Locomotor ataxia is the inability to precisely
control one's own bodily movements. Persons afflicted with this
disease may appear to walk like defective robots or otherwise move
like malfunctioning machinery; that is to say, in a herky-jerky,
up-and-down kind of rhythmical but non-fluid manner. It is often
a symptom of either advanced Syphilis or Tabes dorsalis.
Locomotor ataxia is caused by degeneration of
the posterior (dorsal) white column of the spinal cord. The patient
doesn't know where his arms and legs are unless he looks, but he
can feel and locate a hot object placed against his foot.
Homeopathic Remedies & Homeopathy Treatment for LOCOMOTOR
#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 characterstic, hence the remedy comes in not so much
in the incipient stage as when the disease is further advanced.
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 seem 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
#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.
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, 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.
In thee incipient stage Belladonna is often indicated. There is
inco-ordination of the upper and lower extremities; the patients
raises the foot slowly and puts it down with great force. when walking
he raises his legs as if he had to pass over an obstacle; fulgurating
pains which are lighting-like. It has the diplopia, amaurosis,trembling
of limbs, and tottering gait is also found in its rich symptomatology.
For the fulgurating pains besides those mentioned we have a number
of other remedies. Pilocarpine 2x has been found to be of use, also
Angustura, and when confined to the feet, Sabadilla. Zincum is also
a remedy useful at the beginning. With this remedy the fulgurating
pains are marked and intense; there were twitchings and the whole
body jerks during sleep. Physostigma is also a remedy for these
pains. Belladonna is also a useful remedy in the last stage of the
disease when gastric crises are present. It will sometimes relieve
the lighting-like pains having the characteristic of sudden appearance
and disappearance. Digitalis. Dr. Dudgeon has found this remedy
to act well in the lightning-like pains, this shows the great importance
of selecting a remedy according to the totality of the symptoms.
Kalmia. Cartier recommends this remedy highly for the painful variety
as a palliation; he uses the 6th centesimal potency pains about
the waist and in the back and kidneys of a fulgurating type are
speedily bettered by its use.
#Picric acid. [Pic-ac]
Sometimes in the earlier stages of the disease there is much painful
sexual excitement. Picric acid will subdue this. This drug also
produces great weakness of the legs, with numbness and crawling,
and pricking as from needles. The patient is easily exhausted. This
is a keynote of Picric acid. " Easy exhaustion from slight
exertion." The limbs are very heavy--feel as if encased in
Among the symptoms calling for Phosphorus are atrophy of the optic
nerve, with flashes of light; trembling of the hands while writing;
great nervous prostration; fulgurating pains in different parts
of the body; excited by the slightest chill; great sexual excitement.
Erethistic cases, burning along the spine, and in the extremities
with formication. Nux vomica may be the remedy when the disease
is brought on by sexual excesses.
#Nitric acid. [Nit-ac]
This remedy produces a sclerotic contraction of the nerve cells
and this corresponds to syphilitic degeneration; hence in the higher
potencies it becomes a valuable remedy in locomotor ataxia when
of syphilitic origin. The cerebral action of Nitric acid corresponds
closely to tabes. Among special symptoms calling for it we have
severe headache, with tension; imperfect vision; mental depression
and irritability ; weakness of the memory; sharp pains in the lower
extremities, reminding of the fulgurating pains, as they appear
and disappear suddenly. Kali hydroiodicum is another remedy specially
adapted to the syphilitic form of tabes. It should be used in the
homoeopathic potencies, not in crude doses. Dr. Halbert, of Chicago,
after an extended experience with this remedy, speaks highly of