Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)- Study Finds Structural Brain Differences

White MatterSensory Processing Disorders (SPD) affects 5-16% of school-age children and is frequently involved in children with autism, ADHD, or anxiety.  These might be the children who are extremely sensitive to noise like that of the vacuum cleaner, or they are stressed by over-stimulating environments, or sensitive to touch or textures.

These children just seem different, might be considered ‘out of sync’, are easily bullied and may have normal language and intelligence. 

This breakthrough study, just published in the open access journal “NeuroImage Clinical”, is elegant in it’s simplicity.  Using DTI (Diffusion Tensor Imaging), an MRI-like process that looks at the white matter of the brain, they were able to show distinct structural brain differences for the SPD kids when compared to age and IQ matched controls without SPD. While there is an overlap for many of these children (particularly in those with ADHD and Autism) this clearly demonstrated a distinct brain abnormality that was unique to these children. 

While I find this study valuable in starting the process of identifying the problem, I am much more interested in identifying the cause of this white matter change. I am convinced that eventually we will find that the interaction with toxins, our individual biochemistry and ability to get rid of toxins, and our genetic vulnerability and lack of key nutrients will be found to be key in the development of most of these brain affecting conditions.  It’s about what toxins we are exposed to at what point in brain development. 

Read More- Abnormal white matter microstructure in children with sensory processing disorders

Previous studies using the DTI technique and MRI studies have shown that white mater myelination starts around 20 weeks gestation (half way through the pregnancy) and continues to age 20 or later. I feel that the toxin exposures in the womb are so important, but early infancy and childhood is also a very important time for parents to do everything possible to avoid toxins. 

Eat organic, drink charcoal or reverse osmosis filtered water, avoid household toxins, avoid pesticides, and vaccinate carefully, avoiding aluminum exposure such as the Tdap (with it’s 330 micrograms of aluminum) now being pushed for pregnant women, and the Hep B vaccine (with it’s 250 micrograms of aluminum) being pushed on newborns even when their birth moms don’t have hepatitis.

Read more- White matter maturation of normal human fetal brain. An in vivo diffusion tensor tractography study


Dr. Paul

One comment

  • Michele Fordice

    THANK YOU for posting about this topic! I am learning more and more about how to support my boy who deals with SPD. Thank you for your constant support!

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