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Brendan Stack is a dentist with a mission. Dr. Stack, along with a few other practitioners in his field, has discovered that orthodontics and dental appliances not only can treat misaligned bite, but many other disorders.

How Dentists Can Fix Broken Brains

Dr. Stack, along with a few other practitioners in his field, has discovered that orthodontics and dental appliances not only can treat misaligned bite, temperomandibular joint syndrome (a cause of severe jaw pain), ear problems, snoring, sleep apnea, and headaches, but also Parkinson's disease, Tourette's syndrome, and torticollis (twisted neck), and many others.

With a Removable dental appliance called a neurocranial vertical distractor, Dr. Stack even treats neurological conditions by "rerouting" nerve impulses in ways that compensate for conditions typically  considered brain diseases.

Parkinson's disease is a condition of uncontrollable movements and insurmountable inability to move. Usually affecting only one side of the body, at first, there may be constant motion in one hand similar to picking up a pill. The movements occur without thinking and uncontrollably, but they stop as soon as the affected muscles are involved in a voluntary movement. Actor Michael J. Fox, for example, demonstrates an extraordinary ability to keep his major muscles in controlled motion in order to prevent uncontrolled motion.

At another stage of the disease, Parkinson's is associated with paralysis. People who have Parkinson's may simply "freeze" in place, until an outside stimulus starts the muscles working again.

There is general agreement in medical science that Parkinson's is associated with unusual metabolism of dopamine in a region of the brain known as the substantia nigra. At some point most patients who have Parkinson's are given a prescription for L-dopa to replenish the dopamine in the brain, but this results in short-term improvement soon followed by acceleration of decline.

Tourette's syndrome is a condition that can cause its sufferers to have to endure repetitive muscle movements and vocalizations they cannot control. People who have Tourette's may sniff, snort, curse, use racial epithets, preen, pick, twitch, or bat their eyelashes involuntarily to the point of exhaustion. Symptoms can appear 24 hours a day.

At first, doctors thought that Tourette's syndrome was a rare, psychological condition. Nowadays, Tourette's syndrome is considered to be a relatively common genetic condition. Scientists assume that it must cause changes in brain function, but research has not been able to associate the condition with any one area of the brain or any one biological process in the brain.

Torticollis is a condition of involuntary contractions of the neck muscles, causing unusual postures and movements of the head. The condition is also termed cervical dystonia, torsion dystonia, and wryneck. It is usually thought to result from sprains, strains, fractures, and dislocation of the disks of the cervical (neck) spine. It can also result from serious upper respiratory infections.

Dr. Stack treats all of these manifestations of neurological disease with a simple device, something like a retainer, that gradually lifts one jaw to be in line with the other. He claims and his patients verify remarkable results. But why in the world should a neurocranial vertical distractor actually work?

Continue reading after recommendations

  • Beck, Randy W. Functional Neurology for Practitioners of Manual Therapy (Churchill Livingston, 2007)
  • Photo courtesy of Carla Richards at