Chiropractic neurology

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Chiropractic Neurology is a subspecialty of chiropractic practice. There are currently 10 specialties recognized by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). These approved specialties include Diagnostic Imaging, Rehabilitation, Acupuncture, Clinical Nutrition, Diagnosis and Management of Internal Disorders, Orthopedics, Clinical Neurology, Forensic Sciences, Pediatrics and Chiropractic Sports Physician.[1] One of the leading training institutions for the American Chiropractic Neurology Board defines the chiropractic neurologist as someone who provides the same manner of consultation as a medical neurologist, with the major difference being that the therapies and applications are performed without the use of drugs or surgery.[2]


Board certification

Currently there are 2 certifying chiropractic neurology boards in the United States, American Chiropractic Neurology Board (ACNB)[3] and the International Board of Chiropractic Neurology (IBCN),[4] although historically there have been a total of five certifying neurology boards: ACBN, ACAN, ACNB, IBCN, and CBCN. The first chiropractic neurology board, the American Chiropractic Board of Neurology (ACBN), was a private company that issued its own diplomate certification (DACBN). A second board was formed and established its examination and certification process with the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE). This second board was under the counsel of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and was called the American Chiropractic Academy of Neurology (ACAN). The ACAN certified a diplomate called the Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Academy of Neurology (DACAN). Later the ACA disbanded the ACAN in favor of a newly formed board the American Chiropractic Neurology Board (ACNB) that was essentially a merger of the ANCB and the ACAN allowing prior diplomates to be recognized under the new board.[5] Some prior members of the ACAN later formed a fourth board called the International Board of Chiropractic Neurology (IBCN). The fifth diplomate was briefly offered by Logan College of Chiropractic called the DCBCN.[6]

American Chiropractic Neurology Board

The ACNB is the result of a merger of two older chiropractic neurology boards, the American Chiropractic Academy Neurology (ACAN) and the American Chiropractic Association Council on Neurology (ABCN). This merger was mediated by the ACA & therefore the only neurology diplomate certifications recognized by the ACA are: DACAN, DABCN, & DACNB. The ACNB is then recognized by the ACA and also fully accredited by the National Commission for Certification Agencies (NCCA) who is accredited by the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA). Applicants for this board have completed their educational training and completed a minimum of 300 credit hours through institutions approved by the continuing education committee of the Commission for the Accreditation of Graduate Education in Neurology.[7]

The ACNB diplomate certification examination involves a written portion and an oral practical.[8] The written exam covers material pertaining to the breadth and depth of 12 topics or domains, these topics include disorders relating to the following: the brain and its environment, lobes of the brain, the brain stem and cranial nerves, the spinal cord, the peripheral nervous system, the autonomic nervous system, the cerebellum and vestibular system, the basal ganglia and limbic system, muscular/neuromuscular junction/receptors, sensory systems, neuroendocrine systems, neuroanatomy and neurophysiology.[9] The oral practical examination evaluates for proficiency in obtaining a complete case history, physical examination, performing special tests, and identifying physical findings of case examples.[10] The ACNB also offers specialty certifications in electrodiagnosis, vestibular rehabilitation, and childhood developmental disorders.[11]

International Board of Chiropractic Neurology

The IBCN is affiliated with the International Academy of Chiropractic Neurology (IACN) that was formed on July 1, 1998.[12] The responsibility of the IBCN is to administer a comprehensive, psychometrically valid, unbiased examination. Neurology diplomates of the IBCN are recognized in most states and countries in the world, and IBCN diplomates are officially recognized by The Florida Board of Chiropractic Medicine.

Applicants to IBCN must complete a minimum of 300 classroom hours of post-graduate neurology training obtained by an institution accredited by the Council of Chiropractic Education (CCE).[13] The examination structure includes a two part approach: Part 1 is a 200 question written examination and Part 2 is an OSCE format practical.[14]