Author(s): Kumar S, Kumar PR
A-36-year-old tribal man presented with progressive weakness and wasting of all four limbs of one-year duration. Examination showed diffuse fasciculations. Sensory examination was normal. Deep tendon reflexes were absent in the upper limbs and exaggerated in the lower limbs. Clinical suspicion of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was confirmed by electromyography. Examination also showed multiple linear scars over the forearms, arm and upper part of the back. On enquiry, it was found that the patient was taken to a faith-healer, who had produced these burns with hot iron rods. Branding refers to a traditional practice of producing 'therapeutic' burns with hot iron rods or metallic objects over the skin in order to treat various conditions without any scientific evidence.