A case study documenting chiropractic helping to reduce seizures in a toddler was published in the October 30, 2017, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health. The toddler had been diagnosed with Lissencephaly, a rare brain birth defect.
Lissencephaly is a rare condition where during embryonic development, the brain does not develop the usual convolutions seen in a normal brain. This leads to a brain that is smoother and normally smaller. A large variety of problems can occur as a result of lissencephaly, which includes seizures. It is believed that lissencephaly comes from either a genetic abnormality passed down over generations, or a severe infection during the early part of the second trimester of pregnancy. The condition is usually seen on an MRI scan during the third trimester or after birth where the brain looks smoother than normal.
Medical treatment for children with lissencephaly is geared toward helping with the various issues that are also present. Assistance in feeding may be needed, and due to aspiration, lung infections may occur. The prognosis for a child with lissencephaly depends on the severity of the condition. More severe cases may prevent a child from developing beyond the 3 to 5 month function mentally. With severe cases, the life expectancy is only about 10 years.
In this case, a 2-year-old girl was brought in for a chiropractic evaluation. She had been diagnosed via MRI with lissencephaly and was suffering from daily seizures. To treat the seizures medically, the girl had been placed on corticosteroids, which seemed to help from the age of six months until she was one year of age. At one year, the girl again started having seizures The seizures lasted from 15 to 30 seconds and were accompanied by foaming at the mouth. At one year of age, the child was being fed by a tube as she would vomit her food if fed via her mouth.
Chiropractic and neurological testing were performed which noted the significant neurological deficits this girl was suffering from. With the determination of the presence of subluxations, chiropractic care was started to specifically address the subluxations.
On the second visit, four days after her initial chiropractic adjustment, it was reported that the girl’s seizures had decreased. Her third visit was eleven days later where it was reported that the girl had not suffered a seizure since her last chiropractic visit. By the next visit, it was reported that the girl did again suffer several seizures. The study reported that over the course of eleven chiropractic visits, the girl was able to lie face down, showed improved head control, and demonstrated an improved range of motion. In addition, the girl experienced extended periods of time without seizure activity.
In their conclusion the authors wrote, “Two months of chiropractic care assisted in the reduction of seizures, improved motor control, and coordination in a two-year-old patient with a diagnosis of lissencephaly.” In the study discussion, they explained how chiropractic helped by noting, “A correction of such vertebral subluxation through an adjustment reduces aberrant nerve impulses to the brain, which in turn leads to a decrease or ceased seizure activity.”