Tag Archives: general ideas about neurology

Did you know that I check for persistent primitive reflexes? A primitive reflex is a reflex that is normal in an infant, but not normal after about one year of age. It is estimated that 30% of American children have one still present that should have been gone long ago. If they are present after their normal developmental stage, they could be the underlying cause of learning disorders and also things like wetting the bed, poor handwriting, lack of focus, sloppy posture, poor reading, fidgeting, and many other symptoms. When the brain develops in childhood, it does so in certain specific stages. The inhibition of these reflexes are a good sign that the higher brain areas are developing normally, each one during its specific stage. The inhibition of these reflexes are the cornerstone of good postural development AND then good cortical development. Do you know any children struggling with these things? Let's get them checked!

Here is a quote from an article I was just reading:

"In experimental animals, chronic stress has been shown to cause dendritic atrophy or even cell death and to inhibit neurogenesis in the hippocampus3 and prefrontal cortex.4     We know that stress hurts the brain, but causing dendritic atrophy means that the branches between neurons fade away!  We want to increase connectivity of nerve cells (create neuroplasticity), not decrease them!

Subtle Neurologic Compromise as a Vulnerability Factor for Combat-Related Posttraumatic Stress DisorderResults of a Twin Study FREE

Tamara V. Gurvits, MD, PhD; Linda J. Metzger, PhD; Natasha B. Lasko, PhD; Paul A. Cannistraro, MD; Alexandra S. Tarhan, MD, PhD; Mark W. Gilbertson, PhD; Scott P. Orr, PhD; Anna M. Charbonneau, BA; Michelle M. Wedig, BS; Roger K. Pitman, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2006;63(5):571-576. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.63.5.571.

Let's start with two quick stories about autistic children.

A local pediatrician brought her 10 year old daughter to see me who is autistic. After a few visits in my office she said that her daughter began to walk up and down the stairs using alternating legs. She said that before this she would walk up and down and ‘match’ her legs together on one step before going up or down to the next one.

The second story:

A woman brought her 8 year old SON to see me with Autism. He had a lot of stemming and every time I touched him, no matter how softly, he said “Ow”. The mother asked if his son was really feeling discomfort. I said that is completely subjective and he could very well be feeling pain, somewhat like someone with fibromyalgia. After several treatments, his sensory responses calmed significantly and he no longer jumped, twitched or said, “Ow."

Thoughts on treating autism:

Did you know that every autistic child I examine all present with a right cortical deficit?  This means that the pathways in certain parts of the right brain are not as strong as those on the left.  This eventually results in processing issues on both sides of the brain.  Oftentimes, children with autism also will eventually have OCD or ADHD.  Which part of the right brain is affected?  It is different in each child.  It could be the frontal cortex, parietal cortex, the mid brain, the brain stem..............that's what the exam tells me.


pinhole glassesI personally have been having trouble with my vision on and off since 2007 after a dear uncle died. A week after his funeral, my vision returned to 100%. Several years afterwards I needed a pair of glasses to read up close (farsightedness). I found though, that every time I used the new prescription glasses, I felt my eyes getting weaker and weaker, which meant I had to use them more and more. I tried not to wear them unless absolutely necessary and I felt I didn't want to promote the stiffening of the lenses in my eye. I went to an optometrist who suggested that I have several pairs: one to use in the morning when my eyes were strongest and others to use throughout the day as my eyes were becoming more and more fatigued. I also noticed that the more I worked, the chart notes I wrote, computers I looked at and seminars I attended, my eyes continue(d) to get worse UNTIL I went to Vitamin Life in Redmond. The manager there suggested I use 'pinhole glasses' and when I think about it, I use them.

Please be clear and understand that I do not condone the use of these particular glasses, as I have not used the ones from Amazon myself. I am, however, using the pair I bought at Vitamin Life in Redmond. I recently have noticed that after wearing them, my vision HAS improved and that I don't need my strongest glasses anymore after using them.

I am NOT an optometrist, as this is NOT my area of expertise, I merely want to share information that might help people not lose elasticity of their lenses in their eyes before they have to.

I'll keep you informed of my own progress! Stay clear in your vision!

Dr. Merry