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Case Study: Marcus

Marcus was brought to see me by his mother because of slow speech development which had further deteriorated following a bout of ear infections. At the time of consultation Marcus was four-and-a-half but appeared younger due to slowed physical development.

On questioning it was revealed that Marcus wet the bed every night and had frequent accidents by day, shunned affection and was basically a loner avoiding contact with other children.

On examination he was unable to stand with his eyes closed, had reduced reflexes, an inability to converge his eyes for close vision (see video on Research page), was totally dyspraxic and had a positive Babinski sign on the right (an up-going toe when the sole of the foot is stroked).

Typically only one aspect of this child’s problems had been addressed, namely the most obvious sign, the lack of speech. However, we must bear in mind that dysphasia, dyslexia, etc., are only symptoms of an underlying problem and not diseases in their own right.

By looking at the bigger neurological picture it was possible to identify those parts of the nervous system that were under functioning and having ruled out any more worrying problems address the neurophysiological causes of the outward expression of this basic delayed maturation.

Following his second treatment Marcus climbed into bed with his mother and cuddled her. His mother cried having never experienced any expressions of affection from him before. On his third visit to the clinic he started talking albeit quietly at first and his mother reported he was now dry by day. During the next two weeks he became dry by night and was constantly asking his mother if he could go next door to play with the neighbour’s children.

I have monitored Marcus over a period of months mainly by e-mail reports from his mother and have been delighted by his continued progress and the speed at which he has made up lost ground.
Anyone with a medical background might be concerned that many of these children present with what appears to be worrying upper motor neuron signs e.g. the positive Babinski sign in this case. However, the superficial abdominal reflexes (stroking the abdomen causes the belly-button to move in the direction of the area stroked) was negative thus ruling out this more serious concern. Generally the positive Babinski is a retained primitive reflex which is a normal finding in infants but should be replaced as the nervous system grows and matures by the “adult” postural reflexes. It is therefore a clue as to the state of development of the child’s neurophysiological maturation.

Typically, as in this case there will be a history of recurrent ear infections, tonsillitis, eczema and/or asthma. These are signs of an underlying under functioning autoimmune system. Part of the immune system is under the control of the right cerebral cortex and as 98% of boys will have problems with the right cortex it is logical that an under functioning immune system will be powerless to resist minor recurrent infections. It is the self same mechanism that results in the stressed executive falling ill as soon as he/she takes that much deserved break – with the pressure off the system crashes.

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