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April 2015

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Neurodevelopmental Disorders Helped with Chiropractic According to Report

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a report on March 20, 2015, reviewing a large volume of prior research on the effects of chiropractic care on patients diagnosed with a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders. The journal report describes neurodevelopmental disorders as disabilities associated primarily with the functioning of the neurological system and brain.

Neurodevelopmental disorders represent a variety of problems including Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), learning disorders, sensory processing disorders, developmental delays, Cerebral Palsy (CP), mental retardation, epilepsy & seizure, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Bipolar Disorder (BD).  The authors report that the majority of cases seen in the chiropractic studies were children who had been diagnosed with ADHD, ADD or ASD.

The authors of this report reviewed 51 previous articles and studies which included chiropractic care for patients with the diagnosis of one of the forms of neurodevelopmental disorders. They noted that three studies were randomized controlled trials (RCT), which are the highest form of research.  The remaining studies that were reviewed represented seven reviews of literature, three case series, 34 case studies, and three surveys.

An overwhelming majority of the case studies showed positive results for the patients under chiropractic care. The main focus of the care in almost all of the studies was correction of the subluxations found in the individuals. Subluxation correction removes interference to the function of the nervous system and creates an avenue toward better overall function.

Among the many case studies showing improvement were several notable case studies including a 23-year-old male patient who developed bipolar disorder, sleep disorder, seizures, back pain, and migraine headaches. He developed all of these symptoms after an injury at age 17 during a high school track meet, when he landed on his head while attempting to pole vault. The study recorded that after one month of chiropractic care, the patient no longer suffered from seizures and manic episodes. After 18 months of care, the patient was asymptomatic.

One other interesting case involved a 19-year-old girl who had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with pervasive language delay. It was noted that she was unable to speak prior to 11 years of age. By age 19, when she was brought in for chiropractic care, she could speak coherently, but only with her neck in flexion and her eyes looking downward. The study reports that after her first visit for chiropractic care she was able to hold her head upright and said, "Thank you very much, goodbye."

In their discussion the researchers noted, "The subluxation is very much established within the realm of chiropractic treatment and removal, or treatment of the VSC (vertebral subluxation complex) may very well improve those persons suffering from neurodevelopmental disorders."

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Chronic Difficulty in Swallowing Helped with Chiropractic - A Case Study

On March 19, 2015, a case study was published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research recording the results of chiropractic care for an elderly woman who was suffering from chronic difficulty in swallowing. The diagnostic term for this condition is dysphagia.

On their website, the National Institutes of Health describe dysphagia by saying, "People with dysphagia have difficulty swallowing and may even experience pain while swallowing (odynophagia). Some people may be completely unable to swallow or may have trouble safely swallowing liquids, foods, or saliva."

The authors of the study note that this condition affects millions of people and with approximately 1 out of 17 people suffering from a swallowing disorder.  Some authorities estimate that the incidence of swallowing disorders is as high as 50% among nursing home residents,

In this case, a 73-year-old woman from Auckland, New Zealand, came to the chiropractor to participate in a clinical trial that investigated the effects of chiropractic care on sensorimotor function in older adults. During her case history, it was revealed that she had been suffering with dysphagia for the previous 20 years. Her condition would cause her to feel like she was choking when swallowing food and that it was sticking in her throat.  To avoid this feeling, the woman would cut her food up into very small pieces. She also ate only foods that were relatively soft and easy for her to swallow.

A chiropractic examination was performed which consisted of a full history, neurological examination, orthopedic tests of the spine, a spinal assessment, a thermography scan, and static electromyography. In addition, a full set of spinal x-rays was taken to evaluate her spine for degeneration, postural alignment, chiropractic analysis, and to rule out any pathology that would prevent her from receiving chiropractic care.

From these tests it was determined that the woman had multiple spinal subluxations in her upper neck, upper back and at the base of her spine. Based on this, specific chiropractic adjustments were begun at the rate of three visits per week for the first four weeks.

The results in this case were almost immediate. The study reports that the woman returned for her second visit and explained to her chiropractor that the day following her first adjustment, she could swallow and eat food normally again without having to cut food into tiny pieces. 

During a follow up evaluation after 12 chiropractic visits, the woman stated that she felt an overall improvement in her health, increased energy, better breathing, more motivation, and most importantly she was no longer choking on her food. A follow-up was conducted a year later with the woman still not experiencing any of her original problems.

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Prolonged Breastfeeding Linked to Higher IQ and Wealth in Adulthood

The title above is from a Time article published on March 18, 2015. The article is based on a pre-released April 2015 study published in The  Lancet Global Health journal titled, Association between breastfeeding and intelligence, educational attainment, and income at 30 years of age: a prospective birth cohort study from Brazil.

The Time article begins by stating, "New research suggests that breastfeeding newborns longer helps enhance brain development. Children that breastfeed for longer periods end up smarter, more educated and wealthier in adulthood..." 

This study was conducted over a long period of time. It began in Brazil in 1982, and involved following 3700  babies born in five maternity hospitals in Pelotas, Brazil.  Researchers recorded how long these babies were breastfed after birth. Approximately 30 years later, the researchers followed up on these grown adults to see if there was a difference in life development between those that were breastfed for their first year and their counterparts that were breastfed for shorter periods of time.

The results compared those who breastfed for one year to those who breastfed for a month or less. Those babies who breastfed for one year showed a four points higher IQ level.  These individuals also usually attained one year more of education and made 15% higher income at age 30.

Lead author Bernardo Lessa Horta, a professor at Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil, offers a possible explanation by saying, "Our finding that predominant breastfeeding is positively related to IQ in adulthood also suggests that the amount of milk consumed plays a role."  He continues, "Breast-feeding not only has short-term benefits, but also breast-feeding has long-term benefits."

In a March 18, 2015 BBC article on this research, Dr, Colin Michie, chairman of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health's nutrition committee, commented, "It is important to note that breastfeeding is one of many factors that can contribute to a child's outcomes, however, this study emphasizes the need for continued and enhanced breastfeeding promotion so expectant mothers are aware of the benefits of breastfeeding."

In their conclusion the researchers reported, "Our results suggest that breastfeeding not only improves intelligence up to adulthood, but also has an effect at both the individual and societal level, by increasing educational attainment and earning ability."

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Pregnant Woman with Migraines, Hypothyroidism, and Tachycardia Helped with Chiropractic

From  the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, a case study published on March 25, 2015, reports on the case of a pregnant woman suffering from migraine headaches, hypothyroidism, and tachycardia being helped with chiropractic.

The study authors begin by pointing out that the use of chiropractic by pregnant women is fairly common. A survey of women between the ages of 18 and 49 years who were pregnant or had children less than 1 year old found that 37% of pregnant women and 28% of postpartum women reported using some form of CAM (complementary or alternative medicine) in the last 12 months. Of the practitioner-based CAM therapies, chiropractic remains the popular choice for care.

In this case, a 28-year-old woman, who was in the 14th week of her pregnancy, presented herself for chiropractic care. A previous pregnancy resulted in a cesarean delivery. She sought chiropractic care in the hopes that it would help improve her chances of an easier labor and a vaginal delivery. From her medical physician, she had received a diagnosis of hypothyroidism with mild tachycardia, and occasional migraine-type headaches.

A chiropractic analysis was performed consisting of a spinal postural analysis, and spinal  range of motion, as well as static and dynamic palpation. From this, it was determined that subluxations were present in the upper cervical, pelvic, and upper thoracic spine.  Chiropractic adjustments were begun and continued throughout her pregnancy.

On several occasions during her chiropractic care the woman would experience a variety of symptoms such as headaches, pelvic pain, and dizziness.  These problems were quickly correct after her chiropractic adjustment. 

During the 30th week of her pregnancy, the woman fell at home and her obstetricianís discovered that her fetus had moved from the proper vertex position to a transverse lie.  She received two chiropractic appointments, and performed a set of recommended inversion exercises at home. Shortly thereafter, she reported that she felt her baby had shifted back into the normal vertex position.  This was confirmed by her medical physician.

The study reports that the woman was able to successfully carry her fetus through a normal labor, and at 40 weeks plus 4 days, she delivered a baby girl vaginally weighing 8 lbs., 9 oz., and measuring 21 inches long.

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Diet Sodas Linked to Increase in Belly Fat

CBS News ran a story with the above title on March 17, 2015. The story was based on research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society on March 17, 2015, showing that drinking diet soda actually causes an increase in waist size in seniors, and places them at risk for a number of adverse health conditions. 

Study author Sharon Fowler, an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, commented in the CBS article saying, "We're being naive if we only look at the number of calories in the label. People may be sabotaging their own health if they use diet sodas to protect themselves from gaining weight."

The study showed that the more diet soda someone consumes, the more likely they are to increase their waist size. Diet soda was also shown to contribute to greater risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases. Metabolic syndrome is a combination of risk factors that can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

The study named the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging (SALSA), looked at 749 Mexican and European-Americans who were aged 65 and older. Researchers monitored diet soda intake, waist circumference, height, and weight over a 10 year period on the subjects. The results showed an increase in waist circumference among diet soda drinkers, that was almost triple that among seniors who did not drink diet sodas.

Science Daily also carried the story and quoted author Sharon Fowler saying, "Our study seeks to fill the age gap by exploring the adverse health effects of diet soda intake in individuals 65 years of age and older. The burden of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease, along with healthcare costs, is great in the ever-increasing senior population." She concluded, "The SALSA study shows that increasing diet soda intake was associated with escalating abdominal obesity, which may increase cardiometabolic risk in older adults."

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Cross-Eyes Helped with Chiropractic

A study published on March 12, 2015 in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health documents a case of a Down's Syndrome boy with crossed eyes being helped with chiropractic.

The authors of the study begin by explaining, "Chiropractic is often mistakenly regarded as having a very limited scope of practice in general, i.e. neck pain, back pain and headaches. Yet, chiropractors and their patients experience a multitude of positive results beyond these musculoskeletal complaints, especially in children."

The authors report that chiropractic care is the most common type of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for children. Studies show that usage of chiropractic nearly doubled in a few short years, rising from 11% in the early nineties to 20% by the late nineties. They note that children represent between 8% and 11% of chiropractic care received.

The authors further explain, "Some of the common pediatric conditions addressed by chiropractors include scoliosis, infantile colic, nocturnal enuresis, constipation, otitis media, seizures, autism, ADHD, asthma, cerebral palsy and strabismus. However, one study revealed that wellness care was the highest ranking reasoning for pediatric chiropractic care."

In this case, a 4-year-old Down's Syndrome boy was brought into the chiropractor's office along with his family for correction of any subluxations. The boy's right eye was crossed inward. The mother  reported that both the boy's eyes were originally crossed and that surgery had been performed on the left eye in an attempt to return it to a more normal position.

After a chiropractic analysis, adjustments were initiated to correct the boy's subluxations. After 12 visits, the boy's parents reported to the chiropractor that their son's right eye had completely returned to center. Additionally, his left eye, which had been surgically corrected, started to also correct and was therefore slightly  divergent from center. This indicated that the surgery may not have been needed, as the eye may have attempted to correct itself with chiropractic.

In their conclusion the authors wrote. "The results of the reduction of vertebral subluxation in this case suggest that chiropractic care may be beneficial in the correction of strabismus. Had the patient not undergone the operation to repair the left eye, we propose that both eyes would have been centered in the neutral position."

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