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Type of article: Original [D1]Title of the article:Issues of Neuro ageing –Specific Ayurvedic ApproachContributors / Corresponding Author: [D2] Name: Dr. K. Shiva Rama Prasad, Department(s) and institution(s): Kayachikitsa (PG), DGM Ayurveda Memorial College, Gadag, Address: Prof.,H.O.D PG (KC), DGM Ayurveda Memorial College, SV Savadi Road, Gadag, Phone numbers: +91-9448746450 (Karnataka), 09290566566 (AP) E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org Total number of pages: 6 pages Total number of photographs: Nil Abstract [D3]Issues of Neuro ageing –Specific Ayurvedic Approach - By Prof Dr. K. Shiva Rama PrasadAging is a natural process of being called as Vruddha, Vardhakya, Jara, etc., denotes ofphysical or psychological maturity. Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized byprogressive impairment of brain function. Attributing and isolating of the psychologicalageing is in terms of Neuro (Brain) ageing. Finding factors / medicaments for retarding /regulating the Neuro-ageing is necessary. Ayurveda prefers Frailty concepts to Jaati,Desha, Prakruti & Ahara. The seven step ageing includes - intellect, Vision, Sukra andwisdom, are of Brain / psycho-neuro connected. The Vata, Pitta and factors retardingDhatupaka, understood as factors of ageing. Telomere length checkpoint, NutritionalInterventions Based on Mitochondrial Aging, Free Radicals and Caloric Restrictionstudies opens new dimensions in the field of long living. Sphere models of Biological,Psychological and Social factors are included in Rasayana study for better societybuilding through extending standard living. The study may be framed at two tire/ states ofstudy, viz. 1) Physical (Structural) 2) Psycho-Neuro (Functional) based Rasayana study.Key wordsVruddha, Jara, Neuro ageing, Dhatupaka, Telomere, Rasayana, Medhya, Sphere modelsIssues of Neuro ageing –Specific Ayurvedic Approach By Prof Dr. K. Shiva Rama Prasad Page 1
Issues of Neuro ageing –Specific Ayurvedic Approach By Prof Dr. K. Shiva Rama Prasad M.D (KC) (OSM), C.O.P. (German), M.A. Ph.D (Jyo)Introduction/ Background Aging is a natural process of being and ultimately the being is subjected for death.The Ayurveda used the words such as Vruddha, Vardhakya, Jara, etc., to denote thesenescence i.e. ageing defines as “The organic process of growing older and showing theeffects of increasing age under the influence of fourth dimension - Time”. The ageing isof physical (Body) or psychological (Mental) maturity. On the other hand the death is –The cessation of life i.e. cessation of integrated tissue and organ functions or loss ofheartbeat, absence of breathing and cerebral death. “A fire-mist and a planet, A crystal and a cell, A jellyfish and a saurian, A cavewhere the cave men dwell; Then a sense of law and order, A face upturned from the clod;Some call it Evolution, And others call it God.” — The New England Journal. Centenarians, though rare at a prevalence of approximately one per 10,000 inindustrialized countries, are among the fastest growing segment of our population.Familial studies indicate that exceptional longevity runs strongly in families, but as ofyet, few genetic variations have been found to account for this survival advantage. It islikely that the prevalence of centenarians is increasing because achieving exceptional oldage is multi factorial. To be clear no where any importance is drawn to clarify or attributedisease origin with reference to age or age related condition descriptions are noted inAyurvedic literature. Thus terms, concepts and issues of ageing in Ayurveda requireelaboration and standardization. Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by progressive impairment of brainfunction as a consequence of ongoing neuronal cell death. Apoptotic mechanisms havebeen implicated in this process, but the immature brain differs from the adult brain in itssensitivity. Several observational studies have shown that elderly men experience asteeper decline in cognitive function and have lower cognitive performance than women.In a study of 150 elderly men and women without dementia, positive associations werefound between endogenous estradiol (Sukra) levels and performance on verbal memorytasks in women but not in men.Issues of Neuro ageing –Specific Ayurvedic Approach By Prof Dr. K. Shiva Rama Prasad Page 2
Objectives regarding thought/concept • To understand and postulate whether ageing is physical or psychological • Attributing and isolating of the psychological ageing in terms of Neuro (Brain) ageing • Finding factors / medicaments for retarding / regulating the Neuro-ageingMain body of thought expression Frailty, The state of being weak in health or body - especially from old age is acommon phenomenon. The process of biological aging is a complex phenomenon,depending on a manifold of different parameters, including nature of the organism,lifestyle, diet, and so forth. In order to compare different aging phenotypes, a globalqualitative and quantitative proteomic analysis of different species is necessary. Many more researches are undertaken to observe the aging and its relatedpathology to study from contemporary medical field and boosted the Geriatrics as aspecialized branch. But in Ayurveda this branch neither has any significance norimportance, because the fundamental concept of Ayurveda defines bio-availability andsustenance of toxic free tissue building and maintenance by Bio-fire, through out the lifespan and ultimately a voluntary termination of biological needs. Thus any where in theAyurveda death is not defined, but casually designated it as inevitability transpires ofLife. Moreover the atheistic Ayurveda believes the re-birth and Karma Vipaka, thus thecare for death and old age is not focused as we never care for Sunset as we are conformedof next day sunrise. Common understanding to ageing is wrinkling of skin, loss of vision, teeth, etc.and in case of females we observe even the dropping of Breast. Bhavamishra, describingMahamarichadi Taila in Kusta compliments that, “if Mahamarichadi Taila Nasya is doneat the “Pradhame Vayasi” (puberty) of lady – even after attain the old age the breastnever drops”. This statement is complimentary but not shown any specificity /significance towards the Vardhakya janya Vyadhi or Jara Vyadhi. On the other handVagbhata while directing for regular body unction, relays the message of importance offatty substances for long healthy skin as Purusha is Sneha saara (AHSu 2/8). A number of factors important to longevity are becoming more prevalent withmodern public health measures and interventions. Such a multiple trait model wouldIssues of Neuro ageing –Specific Ayurvedic Approach By Prof Dr. K. Shiva Rama Prasad Page 3
predict that the more extreme the phenotype, the more likely discernible environmentaland genetic characteristics are to be discovered that are important to achieving very oldage, much of it disability-free. Ayurveda prefers in it’s concepts of ageing to Jaati (Race/genetical), Desha (Geographical / environmental), Prakruti (constitution) and Ahara(Food). Sharngdhara (ShPurKhan 6/20), explains the ageing in decade intervals andimportant note is the development of the individual is completed by the 2nd decade. Theother signs of ageing in sequence are – loss of Prabha (luster), Medha (Intellect), Twak(Wrinkling skin), Drusti (vision), Sukra (estrogens), Vikrama (strength) and Buddhi(wisdom). The seven step ageing includes - intellect, Vision, Sukra and wisdom, are ofBrain / psycho-neuro connected. Thus studies of families highly clustered for longevityor studies of super-centenarains, people age 110 and older, hold promise of facilitatingsuch discoveries. The Vata out of Tridosha is prime factor for ageing that develops Kapha inverselyproportional. This Vata controls the mind which has a referral / functional seat as Brain.Rather than becoming old aged, Ayurveda describe the ageing as “Vruddha” i.e. growingfurther, as a state of development. This is reflected and observed as Vruddha / Jara avastais of Vata dominant and expressed as Kampa, Vepadhu, Chanchalya, etc,. Even theexamination factors / functions of the Manas viz. Chintayam, Vicharyam, etc,. also havea bifacial effect is validating the neuro ageing. The second Dosha in the process of ageing is Pitta, relates with Jara and Jarana.The word “Jara”, personified as daughter of Death, is often used for digestion than to oldage in Ayurveda. “Geri” of contemporary geriatrics developed from Jara denotesDilapidation or Decrepitude i.e. state of deterioration due to long use or usage of bodytissues or old age. The Jara understood as “Paka” i.e. conversional process. TheDhatupaka, probably identified as technical term with reference to tissue ageing inAyurveda is suitable. Where the tissues are growing older and transformed from activebuilding state to the morbid state. Of course the morbid growth is disease and the morbidmelancholic state is death. Ayurvedic literature specifies the usage of medicaments forlong living or retarding Dhatupaka, understood as retardation of ageing or slowing theDhatupaka, termed as Rasayana. Evaluating the physical body components (Dhatu) withtheir respective qualities and measures makes one’s to understand the effect of Rasayana.Issues of Neuro ageing –Specific Ayurvedic Approach By Prof Dr. K. Shiva Rama Prasad Page 4
The development and application of high-throughput methods to study aspects ofaging-related biology are among the key forces driving the field. New hypotheses arebeing developed, and new questions are being asked on a genome-wide scale. High-throughput technologies offer many advantages over traditional methods, but they alsopresent new pitfalls for the unwary. The U.S. National Library of Medicine’s Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man(OMIM) catalogs human genes and disorders. Although it doesn’t focus on aging-relatedconditions, it contains information about many diseases that disproportionately affect theelderly. For example, searching for ‘‘Parkinson’s Disease’’ produces a list of severaldozen genes. Telomeres are the physical ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes. In manyorganisms, including humans and yeasts, telomeres are composed of short repeated DNAsequences and their associated proteins. Many human somatic cells do not expresssufficient telomerase activity to prevent telomere repeat loss, resulting in cell senescenceor death when telomeres shorten to a critical length. This telomere length checkpoint foraging and cell growth is also seen in yeast whose genes for telomerase components havebeen deleted, allowing yeast to serve as a model for telomere linked senescence andaging in human cells. Traditionally, the onset and progression of menopause in humans has beenattributed to ovarian follicular decline. Because the follicles are the primary source ofcirculating estrogens, these age-related changes lead to a number of symptoms such ashot flashes, mood swings, irritability, and depression, as well as increased risk ofosteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and age-associated diseases. Recent researchindicates that along with the ovarian changes at menopause, the hypothalamic andpituitary levels of the reproductive axis also undergo significant changes duringreproductive aging. Nutritional Interventions Based on Mitochondrial Aging, FreeRadicals and Caloric Restriction studies opens new dimensions in the field of long living. Evolution by natural selection works through differential reproductive success.Individuals with higher reproductive rates and better survival of themselves and theiroffspring pass more genes to future generations. By managing the flow, distribution, andrate of consumption of finite supplies of glucose (Rasa) and fat (Sneha) amongIssues of Neuro ageing –Specific Ayurvedic Approach By Prof Dr. K. Shiva Rama Prasad Page 5
competing physiological needs, hormones implement trade-offs between investment ingrowth, reproduction, and survival. Increased circulating glucose benefits the basicmetabolic function of important tissues such as the brain, which is entirely dependent onglucose. Otherwise Rasayana understood as - Retardation of Necrobiosis (the normaldegeneration and death of living cells [as in various epithelial cells]), Retardation ofCytokinesis (Organic process consisting of the division of the cytoplasm of a cellfollowing karyokinesis bringing about the separation into two daughter cells and Bioavailability (Retardation of Bio-division by supply of abundant requisite nutrients forlong term cell maintenance). Thus the Ayurveda defined Rasayana and Vajikarana together are necessitate forlong living under the influence of Vata (genetically and neurologically) and Pitta(Hormonal and enzymatic). Many questions arise in the process of understanding thesebranches of Ayurveda. While Ayurvedic fraternity is dreaming about their past glory, thecontemporary medical branches are leading towards success. It is very much necessary for the Ayurveda to define, demarcate, declare,discriminate, distinguish and demonstrate the Rasayana as “Jara Chikitsa”. The studymay be framed at Two tire/ states of study, viz. 1) Physical (Structural) based Rasayanastudy include tissues /Organs i.e. muscle, bone; brain, heart, etc. 2) Psycho-Neuro(Functional) based Rasayana study include Brain ageing, fitness, memory, sense activity,etc. The third method of study is Problem oriented study where the weight loss, obesity,dehydration, anorexia, insomnia, etc. conditions commonly observed with old age or adirect study of Disease oriented study in old age such as Hypertension, Parkinsonism,Alzheimer’s disease, anemia, constipation, etc. are considered. The other way three tire studies includes 1) Biological Sphere factors –Personality, Endocrinal, Immune system, Neurotransmitters, 2) Psychological Spherefactors – Genetic, Emotions, Motivation and 3) Social Sphere factors - Social support,Stressful life events social norms. Of course a detailed discussion is necessary. Ayurvedajust now wakeup; long walk is ahead.Applications of the proposed thought It is wisely said that “Brain is Hardware and the Mind is Software. The man whois young by mind is said always young. The neuro ageing is modulated and measured andIssues of Neuro ageing –Specific Ayurvedic Approach By Prof Dr. K. Shiva Rama Prasad Page 6
modeled for the benefit of future generations. The Medhya dravyas are mostly sedativesand Madhura Snigdha. Thus various herbs that are said as Brumhana /Santarpana orVatahara Rasayanas are applied in the said psycho-neuro models of tissue restorativesthat prevent Necrobiosis, Cytokinesis and karyokinesis. Even the Hormone regulativetoxic herbs such as Gunja, Vishatinduka, etc, also have to evaluated to look forward suchbenefits.Summing up/ conclusion Aging is a natural process of being called as Vruddha, Vardhakya, Jara, etc.,denotes of physical or psychological maturity. Neurodegenerative diseases arecharacterized by progressive impairment of brain function. Attributing and isolating ofthe psychological ageing is in terms of Neuro (Brain) ageing. Finding factors /medicaments for retarding / regulating the Neuro-ageing is necessary. Ayurveda prefersFrailty concepts to Jaati, Desha, Prakruti & Ahara. The seven step ageing includes -intellect, Vision, Sukra and wisdom, are of Brain / psycho-neuro connected. The Vata,Pitta and factors retarding Dhatupaka, understood as factors of ageing. Telomere lengthcheckpoint, Nutritional Interventions Based on Mitochondrial Aging, Free Radicals andCaloric Restriction studies opens new dimensions in the field of long living. The studymay be framed at two tire/ states of study, viz. 1) Physical (Structural) 2) Psycho-Neuro(Functional) based Rasayana study.References• P. Michael Conn, Handbook of Models for Human Aging, 2006, Elsevier Academic Press, 30 Corporate Drive, Suite 400, Burlington, MA 01803, USA• John E. Morley & David R. Thomas, GERIATRIC NUTRITION, 2007 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC• Stephen C. Stearns and Jacob C. Koella, Evolution in Health and Disease, Second Edition, 2008, Oxford University Press Inc., New York• N A T A L I E L . R A S G O N , The Effects of Estrogen on Brain Function, 2006, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore• Sharangadhara Samhita Poorva Khanda 6/20, 6th ed, R.K. Srikanthamurthy, Choukhambha Orientalia, Varanasi,2006• Sushruta Samhita, Ambikadutta Shastri, 1st ed:Reprint, Chowkhamba Sanskrit sansthan, Varanasi, 2007• Charaka Samhita (Chakrapani), Jadavji Trikamji Acharya , 1st ed Reprint, choukambha Sanshkrita Sansthana, , 2004• Ashtangahrudaya (Arunadatta, Hari Sadashiva Shastri Paradakara, 1st ed Chaukhambha Surbharati Prakashan, 1997,Acknowledgements • To one and all those who seek better long livingIssues of Neuro ageing –Specific Ayurvedic Approach By Prof Dr. K. Shiva Rama Prasad Page 7