Here are some snippets from a fascinating interview sharing cutting edge information on functional neurology and the cerebellum on the Autism, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder Summit
Dr. Peter Scire, DC covers: How to Induce Neuroplastic Change in Your Teenager and Make it Fun. He shares how brain hemisphere imbalances and misfiring can be assessed and corrected with very specific exercises to induce neuroplastic change (in both children and even adults).
I want to bring attention to, really what Schmahmann calls the cerebellum cognitive affective syndrome, so CCAS. It’s been in the literature now for 20 years. And now he’s developed a way to actually do a checklist and to look at these different aspects. But ultimately what he’s saying is that the cerebellum networks have huge relationships to your cognition of executive functions: like working memory, linguistics (your ability to generate language and to actually comprehend language), your affect, so your mood and your emotional stability. Being able to not only generate emotions, but also be able to receive emotions.
These are things that we thought for a long time were at the higher center of the brain, more of the frontal lobe specifically….. But again, the more that we’re looking at the neuro anatomy through neuroimaging, we’re able to really say, guess what? There are certain pockets of the cerebellum that specifically drive these networks.
He talks about the 3 major parts of the cerebellum, 10 subparts and how 5 of these subparts actually deal with non-motor aspects (i.e. mood and emotions, ADHD etc.). It’s this latter aspect – the non-moto aspects – that is not recognized in mainstream neurology and that forms the some of the central aspects of functional neurology:
What we know about the cerebellum is that we have three major parts to it, and then there’s actually like 10 sub parts to it. And these 10 sub parts to it have different connections and when you look at the 10 sub parts, the first 5 have to do with more sensory motor aspects of the cerebellum. And then really the other 10 or so, give or take, are really dealing with non-motor aspects.
We have areas from the cortex that speak back to the cerebellum. We call them cerebral cerebellum loops. And then we have cerebellum back to the cerebrum. It kind of makes this bio directional system. Now it’s a little bit more complicated than that. There are other parts of the motor center, the basal ganglia and these other parts in the limbic system and stuff like that. But from a simple standpoint, for most of our attendees that understand brain gut access, just think about it in that sense. Cerebellum … brain, cerebellum, cerebellum back to the brain, okay?
And so we can have dysfunction in those systems. But again, most of the clinical model has always been looking at brain to cerebellum, not cerebellum back to the brain. And I think in my experience over the last 15 plus years, most of the work in functional neurology has actually been centered around, even chiropractic per se has been centered around cerebellum to brain, but we now are even getting more specific with our therapeutic entities.
Dr. Scire discusses the under-recognized relationships between the cerebellum networks and ADHD, social communication, mood, and emotional aspects, relationships, obsessions, compulsions, anxiety and depression:
Again, when you look at the different phases of his work, you want to look at executive function – the whole ADHD population. You look at the linguistic processing. Obviously, we know language and social communication for autism spectrum disorders. Looking at spatial cognition so visual spatial information, visual memory aspects. Then you can begin to look at not only mood, and emotional aspects, but also relationships, obsessions, compulsions, anxiety and depression.
All this continuum of symptomatology can be traced back to the cerebellum. I agree with Doctor Melillo on this hemisphere communication model. But at the same time, in my opinion, I think that we can take it one step further and even get into the specifics of starting with these networks in the cerebellum. It starts out with this very specific examination to say okay, I want to look at motor functions of the cerebellum and I also want to look at non-motor functions of the cerebellum. And then my therapeutic entity is going to be based on that.
You can watch the video snippet of the above here
Dr. Scire shares the research published by Dr. Schmahmann. In this paper, The neuropsychiatry of the cerebellum – insights from the clinic they discuss the behaviors that they witnessed and that were described by patients and families:
distractibility and hyperactivity, impulsiveness, disinhibition, anxiety, ritualistic and stereotypical behaviors, illogical thought and lack of empathy, as well as aggression and irritability. Ruminative and obsessive behaviors, dysphoria and depression, tactile defensiveness and sensory overload, apathy, childlike behavior, and inability to appreciate social boundaries and assign ulterior motives were also evident.
He also recommends Dr. Robert Melillo’s book: Disconnected Kids: The Groundbreaking Brain Balance Program for Children with Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Other Neurological Disorders (my Amazon link). I’ve skimmed it and will be doing a review –the functional neurology information is brilliant. I’d love to see the dietary information expanded upon.
In this interview you will learn…
- What the latest research says about the role of the cerebellum in cognition and motor planning [and the role it also plays in anxiety, depression and ADHD]
- What to look for when assessing cerebellar function.
- How the cerebellum impacts executive function.
- How to rehabilitate the brain and the importance of movement.
- How to treat young adults with neurological disorders.
- How what may seem to be “simple” exercises you can do at home with your child can have a major impact on their cognitive function.
I also had the pleasure of speaking on a panel with Dr. Scire and Dr. Leila Masson last week – you can watch this here. We discuss some of the above and a great deal more
Facebook Live Panel with Tara Hunkin, Dr Leila Masson, Dr. Peter Scire DC, and Trudy Scott.
I learned so much from his interview and our panel discussion and will be delving into this aspect of functional neurology in order to add this element for clients who need this support beyond nutrition and functional medicine.
If you’re new to my work and the targeted individual amino acids be sure to catch my interview: Self-care strategies for parents that are stressed out, anxious and depressed – without using medications.
Using the targeted individual amino acids (such as tryptophan, GABA and DPA) provides quick relief from anxiety and overwhelm, giving my clients hope from day one. And then we start to dig deeper for other root causes which can often take some time.
In this interview my focus was for stress and overwhelm support for parents but the use of amino acids is very applicable to children (and was the topic I covered in my interview in the first season).
You can watch a video snippet of me sharing more about the amino acids here
As I learn more I expect to find that the amino acids used in conjunction with functional neurology is going to provide more comprehensive results for many individuals who also have cerebellum dysfunctions.
This event brings together 30+ of the leading doctors, nutritionists, and researchers working to help parents by sharing the latest information and strategies for achieving recovery for children with Autism, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder.
If you have (or a loved one has) anxiety, depression, OCD, social anxiety, anger issues and other behavioral symptoms this event is one I highly recommend. Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and Parkinson’s disease are also covered in Dr. Scire’s interview. This information has a wider application than autism, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD and SPD and you will learn a great deal.
If you’ve benefited from functional neurology and these brain balancing exercises please do share in the comments. Feel free to post questions too.