The Effects of Four Weeks of Chiropractic Spinal Adjustments on Blood Biomarkers in Adults With Chronic Stroke: Secondary Outcomes of a Randomized Controlled Trial
Certain blood biomarkers are associated with neural protection and neural plasticity in healthy people and individuals with prior brain injury. To date, no studies have evaluated the effects chiropractic care on serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF-II) and glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in people with stroke. This manuscript reports pre-specified, exploratory, secondary outcomes from a previously completed parallel group randomized controlled trial. We evaluated differences between four weeks of chiropractic spinal adjustments combined with the usual physical therapy (chiro + PT) and sham chiropractic with physical therapy (sham + PT) on resting serum BDNF, IGF-II and GDNF in 63 adults with chronic stroke. Blood samples were assessed at baseline, four weeks (post-intervention), and eight weeks (follow-up). Data were analyzed using a linear multivariate mixed effects model. Within both groups there was a significant decrease in the mean log-concentration of BDNF and IGF-II at each follow-up, and significant increase log-concentration of GDNF at eight-weeks’ follow-up. However, no significant between-group differences in any of the blood biomarkers at each time-point were found. Further research is required to explore which factors influence changes in serum BDNF, IGF-II and GDNF following chiropractic spinal adjustments and physical therapy.