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HOPE FOR NEUROLOGICALLY DISABLED

F. Frank LeFever flefever at ix.netcom.com
Thu May 15 22:23:49 EST 1997


    I will insert a few comments.
    Frank LeFever
    New York Neuropsychology Group






In <01bc619a$9b700940$265f12cf at persever.ccia.com> "Med/Aid, Inc."
<persever at ccia.com> writes: 
>
>                        HOPE FOR SERIOUS PHYSICAL DISABILITIES THROUGH

>                                       DR. BRUCKER'S BIOFEEDBACK
>                                                           
>    There is now hope for spinal cord injuries, strokes, and cerebral
palsy
>patients that has resulted in paralysis or loss of motor skills.  Dr.
>Bernard Brucker, internationally known for his Biofeedback treatments,
has
>developed a biofeedback program which helps restore function to people
with
>physical disabilities.
>
>    Dr. Brucker's program is designed to locate faint or previously
>undetected motor 
>neural signals from the brain to the paralyzed limb.  Often, the
signal is
>so faint it is undetectable except through Dr. Brucker's testing
process. 

    I have done a some biofeedback treatment of patients with 
    hemiplegia and even quadriplegia.  Like most people doing this
    I used EMG to detect the "faint or previously undetected motor     
    neural signals...".  How does "Dr. Brucker's testing process"
    differ from this? (Does it?)




>Once the signal is located focus can be directed toward strengthening
the muscle

    What does that mean? ("focus can be directed toward"?????)
    Focus what? focus your attention?  STANDARD biofeedback
    procedure (not some special Dr. Brucker secret) is to use
    the EMG to drive a visual or auditory feedback signal to 
    the patient, telling him he's going the right direction
    in his efforts, reinforcing the latent or weak response
    so that subsequent ones may be stroonger, etc., etc.

 it is attached to

    The muscle it is "attached" to???  Maybe you mean the muscle
    the impulse is directed to? The muscle at which we record
    the EMG?



 and developing other motor neuron signals to aid
>in the process.  This becomes a powerful tool in the treatment of
certain
>physical disorders.
>
>     Mike Utley, Detroit Lions Professional Football Player, was
carried
>from the field with a C6-7 spinal cord injury affecting the arms,
hands,
>trunk, and legs.

  With Biofeedback Mike made large gains in learned control
>of the muscles in his legs.

    Well, maybe it was biofeedback, and maybe it was resolution
    of some of the acute tissue reactions which impaired function
    of intactneurons for a while.  There is no way we can be sure
    about this, since time and biofeedback training are confounded.
    However, I don't know the history of the case, and perhaps if
    there had been a long, stable baseline period with no change
    and change began only after treatment, the argument is a little
    better (although not conclusive).

    I can understand their not wanting to do it, but biofeedback       
    treatment of one limb but not another would have allowed a test
    of the biofeedback vs. natural healing question...

  He has also gained the use of signals to the
>muscles in his fingers, back, which he is now strengthening.  Mike's
>prognosis is good to continue to gain control over his muscles through
>these Biofeedback techniques according to Dr. Brucker.
>
>    Dr. Brucker has found that not all spinal cord injuries are
>neurologically complete.  There may be some neural tracts, perhaps
>duplicate ones not used before, or some tissue that may be recovered
after
>injury but has not been trained for use.  In many cases we find there
is
>undamaged neural tissue in the spinal cord that is not efficiently
utilized
>by the brain.  In short, Dr Brucker's program recruits motor neurons
with
>the patient learning how to voluntarily recruit a motor signal in the
>brain.
>  This produces a motor signal to the muscle site... producing action.
>


>     Currently, Dr. Brucker has a year waiting list


    However, he is not the only person doing biofeedback with these
    sorts  of conditions, so people interested in this should check
    other possibilities.  Rusk Institute (NYU Med Ctr. NYC) has done
    some of this sort of thing, to cite one example.






 but has developed a
>satellite laboratory in New Castle, Pa that is accepting new patients.
  For
>more information please e-mail us

    Who is "us"?
    The tone of this announcement does not inspire confidence.
    Its ballyhoo and mystery sounds more like snake oil selling
    than anything else. 


 at PrayHard99 at aol.com with your mailing
>address to receive a free packet of information.

    I would not be interested in a packet of "information"
    from anyone who neglects to state up-front what the procedure 
    is in terms that lets one compare it with standard biofeedback,
    to say nothing of saying explicitly  whether it does differ
    from standard biofeedback, and if so, how.

    I m no knocking biofeedback, although my own experience and
    reading in the field leads me to make very modest claims for
    its power.  It is possible that Dr. Brucker is using it in
    a responsible and competent way; but the tone of this announcement
    must raise some doubts among people who know something about this
    field.

    It would help if you would post something about where Dr. B. got 
    his training (and Dr. of what? Ed.D? J.D.? Ph.D.? Psy.D.? M.D.?
    D.O.? etc.), what professional organizations he is a member of good
    standing in, where he has published (exact citations, please), etc.


    Frank LeFever
    New York Neuropsychology Group
    
    


>




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