Evaluation of the effectiveness of different methods of rehabilitation of children from ecologically adverse areas of the Republic of Belarus

CLIF SANDERSON with S.A.Lyalikov, A.V.Makarchik, N.S.Slobodskaya, N.V.Pats, T.RukshaChair of Pediatrics, Medical Faculty, Grodno Medical Institute.  Prof. L.V.Evetts

SUMMARY
The effectiveness of Natural Medicine methods in the rehabilitation of children residing in adverse ecological condi­tions was evaluated.  128 children were rehabilitated at Lake Baikal, Republic of Buryatia, 18 children in Italy and 40 chil­dren in the settlement of Vereiki, Belarus.

The treatment at Lake Baikal contributed to the im­provement of endocrine glands function and immune system indica­tors, as well as to the reduction of radioactivity accumulated in the organism. After the treatment the number of juveniles with strong psychotypes and good indicators of psychic adaptation increased.

The stay in Italy for approximately the same length of time had no essential influence on the studied parameters of the endocrine system in comparison to the stay at Lake Baikal.

Notably the research at Vereiki sanatorium resulted in a reduction of incorporated radioactivity level and increase of testosterone concentration in blood serum.

At the present time over two million people (including 650,000 children) in the Republic of Belarus are exposed to the continuos influence of small doses of ionising radiation, there­fore the problem of protection against the damaging effect of radionu­clides becomes very urgent.

Numerous publications contain descriptions of the meth­ods of preventing isotopes from penetrating into the organism and features of diet limiting the entrance of radionuclides and to enhance the excretion.  The addition of fish mass, laminaria salad and jam and of mussel (Mytilus L..) hydrolyzate to the menus reduces accumulation of radionuclides.  Anti-radiation effect of herb compounds including astragal and acantopanax is also described.

However it must be noted that most experimental work is devoted to the methods of treatment of acute radiation damage and the available literature contains no data concerning correc­tion of disorders developed as a result of continuous influence of small doses of radiation. Today there is neither a well-com­posed prophylactic system to prevent radionuclides from entering the organism, nor are there any methods to rehabilitate the people who live in areas with a level of radioactive contamina­tion of 1-5 curie/sq.km.

This report covers research aimed at the development and assessment of effective methods of rehabilitation of children residing in the above mentioned areas of contamination and attempts have been made to evaluate different treatment com­plexes.

METHODS AND MATERIALS
To evaluate the effectiveness of the rehabilitation methods we used data obtained during examination of 186 children 6-16 years (71 boys and 115 girls) residing in the area with radioac­tive contamination level of 1-5 Curie/sq.km.

The first group (128 of the total number of examined children) was rehabilitated in Buryatia on the shores of Lake Baikal.  Each child was treated by five Natural Medicine Practi­tioners from the city of Ulan Ude and by Clif Sanderson to a com­plex of phytotherapy, acupuncture, reflexotherapy, Qi Gong, psi healing, manual therapy and massage.

In contrast the 18 children at the Sanatorium  in the settlement of Vereiki, Grodno were treated exclusively by Clif Sanderson method of energy healing (Non-substance medicine).

The group in Italy had no overt treatment.

In each group the course of rehabilitation took from 20-30 days. The children were examined approximately at the same time before the beginning of the course and after its completion.

The contents of progesterone, testosterone, estradiol, estriol, cortisol, triodthyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), insuline, thyreoglobulin (TG) and ferritine was determined in the blood serum of all the examined children by radio-immune method.  With common clinical leukocytes, immunoglobulins A (IgA), G (IgG), M (IgM), E(IgE) as well as leukocitic formula: lymphocytes, general T-lymphocytes, basophiles, eosinophiles, monocytes, band neu­trophiles, segmented neutrophiles, phagocytes and phagocytic index.  Biochemical parameters such as protein, Ca, K, Na, Mg, Fe, Chm, cholesterol, urea and glucose were also determined.

The vegetative status of the children at rest and after physical load was studied with cardiointervalography.

Psychological examination was made using an original method of typological study of the juvenile personality.

The level of general urine radioactivity was evaluated by the Wallak-1500 liquid scintillation counter.  This indicator served to estimate the accumulated dose of radionuclides in the organism.

The age of the children who stayed in Italy was 8-12 years, in Vereiki, 10-15 years and at Lake Baikal 6-16 years. Taking these differences into account, for comparative evaluation of rehabilitation at lake Baikal and in Italy we used the data obtained for 8-12 year old children.  Comparing results of rehabil­itation in Vereiki and at Lake Baikal we used the examina­tion data obtained for 10-15 year old children.

The data was computer processed using the Systat applied statistic programme.

Reliability of differences between the mean values was estimated according to the method of Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney (calculation of U-criterion).

To compare the data, represented in %, the Hill method was used.

RESULTS
After rehabilitation at Lake Baikal in blood serum of 8-12 year old children a reliable increase of general Ca, Mg, Cholesterol, testosterone, thyroxine, thyreoglobulin (Table 1) and an essential reduction of Na, Chm, urea and cortisol were noted. The analysis of the immune status of these children showed considerable increase of band neutrophiles (Table 2), general and active T-lymphocytes, theophyllin-sensitive and resistant T-lympho­cytes, immunoglobulins A, G and M, as well as reduction of B- lymphocytes in blood. After treatment in Group 1 the percent­age of children with weakened activity of subcortical nerve-centres (SNC) reliably decreased (36.4% and 7.1%, P<0.05, respec­tively).

Rehabilitation in Italy resulted in reliable increase of cholesterol concentration and reduction of Na in blood serum. In addition, the levels of band neutrophiles and eosinophiles in blood as well as the index of phagocitosis considerably reduced. After rehabilitation the vegetative nervous system changes in group 2 were characterised by an increase of percentage of chil­dren with strengthened SNC-activity (0.0% and 37.5%, P<0.05, respec­tively) and a decrease of percentage of children with weak­ened SNC-activity (50% before the trip and 12.5% after the trip, P<0.05).

After treatment at Lake Baikal in blood serum of 10-15 year old children we noted a reliable increase of general Ca, Mg,  testosterone and thyroxine and reduction of K, Na, Cl, glucose and cortisol (Table 3).  In the blood of the children of this group the amount of erythrocytes, haemoglobin, band neutrophiles, eosinophiles, general T-lymphocytes, theophyllin-sensitive T-lym­phocytes as well as the levels of immunoglobulins A, G and M con­siderably increased (Table 4). Rehabilitation at Lake Baikal con­tributed to reduction of the tension index (tone reduction of sympathetic nervous system) (115.4+20.1 before treatment and 77.3+5.2 after treatment, P<0.05), to increase of percentage of children with strengthened SNC-activity (6.1% before treatment and 32.0% after treatment, P<0.05) and to decrease of percentage of children with weakened SNC-activity (50.0% and 8.2% respec­tively). The psychological status analysis in Group 1 revealed a reliable increase in percentage of children with strong psy­chotypes (32.9% before treatment and 50.5% after treatment, P<0.01 as well as reduction of the number of juveniles with inad­equate adaptation at school, in the family and among children of the same age (from 36.1% to 26.9%: from 15.5% to 9.6% and from 48.5% to 43% respectively).

After rehabilitation in Vereiki sanatorium there was an essential reduction of K, Na, protein and leukocyte concentra­tions and an increase of insuline and  testosterone were noted.  The vegetative status change was characterised by a pronounced decrease of percentage of children with the normal state of vege­tative reactivity and an increase of the number of children with asympaticotonic reactivity 4.3% before treatment and 50.0% after treatment, P<0.01).  The psychological states change in Group 3 was characterised by an increase of percentage of juveniles with disturbed adaptation in the family and among children of the same age (from 12.1% to 21.2% and from 66.6% to 72.7%, P<0.05, respec­tively).

Before treatment at Lake Baikal a high level of urine radioactivity (over 15*10^-9 Curie/ltr) was revealed in 38% of the children and after treatment only in 18.02% (P<0.001).

The urine radioactivity level of the children who were rehabilitated in Italy reliably reduced too (by 4.53+1.84*10^-9 Curie/ltr.P<0.05, but less than after treatment in Vereiki (by 8.92+4.33*10^-9 Curie/ltr, P<0.001).

When comparing results in groups 1 and 2 it was estab­lished that after rehabilitation at Lake Baikal the theophyllin-resistant T-lymphocytes and IgG contents in blood of 8-12 year old children were reliably greater than after treatment in Italy, the initial levels of these parameters being practically the same.

After Baikal course of treatment in blood of 10-15 year old children higher concentrations of general Ca, Fe, cortisol (P<0.05), eosinophiles and reliably lesser contents of insuline were deter­mined in comparison to the children of the same age who were rehabilitated in Vereiki. It must be noted that the initial levels of most of the above-mentioned indicators in both groups were practically the same.  Moreover, the thyroxine concentration in blood serum of the children rehabilitated at Lake Baikal was even lower.

The psychic status of juveniles in groups 1 and 3 mani­fested essential differences. After rehabilitation at Lake Baikal a greater percentage of children with strong psychotypes (P<0.001) and a smaller number with disturbances of all types of adaptation (P<0.01) were determined, than among children who were treated in Vereiki sanatorium.

DISCUSSION
The obtained data proves that after rehabilitation at Lake Baikal in both groups of the children significant positive shifts took place.  The level of microelements and  testosterone, that plays an important role in formation of somatic type, in­creased, thus testifying to the reduction of stressor reactions.  The concentration of general T-lymphocytes and immunoglobulins of all the classes in blood increased.  The SNC-activity strength­ened. The dose of radioactivity, accumulated in the organism, re­duced.

It is worth noting the age features of the effect achieved due to rehabilitation measures.  After treatment in 8-12 year old children alongside with the above mentioned changes the level of urea reduced and the contents of active T-lymphocytes and theophyllin-resistant T-lymphocytes in blood essentially in­creased.  In elder children the level of erythrocytes and haemoglobin increased.

The negative changes revealed after the stay at Lake Baikal can include the increase of eosinophile level in blood of children, which is likely due to allergization by exotic food, not characteristic for the place of permanent residence, as well as specific environmental allergens (stings of local insects).

The stay in Italy did not result in any significant im­provement of the studied indicators (excluding the reduction of the general urine radioactivity level and some strengthening of vegetative reactivity), but even contributed to reduction of phagocytic activity of neutrophiles in the children’s blood.

The children who rested in Vereiki sanatorium showed significant reduction of incorporated radioactivity level and an increase of  testosterone concentration in blood, though some part of them had worse vegetative reactivity indicators and re­duced psychic adaptation after rehabilitation. However the chil­dren in Vereiki began with worse adaptation indicators than  the initial indicators in Group 1.

CONCLUSION
1. Rehabilitation at Lake Baikal contributed to im­provement of endocrine glands functions and better immune system indicators and to reduction of radioactivity dose, accumulated in the organism of the children.  After treatment the number of juveniles with strong psychotypes and good indicators of psychic adaptation increased.

2. After the stay in Italy the general urine radioactivity level reduced and the vegetative reactivity indicators increased to some extent.  Rehabilitation abroad had no consider­able influence on studied parameters of endocrine system and pro­duced less effect on immune system in comparison to treatment at Lake Baikal.

3. Treatment at Vereiki resulted in considerable reduction of the incorporated radioactivity level and increase of  testosterone concentration in blood serum.  After rehabilitation however a certain part of the children showed worse vegetative reactivity and reduced psychic adaptation.