Documenting Hope Research Updates 

Attendees at the inaugural Documenting Hope Conference in November 2023 received a robust update on the progress of the Documenting Hope Research Studies: The CHIRP™ Study and the FLIGHT™ Study.

For those who were not able to attend the conference, following is a brief update on the research program and our findings thus far.

What Are the CHIRP™ and FLIGHT™ Studies?

The Documenting Hope Research program features two IRB-approved studies:

The CHIRP™ Study (Protocol No. WCG® 20173049) is the most comprehensive pediatric survey of children’s health, growth and development in the context of the modern world – a place with innumerable toxic and unhealthy influences. This study seeks to better understand the impact of the totality (cumulative impact) of modern living on children’s health. To date, the CHIRP™ Study has enrolled over 2,000 parents and collected over 500 completed surveys.

The FLIGHT™ Study (Protocol No. WIRB® #20200327) is the first-of-its-kind prospective, longitudinal study that closely examines how children with chronic health conditions improve or even fully recover using a “root causes,” bio-regulatory systems, and collaborative, integrative approach. The FLIGHT™ Study builds upon the CHIRP™ Study as a foundation for capturing clinical data over time to test the hypothesis that comprehensive personalized lifestyle interventions will result in symptom abatement, improved health, and potentially full disease reversal. The study tracks individual participants through 18 months of lifestyle interventions personalized to their needs. The FLIGHT™ Study has enrolled two children with plans to enroll more children in the coming year.

Preliminary Findings from the CHIRP™ Study

As you may know, the CHIRP™ Study enrollment has been temporarily paused as the survey is being moved to a new software platform due to circumstances beyond our control. We’re thrilled to announce that the CHIRP™ Survey will open for enrollment in the Spring of 2024, pending completion of the software migration. Our team has been working diligently behind the scenes to get the study back up and running. In the meantime, our Senior Scientist, Dr. Randy Reiserer, has been doing a deep dive into the CHIRP™ data and he presented some of his findings at the Institute for Functional Medicine’s 2023 International Conference. You can see Dr. Reiserer’s full poster presentation here.

For those who would like the Cliff’s Notes on Dr. Reiserer’s findings, here is a brief summary:

  • The data seems to indicate that the more health stressors a child has (even seemingly insignificant ones like chemical exposures from everyday household products like fragrances and cleaning products) the worse their health tends to be (as measured across a number of different parameters).Some categories of stressors seem to have a greater influence on health outcomes than others. One of the stressors that appears to be having a tremendous impact on children’s health is exposure to antibiotics at any time in the child’s lifecycle. The chart below illustrates the relative importance of a variety of categories of stressors with antibiotics being the most significant. Other stressor categories in this analysis included: EMF exposures, chemical exposures, prenatal stressors (like mother’s stress level, drug use in pregnancy), over-the-counter medications, sugar consumption, and more.]
  • The preliminary CHIRP™ data seems to point to EMF (electromagnetic frequencies) exposures as a meaningful stressor that correlates with worse health outcomes. This is a particularly interesting finding as this is a very controversial topic of research and the health impact of EMFs is widely debated.

Updates from the FLIGHT™ Study

The FLIGHT™ Study tracks and monitors the healing journey of children with one of several chronic health or developmental diagnoses over the course of 18 months. The FLIGHT™ Study provides the families with a comprehensive set of laboratory and clinical assessments at multiple intervals over the 18 months and supports the families as they pursue a bioindividual and integrative approach to healing their child.

Ty, the first child to be enrolled in the FLIGHT™ study has now exited. Ty came to us with an autism spectrum diagnosis and a long list of health symptoms that presented a daily challenge for his family. While he still has progress to make, he made some great strides in FLIGHT™. You can learn more about Ty’s journey here but some of the highlights on Ty’s progress include:

  • Increased vocalization, including more frequent use of single words
  • More playful engagement with siblings
  • improved ability to follow mom’s directions
  • Improved strength and coordination
  • Better self regulation
  • Normalized sleep patterns
  • Improved GI function
  • New independently initiated tasks
  • Eating a wide variety of healthy foods

Jeremiah, the second child to be enrolled in the FLIGHT™ Study, entered with a diagnosis of alopecia universalis, an autoimmune disease, and a set of symptoms that were troubling for his family. Jeremiah has a few more months left in FLIGHT™ Study and will provide a more thorough update soon. In the meantime, some of the progress that Jeremiah has experienced includes:

  • First signs of regrowth of eyebrows and eyelashes
  • Improved mood and ability to regulate behaviors
  • Increased energy and good spirits upon awakening in the mornings
  • Continued acceleration in sports
  • Expanded palate especially for vegetables
  • Engagement in skills to improve visual processing and learning

Thanks to the participation of Ty’s and Jeremiah’s families, we have learned a ton about the healing journey. What it takes to help a child make progress, what is missing from the process, and what kinds of supports a family needs the most.

From our observations and careful documentation of the journeys of these two families we have gathered invaluable insights about:

      • The importance of sequence to healing (what comes first? what is foundational?)
      • What kinds of supports a parent needs
      • How diet and lifestyle change can be facilitated
      • What lab tests are most useful and what tests might not be as valuable
      • How to determine when specific clinical assessments might be warranted

And more.

From these learnings, the FLIGHT™ Study team is currently revising the FLIGHT™ Study protocol to make participation easier, more streamlined and available to more children. We are so grateful to our first FLIGHT™ Study participants for allowing us to follow along on their healing journeys so that we can learn as they learn and carry forth those insights to help more children heal. We will be updating you soon on the revisions to the FLIGHT™ Study and when we will be opening for enrollment again. Please make sure you are on our email list to be the first-to-know!

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