I'm honored be co-author on a presentation that received a research award for "Best Scientific Paper" at the Association of Chiropractic Colleges Research Agenda Conference in 2019 (ACC-RAC). I have presented there three times prior to this for research related to chiropractic and brain function. This award was for a second round of analysis on data I collected on brain function immediately before, immediately after, and 1 week after chiropractic adjustments. Thanks to my colleague Stephanie Sullivan, DC, Ph.D. who helped lead this second round of analysis.
This research showed that there was a change in "effective connectivity" in the brain, which is basically the direction of information flow from one area of the brain to the other. Robert Thatcher, Ph.D., who developed the science behind effective connectivity analysis, likens it to the relationship between a parking lot and a football stadium and the people in and around the two. He states "effective connectivity measures the direction and magnitude of the flow of people that travel between the two locations.“ In other words, how many people are moving and in what direction they are moving. Our work showed that chiropractic adjustments resulted in a marked change in information flow in the brain up to one week of having the adjustment.
This work is also being presented in Berlin, Germany at the World Federation of Chiropractic conference in later March.
The abstract is below.
Changes over time in effective neural connectivity following a chiropractic adjustment
Stephanie Sullivan, Rebecca Shisler Marshall, Dan Tuttle, Emily Drake, Ronald Hosek, Jerry Hochman
Objective: To assess changes in brain communication patterns over time. Methods: A secondary analysis of electroencephalography (EEG) data from a previous single session chiropractic randomized controlled trial (NCT01953614) was analyzed at three time points: baseline, post, and one-week post. Brain communication changes were measured using LORETA Phase Slope Index (PSI), measuring direction and magnitude of communication between brain regions. Analysis was conducted on normalized PSI scores between fourteen study-specific Brodmann Areas. To control for Type I error, permutation tests were performed, followed by two-way mixed ANOVA and univariate analysis for significant simple main effects (SMEs). Results: One significant change was observed baseline to post with SMEs for the sham group (p=0.03). From post to one-week, six of the seven SMEs were observed for the sham group (p:0.001 to 0.033), involving the visual association cortex or posterior cingulate. In contrast, for baseline to one-week post, three of four SMEs were present following chiropractic care (p:0.003 to 0.027), and changes were observed in cortical executive function regions. No SMEs were observed in the control. Conclusion: Changes in brain communications patterns were more evident in relation to one-week post intervention and differ regionally between chiropractic and sham interventions.
Dana J. Lawrence (2019) ACC Research Agenda Conference 2019: Peer Reviewer Acknowledgments and Abstracts of Proceedings. Journal of Chiropractic Education: March 2019, Vol. 33, No. 1, pp. 51-77
I'm a Chiropractic Physician, Psychotherapist and researcher. I'm interested in helping people live their lives to their full potential. That could be simply without pain. Or it could be without more complicated physical or mental health problems. Or it could be getting help in making changes in their life so that they can achieve their dreams.