As the Australian Spinal Research Foundation, our core business is to serve the chiropractic profession through all things vertebral subluxation research. So it is with great pleasure that we announce the results of the latest funding round. This group of studies will, of course, take time. But as they emerge, they will enrich our understanding of vertebral subluxation, many other aspects of the nervous system, and, of course, chiropractic. As our members and donors are the lifeblood of the Foundation and make all this research possible, we couldn’t wait to share them with you.
Dr. Imran Amjad and Dr. Imran Khan Niazi – “Investigating the Predictive Relationship Between Level and Severity of Vertebral Subluxation and Stress Using Al Techniques.”
This Research aims to investigate the impact of Vertebral Subluxation, or dysfunction, on stress levels. The study will utilize machine-learning models and time series analysis to predict stress based on subluxation severity and to analyze its evolution over time. Participants underwent chiropractic sessions, with stress levels gauged using Heart Rate Variation (HRV), sputum, and hair cortisol. Key outcomes will determine whether chiropractic care influences stress levels and elucidate the relationship between subluxation and stress. The integration of Artificial Intelligence into chiropractic research aims to provide personalized interventions and deepen the understanding of patient care. This study may just be a trailblazer when it comes to harnessing AI in chiropractic research.
This study aligns with the research agenda in several ways:
- By utilizing AI techniques, the study seeks to investigate whether level and severity indicators can be used to measure stress outcomes related to vertebral subluxations.
- By examining the impact of each individual chiropractic session on stress levels over time, the study aims to contribute to the understanding of how vertebral subluxation and adjustments can influence health outcomes, specifically in relation to stress.
- By investigating the effects of subluxation on stress, the study provides valuable insights into the frequency and patterns of subluxation as a cause or risk factor for stress-related health Issues.
Dr. Tanja Glucina – “Exploring the Impact of Chiropractic Care on Patient Stress Levels, Immune Function, Resilience, and General Adaptability: Insights from Patient Perspectives”
Neuroscientific studies provide valuable insights, but not all chiropractors and patients engage with this research. Many prioritise real-life experiences of others who have improved their health through similar approaches. Recognising the need for patient-centred approaches, this project explores patient perspectives and attitudes regarding the impact of chiropractic care on immune function, stress, adaptability and resilience. Utilising qualitative and mixed methods, this project aims to enhance the understanding of chiropractic practice from the patient’s viewpoint, contributing to rigorous research focused on vertebral and health outcomes. Ultimately, the goal is to make chiropractic care more accessible and relevant, strengthening its position in healthcare.
This study aligns with part two of the current 2023 Australian Spinal Research Foundation (ASRF) research agenda, aiming to investigate the role of subluxation on resilience and adaptability with a focus on stress and immunity. While the underlying mechanisms of chiropractic and neuroplasticity might resonate with a limited portion of patients, understanding chiropractic care from patients’ perspectives can help address the needs of current and potential chiropractic patients. The goal is to facilitate chiropractic care being more accessible and meaningful to everyday consumers by providing research that is from patients targeted to patients and their practitioners. This research can assist chiropractors in achieving their practice objectives, which often revolve around making positive impacts on individuals and communities.
Dr. Jenna Duehr – “Exploring the neurophysiological effects of chiropractic care on preterm infants”
Chiropractic care is frequently utilised by infants and children for well-being and various health concerns. Considering the utilisation and apparent benefits of chiropractic care for infants but the significant lack of research exploring the mechanisms and neurophysiological effects of chiropractic adjustments on infants, it is necessary to explore these potential effects further.
This research aims to investigate the feasibility of conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT) utilizing Electroencephalogram (EEG) and heart rate variability (HRV) to measure changes to the central and autonomic nervous system (ANS) following chiropractic care in preterm infants. Preterm infants are at a heightened risk of developing deficits in neuromotor development and cognitive and executive functions and, thus, are an important group to investigate the potential benefits of chiropractic care.
To date, very little research has explored the neurophysiological effects of chiropractic care in infants and none in preterm infants. There has been research conducted on the use of osteopathic care for preterm infants, with improvements seen in some health outcomes. However, despite the fact that chiropractic care for children and infants is frequently utilised internationally, it is an under-researched field.
This research seeks to add to the understanding of the mechanisms behind the observed benefits to infants following chiropractic care. Particularly for preterm infants that are at the highest risk of neurodevelopmental disorders, an intervention that could potentially enhance neuroplasticity and neuromodulation, such as changes seen following chiropractic care in adults, is beneficial to explore. Furthermore, this research would aid in informing both parents/caregivers and health practitioners about the potential benefits of chiropractic care for preterm infants.
Specifically, this proposed research will aim to investigate the feasibility of conducting an RCT utilizing EEG and HRV to measure changes to the central and ANS in preterm infants. Preterm infants are at a heightened risk of developing deficits in neuromotor development, cognitive functions and executive functions and, thus, are an important group to investigate the potential benefits of chiropractic care.
Dr. Tyson Perez and Dr. Phillip Tomporowski – “Psychoneuroimmunology as a framework for studying the effects of chiropractic care in an obese population: a proof-of-concept trial”
The primary aims of the proposed proof-of-concept trial are centered around examining the feasibility of conducting a prospective chiropractic intervention study on an obese population living in and around Athens, Georgia. This includes evaluating various implementation outcomes, including recruitment, adherence, tolerability, retention, acceptability, and data fidelity. As a secondary aim, we will assess the potential effects of removing vertebral subluxations via chiropractic adjustments on psychological, neurological, and immunological functioning. The results of this trial will inform the design of a future randomized, controlled trial (RCT) that has an increased focus on effectiveness outcomes.
Assess the potential effects of chiropractic care on PNI-related outcomes including:
- Changes in self-reported psychological/cognitive/physical/autonomic functioning.
- Modulation of executive function (i.e., cognitive flexibility) as indicated by changes in auditory switch task reaction time and decision error rate during gait.
- Modulation of gait as indicated by changes in the percentage of time spent in stance phase, load response, swing phase, single support, pre-swing, and initial swing.
- Modulation of PSNS activity as indicated by changes in electrocardiography (ECG) derived heart rate variability (HRV) during rest, stress, and recovery.
- Modulation of SNS activity as indicated by changes in impedance cardiography (ICG) derived pre- ejection period (PEP) during rest, stress, and recovery.
- Modulation of immune activity as indicated by changes in salivary derived secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) levels at rest.
As these studies pass their milestones and reach publication, we will be releasing the findings and hopefully some exciting interviews with the investigators on each study. It is our great joy to serve chiropractic through supporting these projects. If you aren’t already a member and want to support more projects like these while accessing all our membership benefits, make sure you join! We’d love to have you in our tribe.