Movement DisordersMovement Disorders

Myotonic Dystrophy Case Study

Almost two years ago I began training a then ten-year-old with Myotonic Dystrophy who had attention problems, low muscle tone, low energy, poor speech, sleep maintenance issues and sleep apnea. After about sixty sessions, this youngster showed greatly increased energy, improved concentration and speech, normalization of his sleep cycle and no sleep apnea. A formal sleep study documented normalization of his blood oxygen saturation levels when compared with studies conducted prior to neurofeedback training, and confirmed that the sleep apnea issue had been resolved.

About six months later his mother called to say that he had lost all of the gains we had made with the Neurofeedback. So he came back in twice per week and we were again able to attain the same level of improvements. We now maintain those gains with sessions once per week during school terms. Myotonic Dystrophy is a degenerative condition in which the patient’s health is expected to gradually deteriorate, so it seems this youngster needs ongoing Neurofeedback training to maintain gains and postpone the inevitable deterioration. Now for the really good news! Because of this well-known process of deterioration, medical specialists had previously predicted that this boy would be in a wheelchair by now.

However, he is now twelve years old and a few months back was encouraged to try out for “Special Olympics.” This is a program here in Australia in which children with disabilities are encouraged to take part in track and field events. The boy’s mother told me last week that he is now running times in the 400 meters that would have qualified him to run in the open division at the 2000 Sydney Para Olympic Games. He is now being groomed to compete in several track events and the high jump in Athens in 2004. So much for the wheelchair!