New Research Sheds Light on Chiropractic and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Research News Staff
New Research Sheds Light on Chiropractic and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Research in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health - Chiropractic reporting on improvement in a 3 year old with Pervasive Developmental Disorder reveals that chiropractic may play an important role managing children with such disorders.

“Research is revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system, and the brain” stated Dr. Morgan Handt, the author of the paper. “Basic science research shows that the proper development of the brain relies heavily on proper structure and movement of the spine from an early age.”

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

“It makes perfect sense when you think about it” stated Dr. Handt, “Neurobehavioral disorders such as autism may be related to how the entire body communicates with the brain and the most critical area for this is the spine.”

Some researchers believe that the increase in the diagnosis of such disorders as autism, ADHD, pervasive developmental disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders, have their root in a “perfect storm” of abnormal spinal development.

According to Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study “People’s nervous systems need the constant stimulation of movement in order to develop and function properly. Abnormal position or movement of the spinal vertebra can develop and this can lead to nerve interference. It is this interference, called vertebral subluxation, that chiropractors correct.”

The child reported on in the study experienced reduced social interaction, altered behavioral patterns, language deficits, and learning difficulties and was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder by a Developmental Pediatrician. At the time that he presented for chiropractic care, he was also being seen by a speech pathologist, developmental pediatrician, an occupational therapist, and an applied behavioral analyst. The boy had subluxations in his upper neck and sacrum.

During 5 months of chiropractic care and dietary modifications the patient responded well to chiropractic care. He started going to school again with teachers remarking that there was improvement in his abilities. He was making friends, had become interactive, was less defiant, and was an overall happier child

The researcher reviewed other studies of chiropractic which demonstrated improvements in autistic patients and calls for more research on chiropractic, subluxation, and autism.

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