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Table 11 Results from four studies included in a systematic review on the effect of spinal manipulation on ‘brain function’, comparing spinal manipulation to another physical stimulus

From: Unravelling functional neurology: does spinal manipulation have an effect on the brain? - a systematic literature review

1st Author
Type of study subjects Outcome Was a statistically significant difference between groups observed? Time of assessment Quality classification
Healthy MEP amplitudes Yes (p < 0.05)
Statistically significant increase at 10 s. post-SM compared to control
Immediately after (each 10 s. during 100 s. after SM or control) Low
“Subclinical neck/spinal pain” P14-N18 SEP peak ratio No Unclear (said to be within 25 min post-SM or control) Medium
N20-P25 SEP peak ratio No
P22-N30 SEP peak ratio Yes (p = .003)
Statistically significant decrease post-SM compared to control
MEP amplitudes Yes (p = .01)
Statistically significant increase post-SM compared to control
Not-reported Low
k (slope of the steepest part of the curve) No
S50 (stimulus intensity to obtain a response 50% of the maximum) No
V-wave amplitudes Yes (p < 0.01–0.03)
Statistically significant increase at each time point post-SM compared to control
-Immediately after
−30 min after
− 60 min after
  1. Results are reported (i) grouped by type of study subjects (healthy, symptomatic, or with “subclinical neck/spinal pain”), (ii) grouped by type of outcomes, and (iii) consecutively by year of publication
  2. MEP Motor evoked potential, SEP Somatosensory evoked potential, SM Spinal manipulation