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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), also known as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), is a behavioral disorder characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. The ADHD or ADD diagnosis, based solely on an individual's behavioral history, is made when several of the following characteristics are detected: fidgeting with hands or feet or squirming in seat; difficulty remaining seated; running about or climbing excessively; difficulty engaging in activities quietly; acting as if driven by a motor; talking excessively; blurting out answers before questions have been completed; difficulty waiting in turn taking situations; interrupting or intruding upon others. ADHD or ADD is thought to be caused by alterations in dopamine levels in the brain.

Sensory integration is an innate neurobiological process and refers to the integration and interpretation of sensory stimulation from the environment by the brain. Children and adults with autism, as well as those with other developmental / behavioral disabilities, may have a dysfunctional sensory system, also known as Sensory Integration Disorder. Either one or more senses are over- or under-reactive to stimulation. Dysfunction can occur within the tactle system (tactile defensiveness); within the vestibular system (clumsiness, lack of coordination, fear of movement); and within the proprioceptive system (falling, odd posturing, clumsiness). These sensory problems stem from dysfunction within the central nervous system (brain).


While medical science has not determined the exact cause of learning / behavioral disorders, recent research has pointed towards a likely trauma-induced origin for certain cases.1-20 Evidence supports that trauma (in particular mild concussive injury to the head, neck or upper back) increases the risk of learning / behavioral disorder onset.1-20 Following the trauma, symptoms can be triggered immediately or can take months or years to develop.

The purpose of IUCCA upper cervical care is to reverse the trauma-induced upper neck injury; thereby reducing irritation to the injured nerves in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). While many learning / behavioral disorder sufferers recall specific traumas such as head injuries, auto accidents or falls, some do not. In certainipediatric cases, the injury can occur from the normal birthing process. An upper cervical examination utilizing Laser-aligned Radiography and Digital Infrared Imaging is necessary in each individual's case to assess whether an upper cervical injury is present and whether benefit from upper cervical care can be achieved.


ADD/ADHD/Sensory Integration Case Studies


"Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care for a Nine-Year-Old Male with Tourette Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Depression, Asthma, Insomnia, and Headaches: A Case Report" by Erin Elster, DC. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research. July 2003.

"Autism, Asthma, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Strabismus and Illness susceptibility: A Case Study in Chiropractic Management" by William Amalu, D.C. Today's Chiropractic. September 1998.
***To read this article, please go to the PacificChiro.com web site by clicking on the link below*** (http://www.pacificchiro.com/pacific_chiropractic_and_research/article_autism_asthma.htm)

"Drug-Free Treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" by Erin Elster, DC. Women's Magazine. June 2000.

"What If Albert Einstein Had Been Prescribed Ritalin?" by Erin Elster, DC. Atlas Files. March 2000.

1. McAllister TW. Neuropsychiatric sequelae of head injuries. Psychiatr Clin North Am 1992 Jun; 15(2): 395-413.
2. Herskovits EH, Megalooikonomou V, Davatzikos C. Is the spatial distribution of brain lesions associated with closed-head injury predictive of subsequent development of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder? Radiology 1999 Nov; 213: 389-394.
3. Max JE, Arndt S, Castillo CS. Attention-deficit hyperactivity symptomatology after traumatic brain injury: a prospective study. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 1998 Aug; 37(8): 841-7.
4. Max JE, Lindgren SD, Knutson C. Child and adolescent traumatic brain injury: correlates of disruptive behavior disorders. Brain Inj 1998 Jan; 12 (1): 41-52.
5. Fenwick T, Anderson V. Impairments of attention following childhood traumatic brain injury. Neuropsychol Dev Cogn Sect C Child Neuropsychol 1999 Dec; 5(4): 213-23.
6. Gerring J, Brady K, Chen A. Neuroimaging variables related to development of secondary attention deficit hyperactivity disorder after closed head injury in children and adolescents. Brain Inj 2000 Mar; 14(3): 205-18.
7. Nag S, Rao SL. Remediation of attention deficits in head injury. Neurol India 1999 Mar; 47(32-9.
8. Mahalick DM, Carmel PW, Greenberg JP. Psychopharmacologic treatment of acquired attention disorders in children with brain injury. Pediatr Neurosurg 1998 Sep; 29(3): 121-6.
9. Max JE, Lindgren SD, Knutson C. Child and adolescent traumatic brain injury: correlates of injury severity. Brain Inj 1998 Jan; 12(1): 31-40.
10. Whyte J, Hart T, Schuster K. Effects of methylphenidate on attentional function after traumatic brain injury. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 1997 Nov-Dec; 76 (6): 440-50.
11. Mateer CA, Kerns KA, Eso KL. Management of attention and memory disorders following traumatic brain injury. J Learn Disabil 1996 Nov; 29(6): 618-32.
12. Gauggel S, Niemann T. Evaluation of a short-term computer-assisted training programme for the remediation of attentional deficits after brain injury: a preliminary study. Int J Rehabil Res 1996 Sep; 19(3):229-39.
13. Niemann H, Ruff RM, Kramer JH. An attempt towards differentiating attentional deficits in traumatic brain injury. Neuropsychol Rev 1996 Mar; 6(1): 11-46.
14. Segalowitz SJ, Lawson S. Subtle symptoms associated with self-reported mild head injury. J Learn Disabil 1995 May; 28(5): 309-19.
15. Arcia E, Gualtieri CT. Neurobehavioral performance of adults with closed-head injury, adults with attention deficit and controls. Brain Inj 1994 Jul;8(5):395-404.
16. Kessels RP, Keyser A, Verhagen WI. The whiplash syndrome: a psychophysiological and neuropsychological study towards attention. Acta Neurol Scand 1998 Mar; 97(3): 188-93.
17. Parker RS, Rosenblum A. IQ loss and emotional dysfunctions after mild head injury incurred in a motor vehicle accident. J Clin Psychol 1996 Jan; 52(1): 32-43.
18. Radanov BP, Hirlinger I, Di Stefano G. Attentional processing in cervical spine syndromes. Acta Neurol Scand 1992 May; 85(5): 358-62.
19. Radanov BP, Dvorak J, Valach L. Cognitive deficits in patients after soft tissue injury of the cervical spine. Spine 1992 Feb; 17(2): 127-31.
20. Kischka U, Ettlin T, Heim S. Cerebral symptoms following whiplash injury. Eur Neurol 1991; 31(3): 136-40.

This web site is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering health care advice. The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult a health care provider. The authors, editors, producers, sponsors, and contributors shall have no liability, obligation or responsibility to any person or entity for any loss, damage, or adverse consequence alleged to have happened directly or indirectly as a consequence of this material.


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