Thanks to FCER for permission to reporduce this article!
Asthma Trial Update:
Data Encouraging -
Help Needed to Put Funding "Over the Top"
||A message from Vincent P. Lucido, D.C.,
President of FCER
This letter contains the most recent update from the major
multisite Asthma trial underway in Australia, funded by the Foundation
for Chiropractic Education and Research (FCER). As this important
study continues, we believe it is important to keep you abreast of the
Funding remains needed to complete the project. Your contribution
will enable this important research to make a difference. Asthma
Trial donors who give now will have special recognition in upcoming
issues of Advance magazine. Please use the enclosed
response flyer to make your donation now and put the funding over the
Dr. Ray Hayek, Principal Investigator for this study, will be a
speaker at the 2002 International Conference on Spinal Manipulation,
to be held October 4-5 in Toronto. Click here
for information on the conference.
Dr. Anthony Rosner, FCER Director of Research, files
the following report from communication with Dr. Hayek:
Once again I am delighted to be informing you of the particulars
and progress of the asthma multisite clinical trial that is
currently underway in Australia and supported by FCER and NCMIC and
YOU. This trial is of paramount importance in addressing the major
flaws in a previous and unfortunately highly visible clinical trial
published in The New England Journal of Medicine.1
It also represents one of the few investigations that taps into the
field of endocrinology—an area that must be addressed if
one is to gain further insight into the systemic effects of spinal
dysfunctions and their management by chiropractic care. This
research represents only a handful of investigations that have
addressed the consequences of manipulation involving chemical
(as opposed to electrical) messengers within the body.
A third attribute is that this particular investigation focuses
on the stress response2-4 in the asthmatic. In the
attempt to maintain homeostasis, bronchial hyperresponsiveness
remains the defining characteristic in asthma. From earlier
investigations, interventions which control stress appear to have a
significant palliative effect in the management of asthma, with
cortisol appearing to be an important marker.5 Among the
14 sites and 150 patients involved in this study, retrospective data
will be provided on the efficacy of four different interventions
offered by chiropractors: Activator Method, Gonstead Technique,
Motion Palpation, and the Sacro-Occipital Technique. Patient
treatments are expected to be completed by the end of this year,
after which it is expected that results will be reported both in
public forums* and in the peer-reviewed medical literature.
Although data on asthma symptoms, quality of life and distress
are forthcoming in this particular investigation, preliminary
cortisol measurements are already bearing fruit. The Australian
research team indicates that with manipulation (as opposed to simply
visiting the treatment center), levels do decrease.6 An important marker of
immune activity (immunoglobulin A), on the other hand, appears to
increase in patients attending chiropractic centers.6
This last result is particularly noteworthy in that transient
deficiencies of mucosal and salivary immunoglobulin A have already
been shown to lead to the development of bronchial
hyperresponsiveness and asthma.7
Clearly, you can see where this important trial appears to be
headed in making what we believe will be a major impact upon the
clinical research literature—to say nothing of offering a
multiplicity of means of support for both the theory and scope of
practice of chiropractic healthcare. We hope that you will find it
possible to support this groundbreaking research in its last few
months and become part of what I consider to be a milestone in
FCER’s short but highly productive history.
support of this important study has our deep appreciation. Your gift
now will help us to close out the funding and will be a tremendous
encouragement. You may use the response form enclosed, or call our
office at 800-622-6309. Click
here to donate now on our secure server. Be watching for the
next progress report. Thank you.
You may not realize that, until 25 years ago, chiropractic research
was vastly underdeveloped and appeared to some as an oxymoron. In
1975, a conference at the NIH concluded that "There are little
scientific data of significance to evaluate this [chiropractic's]
clinical approach to health and to the treatment of disease."
From that time onward, both clinical and basic research have advanced
to the point at which [i] over 40 randomized clinical trials comparing
spinal manipulation with other treatments in the management of back
pain have been published in the scientific literature,6,7
[ii] meta-analysis and systematic reviews attesting to the support of
spinal manipulation in the management of back pain8,9
have also appeared, and [iii] multidisciplinary panels representing
the governments of the United States,10
Canada,11 Great Britain,12
Australia,15 and New Zealand16
have expressed similar recognition of the robust evidence base in
support of spinal manipulation for managing low back conditions.
By providing support for over 175 research projects and 150
individuals engaged in postgraduate study, FCER can claim primary
responsibility for this good fortune. In fact, virtually all of the
first government grants awarded for chiropractic research [essentially
nonexistent prior to 1993] were made possible by earlier studies that
were funded by FCER.
1Balon J, Aker PD, Crowther ER, Danielson C,
Cox PG, O'Shaugnessy D, Walker C, Goldsmith CH, Duku E, Sears MR.
A comparison of active and simulated chiropractic manipulation as adjunctive treatment for childhood asthma.
New England Journal of Medicine 1998; 339(15): 1013-1020.
Stress and duress.
Comprehensive Therapy 1975; 1: 9-13.
Psychoneuroimmunology, the placebo effect and chiropractic.
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 1998; 21(7): 484-491.
In Masarsky CS, Todres-Masarsky M,
Somatovisceral Aspects of Chiropractic: An Evidence-Based Approach.
New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone, 2001, pp. 187-202.
5Field T, Henteleff T, Hernandez M, Martinez E, Mavunda K, Kuhn C,
Children with asthma have improved pulmonary functions after massage therapy.
Journal of Pediatrics 1998; 32(5): 854-858.
6Ali S, Hayek R, Holland R, McKelvy S-E, Boyce K, Curson P.
Effect of chiropractic treatment on the endocrine and immune system in asthmatic patients.
Proceedings of the 2002 International Conference on Spinal Manipulation,
Des Moines, IA: Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research. In press, 2002.
7Gleeson M, Clancy RL, Hensley MJ, Cripps AW, Henry RL, Wlodarczyk JH,
Development of bronchial hyperreactivity following transient absence of IgA.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 1996; 153[6 Pt 1]: 1785-1789.