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  • Writer's pictureKristen

Telomere Length

The case study that we are looking at today was done to look at an individual case of a 35 year old girl with chronic neck and low back pain following an accident 5 years prior. The study wanted to track progress of the traditional neck and back pain throughout a care plan of 36 visits but they were also tracking to see changes in polyuria (night time urination), quality of life, and telomere length. Human telomere length (TL) is affected by genetic and environmental factors. TL is longest at birth and decreases with advancing age. As such, telomere length is considered a biomarker of biological aging. As telomeres shorten, cells can lose their ability to undergo cellular sequencing (replication and division) and may undergo apoptosis (cell death). In various cross-sectional studies, observations of shortened TL are associated with metabolic and inflammatory diseases, pulmonary diseases, cardiovascular events and diseases, psychological and stress disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, chronic and serious illnesses, and mortality. Additionally, TL is associated with lifestyle choices such as diet, tobacco and alcohol use, physical activity, and sleep. Fewer studies have focused on the dynamic change and regulation of TL by implementing exercise programs, vitamin supplements, diet, meditation, and genetic engineering. Interest in telomere lengthening or length maintenance is due to the notion that this will serve to slow down or cease a person’s biological clock providing youthfulness and health longevity. It seems that implementation of healthy interventions or reduction of unhealthy stressors will have a beneficial effect on TL.

The patient was examined and found to have many structural issues present on the x-rays. She had a forward head translation present, decreased atlas angle, a loss of neck curvature and rotations present along the spine in all areas. The patient was treated with 36 total treatments including chiropractic adjustments and structural corrective therapies following each treatment. The patient was instructed to not change any other aspect of health throughout her treatment to determine if just the chiropractic treatment would influence telomere length. At the end of the plan the patient reported complete resolution of both her neck and low back pain. She also noted the resolution of her nocturia. The most interesting finding was that when her telomere length was checked it revealed that there was an 8.23% increase in their length. Patients under long-term chiropractic care demonstrate higher serum thiol antioxidant levels responsible for reducing oxidative stress on the body, facilitating DNA repair enzyme activity which is directly related to health longevity. Telomere length being increased is a very important finding that shows that chiropractic care can increase overall health and longevity of life.

Increased Telomere Length and Improvements in Dysautonomia, Quality of Life, and Neck and Back Pain Following Correction of Sagittal Cervical Alignment Using Chiropractic BioPhysics® Technique: a Case Study Fedorchuk C*, Lightstone DF, McCoy M and Harrison DE 425 Peachtree Parkway, Suite 315, Cumming, GA 30041, United States

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