New Research on Seizures in Children

Research News Staff
New Research on Seizures in Children

Child With Rare Brain Disorder Improves Following Chiropractic

Recent research reporting on improvement in a 2 year old child undergoing chiropractic care reveals that chiropractic could play an important role in managing brain related neurological disorders such as seizures. The research, reported in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic, discussed a case of a 2 year old child who was experiencing daily seizures. She had been diagnosed with Lissencephaly, a rare brain disorder, when she was one year old. Her seizures could not be controlled with the use of medication.

CLICK HERE to review the study

“Research is revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and the brain” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. “Basic science research shows that the proper development and function of the brain relies on proper structure and movement of the spine from an early age.”

Research has shown not only that the developing brain relies on normal spinal structural integrity and joint movement, but that complex neurochemical communication and pathways involved in helping humans to adapt to their environment and even to “feel good” are tied into spinal biomechanics and their related neurological pathways.

McCoy added “The brain constantly needs and wants to know where our body is in space. If there is interference with the neurological communication between the spine and the brain all sorts of malfunctions can occur.”

While the child in this case had a rare brain disease leading to seizures, researchers studying the connection between chiropractic and neurological disorders believe that these types of functional disorders may be affected by abnormal spinal development.   

“There are very important functional relationships between the spine and the brain that if disturbed can result in a host of problems with how the brain functions” remarked Dr. McCoy. According to McCoy “The nervous system needs the constant stimulation of movement in order to develop and function properly.”

The patient reported on in the study was a 2-year-old girl suffering from daily seizures that began at 5 months of age and were uncontrolled by seizure medication. At one year of age the child had a gastrostomy tube inserted for feeding purposes due to the increasing risk of aspiration stemming from her seizures. She had infantile spasms, and had not reached many of her developmental milestones.  

The examination of the child revealed a persistent flexed head position, she could not lie on her belly and much of her neurological function was abnormal. Significant structural shifts were found in her spine. These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.

At the third visit, eleven days following the initial visit, it was noted that the child had not had a single seizure since the start of care. Muscle tone and spasm had improved with the child able to lie on her belly, she had improvement in head control and range of motion.   

The authors call for more research on the effects of subluxation reduction on seizure activity.         

Contact Information: 

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH

Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic

McCoy Press