New Approach to Brain Health
By Dr. Farzad Farahmand
Chemical imbalance is the first thing that often comes to the mind of practitioners and the general public as the cause of Brain related disorders such as Depression, Anxiety, Attention Deficit Disorder and OCD. Recent research has shed light onto multiple other possible causes for these conditions, including diminished neuronal transmission, and Neuroinflammation. In this article, I will explain the topic of Neuroinflammation, as well as discussing some of the Natural, Nontoxic and short term treatments approaches that are available.
Emotional stress, bacteria, viruses, toxins or any other foreign material that is normally not welcomed by the body, can activate the immune system, triggering an immune or an inflammatory response. The immune cells at the inflamed sites release certain chemicals or messenger proteins called Cytokines that signal other immune cells elsewhere in the body, informing them of the presence of a danger in the body.
The Blood Brain Barrier is a structure that separates the Brain from the systemic circulation. It selectively restricts the movement of substances, especially larger compounds, from the systemic circulation to the Brain.
As a result of multiple factors including emotional stress, medication, poor diet, head trauma, infection, hormonal shifts and exposure to environmental toxins, the Blood Brain Barrier can get disrupted, weakened and become compromised over time.
Brain immunity is intended to be mostly separate and independent of the systemic immunity. Therefore Cytokines are not supposed to normally cross the Blood Brain Barrier and enter the Brain. In case of a weakening in the tight junctions in the Blood Brain Barrier, Cytokines can cross the barrier, activate an immune response and cause inflammation in the Brain.
Microglial cells are the main immune cells in the Brain. They not only can become activated by Cytokines, but also by larger compounds that are not supposed to cross the Blood Brain Barrier. The Brain recognizes these compounds as foreign invaders.
Chronic neuroinflammation or the activation of the Microglial cells in the Brain, can lead to a variety of symptoms including fatigue, Brain fog, poor memory, poor concentration, depression, anxiety, mood swings, as well as progressive neurodegeneration.
The Gut plays a crucial role in neuroinflammation. Just as there is a Blood Brain Barrier selectively separating the Brain from the systemic circulation, there is also a selectively permeable barrier in the mucosal lining of the Gut. This Blood-Gut barrier is formed by tight junctions between the epithelial cells lining the gut.
Just as the Blood Brain Barrier can get disrupted and become weakened overtime, so as the tight junctions in the Blood-Gut Barrier, often times by same contributing factors. Blood Brain and Blood-Gut Barrier problems often exist at the same time, due to the close interrelationship between the Brain and the Gut.
Emotional stress, undigested food, infectious bacteria, toxic chemicals and Parasites in the Gut, are among the most common causes of inflammation in the Gut. Persistent internal inflammation in the Gut can cause the tight junctions in the Blood Gut Barrier to open up, leading to chronic systemic inflammation elsewhere in the body.
The more Gut generated inflammation, the more Cytokine signaling to the Brain, hence causing Neuroinflammation. Furthermore, larger compounds that are not normally intended to be absorbed from the Gut into the blood stream, can leak from the Gut into the blood, enter the brain and trigger more immune response.
A New Fundamental Treatment Approach:
As previously mentioned, many patients with Brain related complaints do not response favorably to treatments that only involve correcting Brain Chemical imbalances. This is specially seen among patients with no known family history or genetic disposition to such conditions as Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar or Manic Depressive Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
There are specific treatments available to help repair the Blood Brain Barrier and regain its integrity, as well as specific treatments to deactivate the Microglial cells in the Brain to treat neuroinflammation. This treatment is not intended to be done on a long term basis. Successful results can be achieved in short term. The duration of the treatment is dependent upon the severity and the length of time that the symptoms have persisted.
Addressing neuroinflammation in the Brain alone, without removing its underlying cause, is not going to produce any lasting results. The Gut is the main source of inflammation in the body. As mentioned before, emotional stress, undigested food, infectious bacteria, toxic chemicals and Parasites in the Gut, are among the most common causes of inflammation in the Gut. There are only a limited number of underlying causes of inflammation, yet they can give rise to a variety of different physical and emotional symptoms, anywhere from Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Heart Burn to Depression, Anxiety and Mood Swings.
Digestive Enzymes and Probiotic supplementation are extremely important in facilitating the proper absorption of essential micronutrients such as Vitamins, Minerals and Amino Acids from the diet, and the integrity and health of the mucosal lining of the Gut. Vitamins, Minerals and Amino Acids play a major role in the production of neurotransmitters.
Furthermore, in addition to addressing Neuroinflammation in the Brain, removing the underlying causes of inflammation and addressing Brain Chemistry, Functional Blood tests can objectively determine any other systemic Brain related issues such as Blood sugar imbalances, Anemia, Thyroid function, general inflammation and more. There are 2 types of ranges in Laboratory Blood analysis. Normal and Functional. Normal ranges indicate the absence of pathology or illness, while Functional ranges determine optimal health.
A comprehensive Liver and Gallbladder detoxification preceding the treatments is highly recommended for faster and more long lasting results, along with dietary and lifestyle changes, both during and after any treatment.
I hope that I’ve been able to paint the big picture of our up to date understanding of Brain health and overall wellness. As always, I wish all of you a well deserved lifetime of Health, Joy and Peace of Mind.
Dr. Farzad Farahmand
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For more information, and Free phone consultation, please call: 818 501 2000
Farzad Farahmand, D.C.
22020 Clarendon Street Suite # 101
Woodland Hills, Ca. 91367