dr  Julie Mayer Hunt Receives Upper Cervical Researcher of the Year Award - New SIgA Study of Upper Cervical Spine Adaptation

dr Julie Mayer Hunt – Upper Cervical Council Researcher of the Year 2022

The study breaks new ground by expanding our understanding of the effect of upper cervical spine adjustment techniques on immune response.

This study is an example of the compelling results that come from research collaboration between our ICA physicians and the value of practice-based research across multiple sites.”

— Beth Clay, ICA Executive Director

FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA, June 16, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Last weekend, Julie Mayer Hunt, DC, FCCJP, DICCP of Clearwater, Fla., was named Upper Cervical Researcher of the Year at FORUM – the ICA Annual Council on Upper Cervical Care Conference at the Hilton Marietta, Georgia Conference Center. dr Mayer Hunt was recognized for her long-standing leadership in advancing basic and clinical research in the field of upper cervical chiropractic. Her most recent published study is titled “Secretory Immunoglobulin A and Upper Cervical Chiropractic: A Preliminary Prospective, Multicenter, Observational Study.”

as dr Mayer Hunt’s award from Dr is an opportunity to advance our profession in a way that we always knew could happen, but is now happening. Thank you dr Mayer Hunt, for your dedication and discipline to the rigorous science and documentation that proves what we all know, Chiropractic Works!”

Study aim: The aim of the study was to observe changes in secretory IgA (SIgA) after provision of a craniocervical junction adjustment using an upper cervical adjustment technique. Five different techniques were used: Atlas Orthogonal, Blair, Knee Chest, NUCCA, and Orthopinology, and all fitting physicians had extensive experience in their technique and had achieved either Diplomate or Fellow status in the ICA Chiropractic Craniocervical Junction Procedures program. SIgA was measured in saliva samples. Participants were recruited from five chiropractic practices between January and June 2019.

Why was SIgA measured? Measuring SIgA was chosen because it is a key component of the innate immune system, which provides a non-specific, first-line defense against numerous pathogens. SIgA is the most abundant immunoglobulin in the human body and plays an important role in protecting the mucosal surfaces of the gut, airways, and urogenital tract from microorganisms. Because microorganisms typically enter the body through these mucosal surfaces, the role of SIgA in protecting them is critical to disease prevention.

Samples were collected at three intervals from each patient to measure SIgA before the patient’s first fitting, 30 minutes after fitting, and again after two weeks. This study found an immediate increase in SIgA after adaptation to the craniocervical junction. Two weeks after the adjustment, the samples showed that the SIgA had returned to baseline.

In addition to the SIgA measurement, the SF-12v2 health survey was also collected before the first fitting and after two weeks. This survey is a commonly used measure of health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Significant improvements were observed in both the physical and mental components of the SF-12v2 health score at the 2-week time point.

This study is among the first to longitudinally examine SIgA samples in humans and may be the first to assess SIgA after upper cervical spine fitting. The results of this study have strong implications for chiropractic care. Since SIgA is thought to be a marker not only of mucosal immune system status but also of systemic immunity, the observed increase in SIgA may indicate activation of the systemic immune system.

A first step – further research needed: These results suggest that a systemic immune response is activated within 30 minutes after an upper cervical spine adaptation in healthy individuals. While future research is needed to investigate the mechanism behind this finding, this study serves as a preliminary study for further investigation of the relationship between immune function and upper neck adaptations.

In discussing the study, Dr. Mayer Hunt: “This project answers several of our questions while also raising new questions that can be explored in future studies. This includes examining the lifestyle variables that affect outcomes in patients, gaining a better understanding of why mental health scores have improved, and the role of sleep and rest in outcomes related to immune function.

ICA Managing Director Beth Clay stated, “This study exemplifies the compelling results that come from research collaboration between our ICA physicians and the value of real-world, multi-site research. This important study was designed and conducted well before the WHO declared a global pandemic. Please note that no specific claims can or should be derived or asserted directly at this time. This study is a building block that should lead to future studies that replicate and expand on the information gathered by this team of experts. Although the ICA has no direct role in designing or conducting the study, it is excited about the goals of the ICA program for Chiropractic Craniocervical Junction Procedures – increased networking and research participation are bearing fruit. We also thank the Institutional Review Board of Sherman College of Chiropractic and all authors of this important article. This study is published Open Access in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine and can be read in its entirety at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcm.2021.10.003.”

sources cited
i Schalow, PR, Kimball, KA, Schurger, FT, Sooley, GR, Bales, SP, Rochester, RP, Brooks, RT, & Hunt, JM (2021). Secretory immunoglobulin A and upper cervical chiropractic care: A preliminary prospective, multicenter, observational study. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 20(3), 121-127. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcm.2021.10.003
ii The Short Form Health Survey Version 2 (SF-12v2) is a commonly used measure of health-related quality of life (HRQOL). SF-12v2 is easy to use, reliable and valid. O Al Omari, A Alkhawaldeh, M AL Ashtawy, J Qaddumi, MB Holm, D AlOmari. A Review of the Short Form Health Survey Version 2. J Nurs Meas. 2019 Apr 01;27(1):77-86. doi: 10.1891/1061-3749.27.1.77. PMID: 31068492.

Beth Clay
International Chiropractors Association
+1 202-498-4461
[email protected]
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