Functional Neurology (FN) is a treatment method used by some chiropractors. However, there is no immediate satisfactory evidence for the effects or benefits of Functional Neurology in the academic literature. That is the conclusion made by two researchers from Université Paris-Sarclay in France in a new article titled Unravelling functional neurology: a critical review of clinical research articles on the effect or benefit of the functional neurology approach published in Chiropractic and Manual Therapies.
In their article the two researchers, Anne-Laure Meyer and Charlotte Leboeuf-Yde conducted a critical review of publications from three academic journals in order to discover if there is evidence of effects or benefits of Functional Neurology. They discovered nine papers, which met the criteria for their critical review.
A weighty reason for the lack of evidence of the usefulness of FN is the quality of the research in FN that has been carried out. All nine papers showed shortcomings in the design and methodology of the studies behind the papers and the quality of the reporting of the studies were generally so poor that it was difficult to fully understand what FN is all about and impossible to find acceptable evidence for the effects and benefits of the treatment methods that are used in Functional Neurology. In the critical review, Anne-Laure Meyer and Charlotte Leboeuf-Yde give out severe criticism to the researchers who authored the papers and end their paper by concluding that
‘The FNRE journal, with a special interest in FN, contains only few clinical research articles in this field. Further, it is clear that over five years and twenty-four issues of this journal, no methodologically sound studies on the effect or benefit of the FN approach were published.’
The studies described in the papers included symptomatic and asymptomatic children and adults. They studied various interventions of different kinds of single and multiple stimuli which allegedly all stimulated primarily parts of the brain. The conditions studied include attention deficit disorders, hyperactivity, autism, visual impairment, brain injury and migraine.
Functional Neurology is based on the assumption that areas of the brain are connected to specific parts of the body. Reversible damage to the nervous system, especially in the brain is the reason for a number of diseases in the body. Certain groups of damaged neurons, e.g. in the cerebellum, can be positively affected by various stimuli, e.g. manipulative therapy, diet control, massage and brain training. However, as shown, there is no evidence for the effects of the treatment method yet.
Read the full article here: https://chiromt.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12998-018-0198-7