Are you suffering from a neurological disorder?

When your brain or nervous system do not function well, it can not only have detrimental effects on how you feel, how you move and how you think, it can have a negative impact on your relationships too. For over 20 years, we have been using Functional Neurology techniques to help people overcome symptoms related to concussions, dizziness, ADHD and much more.

On this page...

  • The Functional Neurology approach
  • How different parts of your nervous system work
  • List of neurological disorders we see
  • How to reach us for a Functional Neurology consultation
  • Further reading on Functional Neurology

It can already be a frustrating experience to live with a neurological condition, not to mention knowing who to turn to for help. We offer a unique, individualized approach to pinpoint the source of your symptoms and determine how to make you function better. Medical and alternative practitioners across Québec refer their patients to our clinic.

The Functional Neurology approach

Functional Neurology is based on neuroplasticity, your nervous system’s ability to change itself. After identifying the poorly functioning circuits that may be causing your symptoms, a treatment plan is put into place to progressively make your nervous system work better. This may include specifically-targeted neurological exercises, nutritional recommendations and/or manual therapy. To learn more about what to expect when consulting our office, please read about Functional Neurology at the Freud Clinic.

How different parts of your nervous system work

Understanding function helps us understand malfunction

While it is easier to learn about the nervous system by describing its various areas, it is important to remember that every part is intimately linked to every other part in a wonderfully elaborate matrix. A dysfunction in any one area, or in its connections, can manifest in a wide range of manifestations, from obvious symptoms to subtle clinical signs.

The Functional Neurology clinician’s first job is to evaluate the nervous system to form an impression of how various weak circuits may be causing your symptoms. The next step is to use this information to target the malfunctioning portions and make them function better.

Receptors

The nervous system functions by receiving information from your environment (through your senses) and from within your body through a variety of receptors. There are receptors for light, touch, temperature, vibration, muscle tension, joint position, etc. Much of a neurological exam serves to evaluate the receptors of your body and how they transmit their information to your central nervous system (spinal cord and brain). Receptors are also the therapeutic entryway to your nervous system to create improvement in a particularly weak circuit. For example, we may stimulate the vestibular receptors in your inner ear through balance exercises to help reduce dizziness.

Muscles

Your muscles are your nervous system’s tool to affect your physiology and the world around you. From contracting your pupils to protect your eyes from excess light to contracting your back muscles to maintain a stable posture, your muscles are a major part of how specific types of prescribed movements can rehabilitate a weak part of your nervous system.

Nerves

Nerves are the “streets” that transmit information from receptors to your central nervous system and from your central nervous system to your muscles. Nerves can be compressed, stretched or malfunction in their ability to send information. Nerve problems can cause strange sensations (such as numbness, tingling, burning, shooting, etc.) and muscular problems (such as weakness, atrophy, twitching, etc.). These symptoms most commonly occur in the hands and feet.

Spinal cord

The spinal cord is the main communication “highway” running inside the spinal column, connecting the nerves and the brain. Injury to the cord can be life threating and may involve complete loss of sensation in large body areas as well as severe muscle weakness or paralysis. Your spinal cord also houses many reflex circuits (that protect you when touching a hot stove, for instance) that are often tested in an exam (like when your knee jerks after its tendon is tapped with a reflex hammer).

Brainstem

The continuation of your spinal cord that sits inside your skull resembles the stem or trunk of your brain. It is here that cranial nerves transmit information between your brain and your head, your face and most of your organs. Malfunction in the circuits of the brainstem can lead to problems with the eyes, breathing, digestion and your very consciousness. This is a common area affected in traumatic brain injuries (concussions)

Limbic system

The limbic circuits are largely regarded as where our emotions are housed. It is intimately related to our memories, motivation and suffering. Indeed, it is your limbic system that may make you depressed or frustrated when faced with the limitations or pain related to your neurological problem.

Cerebellum

Nicknamed “little brain,” the cerebellum functions as an orchestra conductor, coordinating the performance of other brain areas. Cerebellar dysfunction resembles how one might function under the influence of alcohol. As such, weak cerebellum circuits can cause tremors, problems walking, difficulties with speech, emotions, learning and thought.

Basal ganglia

The 2 primary circuits within the basal ganglia essentially act as street lights, a red light that acts to “stop” and a green light that acts as a “starter”. Problems that occur in the “stop circuit” may be related to excessive movements and behaviors, such as abnormal body postures, tics, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, etc. Conversely, problems that occur in the “go circuit” can manifest as slow movements, muscle rigidity and conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.

Cerebral cortex

The cerebral cortex is the CEO of the nervous system, taking in information from the body receptors, analyzing it and deciding how to respond. While a problem here may be very serious (such as a stroke), we all share various cortical abilities and weaknesses in our visual perception, movement, learning, memory, decision-making, attention, spatial awareness, creativity, judgement and language.

List of neurological disorders we see

Since the foundation of our treatments is based on improving how your nervous system works, a wide variety of conditions may be helped by our approach. Here is a list of some of the problems people consult us with:

Concussion, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post-Concussion syndrome:

 

Movement disorders:

Dystonia, torticollis, blepharospasm, tremor, myoclonus, tics, chorea, restless legs syndrome, stiff-man syndrome, Functional Neurology Disorder, etc.

Ear and equilibrium problems:

Vertigo, dizziness, motion sickness, Menière’s disease, ataxia, Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD), fear of falling, tinnitus, etc.

Neurodevelopmental problems:

Autism, attention deficit disorder (ADD/ADHD), Asperger’s, Tourette, Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), processing disorders, dyspraxia, learning disability, global developmental delay, etc.

Headaches and pain syndromes:

Migraine, cluster headache, tension headache, chronic pain, complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), etc.

Nerve, nerve root and plexus disorders:

Trigeminal neuralgia, Bell’s palsy, brachial plexus, disc herniation, canal stenosis, intermittent claudication, carpal tunnel syndrome, sciatica, meralgia paresthetica, Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), etc.

Demyelinating diseases:

Multiple sclerosis (MS), transverse myelitis, etc.

Neurodegenerative diseases:

Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), etc.

Cerebrovascular and autonomic conditions:

Stroke, Transient ischemic attack (TIA), POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome), dysautonomia, etc.

Non-diagnosed conditions:

We also see numerous people who, despite having consulted other doctors and having undergone several tests, have not been given a satisfactory explanation of the cause of their problem.

For examples of how our Functional Neurology approach has helped people inside and outside of Montreal with various neurological conditions, please read some of our patient testimonials.

How to reach us for a Functional Neurology consultation

If you are interested in scheduling a Functional Neurology appointment, we recommend you call us (514-483-3444) so we can fully explain our procedures.

You can also email us a description of your symptoms and what therapies you have already tried. We will get back to you with our recommendations.