Dr. Raymond Damadian opened the symposium with a brief overview of the newly identified medical syndrome which has been named “The Cranio-Cervical Syndrome (CCS)”. He noted that most medical professionals are unaware and it is important to begin the process of raising awareness. Symptomatology is similar to many symptoms of neurological disease, especially multiple sclerosis.
Foremost symptoms include:
Pressure headaches accompanied by dementia and loss of cognitive skills
Neck pain described as “knife stabbing” or “pins and needle stabbing at the base of the skull”
Headaches which occur randomly through the day frequently generated by a change of head position
Drop attacks, dizziness, loss of balance, numbness of legs, difficulty walking, paroxysmal vertigo, sudden dropping of things from hands, loss of color vision, loss of motor skills in the lower extremities and potential wheel chair confinement, numbness and tingling in the legs and feet, vertigo on standing and walking, numbness and loss of motor control in the upper extremities.
Many of the above symptoms correlate to the traditional MS symptoms. Is there a connection for some patients? Dr. Damadian’s team analyzed a small cohort of MS patients. MS diagnosis was made, on average, eleven years after an acute trauma such as an automobile accident, sports injury, workplace injuries, or medical procedure. The injury does not need to be dramatic - but, if the patient's upper cervical structure is compromised, they are at a higher risk.
Christi Fischer does not have MS, but her story, nonetheless, was compelling. She suffered from “drop attacks” every 2-3 days….she wore a helmet to protect herself. For four years, she spent relentless hours and days going from the Mayo Clinic to university hospitals including Chicago, Tennessee and Indiana. She was diagnosed with everything from dementia to mental psychosis – she was on 650 pills a month prescribed by the doctors. Imaging on the upright MRI showed structural problems at her cervical spine – she had low lying cerebella tonsils. Dr. Damadian introduced Christi to Dr. Rosa who subsequently treated her using his image guided AO treatment. Christi’s structural problems at the C-1 and C-2 cervical spine are beginning to resolve. The dizziness and vertigo is gone and she has surpassed 149 days without a drop attack.
Professor Francis Smith, University of Aberdeen and co-author of “A Case Controlled Study of Cerebellar Tonsil Ectopia and Head/Neck Trauma” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20545453.
Dr. Smith started his talk by quoting Arthur Schopenhauer; “All great truth goes through three phases. Ridicule, Violently opposed, Finally accepted as self evident.” He talked about the advantages of using the upright MRI in radiological imaging; actually, he does not understand why standard imaging is done in recumbent only. Dr. Smith uses a multi-positional MRI where he can image supine, standing, sitting and flexed position. He suggests you can learn a great deal when you see the effects of gravity on the body. Physicians are missing significant pathology by imaging in only one position. He showed examples of the small cranio cervical junction (CCJ) ligaments damaged by whiplash – these are not seen on recumbent MRI. Damaged ligaments induce instability in the CCJ. Physicians need to be educated to look at these smaller ligaments. He also showed comparative images of cerebellar tonsils; recumbent imaging, the tonsils are insignificant; upright imaging, the tonsils are shown to be obstructing the cerebrospinal fluid flow.
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