On Sept. 4, the World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) announced in a press release that a pilot study conducted by Dr. Yannick Pauli, the director of the Centre Wellness NeuroFit in Lausanne, Switzerland, found that chiropractic care may help adults with concentration problems associated with attention deficit and attention deficit – hyperactivity.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) states that the primary characteristics of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit – Hyperactivity (ADHD) include inattention, hyperactivity, impulsiveness or a combination thereof. Generally, these symptoms appear early in a child’s life, but because many normal children exhibit them, a qualified professional should make an appropriate diagnosis before it’s assumed a person has either ADD or ADHD.
According to the WCA, there is sufficient research to conclude that the ability to concentrate is affected in several different disorders, including ADD, ADHD, traumatic brain injuries, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
The WCA says that between 1 and 6 percent of adults and 3 and 10 percent of children suffer from ADHD in the U.S. The NIMH estimates that between 3 and 5 percent of American children have ADHD; that amounts to approximately 2 million children. Teens and adults who suffer from ADHD have greater risks associated with daily living and general activities. For example, studies have found that ADHD sufferers have higher rates of car accidents, increased risk of substance abuse, greater risk of failing in school, greater difficulty managing money and increased chances of divorce.
Typically, ADD and ADHD symptoms are treated with medications or drugs known as stimulants.
Dr. Pauli is a chiropractor specializing in wellness neurology. In his study, he used an objective measure of attention, called a continuous performance test, rather than a specific diagnosis for ADD or ADHD. He explained the performance test is “a computer-based evaluation that objectively measures various parameters of attention.” He said the system is the same one used by some neurologists and psychiatrists “to find the exact dosage of medication they are going to prescribe for attention deficit sufferers.”
Dr. Pauli explained the study: “We used objective outcome measures to evaluate attention in nine adult patients before and after two months of wellness chiropractic care. All patients experienced significant improvement in concentration and 88% normalized parts of the test. Although the results are preliminary and more research is needed, the outcome of the study suggests that patients suffering from attention deficit benefited from chiropractic care.”
Dr. Paul said the spine is as much about neurology as it is about “biomechanics.” He said that the articulations and muscles of the spine are rich in “mechanoreceptors” (sensors that send information to the nerve system). He explained that each time the spine is worked with or manipulated, it activates neurological circuits “in the direction of the brain” and brings “the nerve system into balance.”
Dr. Pauli said that chiropractic manipulation affects the brain’s cerebellum, a small area at the back of the brain that has been shown to involve attention. “If the cerebellum does not function at par, the rest of the brain becomes somewhat clumsy and by activating the spinal receptors and balancing the cerebellum, we help the brain function better,” he said.
In summation, Dr. Pauli said of his study that the “preliminary results suggest that attention can be improved naturally with chiropractic. As a chiropractor specializing in wellness neurology, I understand that the spine is as much about neurology as it is about biomechanics.”
Press release, Chiropractic May Help Adults Suffering from Attention Deficit; http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/533031/