New Research Sheds Light on Chiropractic and Autism
Recent research in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic reporting on improvement in a 6 year old boy with autism undergoing chiropractic care reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in managing children with autism.
“Research is revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system, and the brain” stated Dr. Nicholas Marini, lead 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 Stephen Marini DC, Ph.D, a microbiologist, chiropractor and co-author on the paper. “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 subluxations, 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 autism by a neurologist after other brain pathology was ruled out. The child was up to date with all vaccinations per the recommended medical schedule. The boy had several levels of vertebral subluxations in his spine.
Following 16 weeks of chiropractic care, dietary and supplementation recommendations, a reduction in vertebral subluxation patterns and improved scores on the autism evaluation scale were noted. Improvements in learning abilities, social interactions, language skills, and behavioral patterns were also noted.
The researchers reviewed other studies of chiropractic which demonstrated improvements in autistic patients and call for more research on chiropractic, subluxation and autism.