Can Functional Neurology Help Treat Autism?

Functional Neurology is a revolutionary field of medicine that uses a functional whole-body approach, enhanced testing and assessment methods, cutting-edge rehabilitation technologies, and non-invasive approaches to help you and your loved ones achieve greater health and a better way of life.

Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD), Asperger’s, Tourette Syndrome (TS), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), dyslexia, processing disorders, dyspraxia, learning disability, language developmental delay, global developmental delay, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy (CP), and other neurodevelopmental disorders have all been successfully treated by Functional Neurology.

The relationship between Autism Spectrum Disorders and Neurology has a long history, however there has recently been a greater emphasis on neurological comorbidities in Autism Spectrum Disorders and their implications for prognosis, therapy, and the elucidation of abnormal underlying brain circuitry.

 

What is autism?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of neurodevelopmental diseases characterized by difficulties with social interaction and communication.

Autism spectrum disease affects around 1% of the world’s population, or about 75,000,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The symptoms and severity levels of autism spectrum disorder are diverse.

People with autism may struggle with communication and social interaction, have limited interests and repetitive behaviors, be unable to function effectively in school, work, and other areas of life, find it difficult to understand how others think or feel, and find bright lights or loud noises to be overwhelming, stressful, or uncomfortable.

In Autism, motor impairment shows as both delays and deficits, with delays in gross and fine motor domains and deficits in praxis, coordination, and gait, all of which have an impact on other cognitive and behavioral domains. Sleep difficulties, particularly insomnia, affect up to 83 percent of children with Autism, and current research has begun to investigate the underlying physiological and behavioral foundation of the impairment, bolstering therapeutic studies. Up to one-third of children with Autism have epilepsy, and recent research is focusing on determining the genetic roots of this comorbidity.

Symptoms include excessive fixation on a single item, unresponsiveness, a failure to recognize social cues (such as tone of voice or body language), repetitive motions, or self-abusive behavior such as head-banging.

The severity of the symptoms varies greatly among those who are affected. Other signs and symptoms include learning to talk late, not engaging in interactive play with other children, avoiding eye contact, a lack of empathy, and social detachment. Children with ASD who have not developed appropriate language abilities may convey their demands by yelling or weeping. It’s crucial to remember that persons with ASD have a wide range of functional levels, and not everyone with ASD will exhibit all of the symptoms listed.

 

How an autistic brain is wired?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder that manifests in early childhood and continues throughout one’s life. It has an impact on how a person acts, interacts, communicates, and learns. It encompasses Asperger syndrome as well as other widespread developmental disorders.

The autistic brain has the same neurological structure as any other brain. What makes the autistic brain unique is how it functions in terms of neurophysiology. The cingulate gyrus (CG) in a neurotypical brain functions as an automated transmission, smoothly switching attention back and forth between frontal lobes as needed.

A dysfunctional CG, on the other hand, keeps a person with autism trapped in his or her left frontal lobe, the intellectual, analytical, problem-solving part of the brain, with no way to access the emotional/creative processing right frontal lobe, which is important for spontaneity, social behavior, and nonverbal abilities. Some neurotypical people have a left-brain dominant personality, whereas others have a right-brain dominant personality. Autistic people, on the other hand, are left-brain dominant.

 

What is Functional Neurology?

The clinical practice of functional neurology is the assessment of the brain for functional deficits and the application of a variety of therapies to improve those functions

Before they develop more serious disorders, functional neurology examines and analyses small changes in the neurological system. The goal is to treat nervous system disorders without the use of medicine or as a supplement to medication.

A Functional Neurologist can evaluate which sections of a person’s neurological system are weak and create an appropriate treatment to improve the quality of how their nervous system functions through rigorous assessment.

Functional neurology is used by a variety of practitioners, including chiropractors, psychologists, occupational therapists, and even some traditional western medical doctors. Chiropractors, on the other hand, are more likely to use functional neurology.

Researchers now know that the brain is plastic, and that it can renew connections between neurons, allowing the brain to heal or improve in function.

Our brain and nervous system can strengthen and generate new neural pathways through the process of neuroplasticity. It, like training or conditioning your muscles, is based on repetitions. To change the structure of muscle, you must put in the effort. The same is true of neurons. If you want to enlarge your brain, you must activate the areas that you wish to strengthen.

The practice of functional neurology entails bringing laboratory-based neuroscience research to patient care and determining how it might be implemented. The nervous system will be safeguarded and thrive if it receives optimal nutrition and stimulation.

The source of a patient’s afflictions is treated by functional neurology as “functional aberrations of the neuraxis” (clusters of neurons that aren’t operating together as they should) in various sites across the central nervous system. Functional Neurology can employ neuroplasticity to rectify these abnormalities and establish better, healthier neural connections in the brain through therapy and rehabilitation.

A Functional Neurologist’s initial goal is to be comprehensive and exact in identifying the malfunctioning parts of your neurological system. This will serve as the foundation for a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific ailment and health objectives.

Functional neurology does not use surgery or pharmaceuticals, but instead uses a combination of chiropractic manipulation, other therapies, and lifestyle changes.

 

How does Functional Neurology benefit children with autism?

For children with neurodevelopmental problems, functional neurology is an excellent adjunct to biomedical treatment. Children with autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, learning difficulties, and other diseases encounter a variety of challenges for which there are numerous treatments. Functional neurology therapies deal directly with the neurological system, assisting in the proper functioning of the brain and peripheral nervous system.

The neurological foundation of Autism has been the focus of research for decades, in addition to the hereditary and environmental links. Between the Autism brain and the neurotypical population, significant neurological, structural, functional, molecular, endocrine, electrophysiological, connective, and neurotransmission variations have been observed.

In patients with autism, researchers have discovered the role of neuroinflammation, alterations in cerebellar structure, abnormalities in neurotransmitters, and more. Also affected is brain connections. Neural activity changes dramatically between autistic and control groups for tasks that are commonly difficult for people with autism, such as identifying faces. This study reveals that people with autism have broad brain network disruptions.

Because no pharmaceutical medications have been licensed for the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder, behavioral treatments are the mainstay of treatment. Early behavioral interventions and social training can improve social development and interactions dramatically.

To strengthen and enhance human function, functional neurologists use tried and true treatments including visual rehabilitation, vestibular rehabilitation, proprioceptive rehabilitation, and a thorough understanding of neuroanatomy and its pathways. Rehabilitation is accomplished by utilizing the brain’s adaptability, mending, and formation of healthy neural connections, which improve cognition, functionality, and overall well-being.

Child neurologists treat diseases of the brain and neurological system, and they are frequently of great assistance to children with autism. If your doctor suspects your child has seizures, he or she may be sent to a neurologist.

A functional neurologist will tailor your child’s therapy after a thorough evaluation.

Functional neurology treats the neurological system directly, in addition to biological treatments that target other body systems. They work together to address the bi-directional nature of the body-brain connection.

 

Summary

  • Functional Neurology is a leading field of medicine that has been proven effective at treating various Neurodegenerative and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorders.
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of neurodevelopmental disorders that causes impaired social functioning among 1% of the world’s population.
  • An autistic brain has a dysfunctional cingulate gyrus (CG) which keeps the person trapped in their left frontal lobe (the intellectual, analytical, problem-solving side), and unable to access their right frontal lobe (emotional and creative side).
  • Patients who suffer from Autism Spectrum Disorder, especially children, have a difficult time functioning throughout everyday life because of this disorder.
  • Functional Neurology treats patients with Autism Spectrum disorder through the use of therapy and rehabilitation with non-surgical, non-invasive techniques.
  • The various therapies involved are aimed at rearranging aberrant clusters of neurons and to get them to function in a healthier way. This is achieved by taking advantage of the brain’s capacity for neuroplasticity, or the ability to form new neural pathways.
  • Functional Neurology does not make use of pharmaceutical drugs or surgery to make corrections, but instead relies on physical and behavioral rehabilitation in order to promote gradual, natural neuroplasticity.