment Principle: Promote qi and blood circulation, tonify the deficiency, and disperse the wind.
Point Prescription: The treatment was two stage and given two times per week.
First, GB20, Bl13, Bl15, Bl18, Bl20, Bl23 warming needle moxa, Bl 52 warming needle moxa, GV4 warming needle moxa, Bl40, and Ki3 with moxa.
Second, Zhu scalp motor zones bilaterally with electricity 100/10 mixed wave for 35 minutes to patient’s tolerance.
Herbal Formula: None given.
Lifestyle Prescription: 30 minutes of tuina before acupuncture and one massage per week.
Results: Results were very good. After 5 weeks of treatment the patient was able to walk unassisted for about 20 feet and was able to change his clothes on his own. He also reported an increased ability to read.
Synopsis: The key to his treatment was the scalp acupuncture. He had gotten TCM style acupuncture alone from another acupuncturist in the same office for several months with no change in his condition. As soon as we added the scalp acupuncture treatment to his protocal a change began to start.