With Lyme disease and co-infections, certain infections directly target the brain. The inflammatory process, including build of toxins and fluid disrupt regular brain function. Babies and children can be diagnosed with Autism (now 1:45 are diagnosed with Autism) or Spectrum-related disorders. Yet their brain is infected and inflamed inducing personality, behavioral, executive and cognitive changes. Lyme and antibiotic-resistant Strep infections must be ruled out.
Schools are becoming more enlightened about the problems caused by tick-borne diseases, Dr. Raxlen notes. In Newtown, CT, for example, teachers are asked to report any sudden dips in grades or unusual behavior that may be linked to Lyme disease. And many make special arrangements for at-home tutoring while the student convalesces. “Lyme produces a microedema, or swelling in the brain,” says Raxlen. “This affects your ability to process information.
In adults, this occurs too, and many are diagnosed with MS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease besides mood disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorders, even though they have an underlying stealth infection dysregulating the nervous, hormonal and immune system. Then there are acute infections that target the brain and induce meningitis that is deadly in a short time.
“A recent European study shows that psychiatric in-patients are nearly twice as likely as the average population to test positive for Lyme, and the National Institutes of Health are currently sponsoring a major study of neuropsychiatric Lyme disease in an effort to illuminate specific changes in the brain.”
“Psychiatric Lyme has been linked with virtually every psychiatric diagnosis and can affect people of all ages and from every walk of life.”
The work of Dr. MacDonald and Dr. Eva Sapi at the University of New Haven is delving into Lyme and plaque formation associated with Alzheimer’s Diseases.
“How can a physician tell the difference between true mental illness and symptoms linked to Lyme disease? With Lyme disease, a patient’s psychiatric symptoms don’t quite fit the textbook definition. There is usually no previous history of psychiatric illness. Symptoms often come in cycles. Patients usually do not respond well to psychiatric medication. And they often describe their problems in very physical terms.”
I must be clear:
When it comes to brain illness and brains disease like Alzheimer’s, there are many possible root causes.
1. One form of Alzheimer’s is also called Diabetes Type 3 as insulin and blood sugar disruption is implicated there. Not everything is connected with Lyme disease.
2. Concussions and blows to the head have the potential to develop into degenerative brain diseases if the brain is not healed appropriately after physical trauma.
3. Viral infections, genetic predispositions, toxic exposures including mercury and aluminum are implicated too.
4. Malnutrition over many years also comes into play.
There are many possible causes.
I have passed out twice in my life. Once after I fell on my bike and I hit my head on the pavement, and once a hard ball in the eye hit me. Both times I blacked out. Then I rolled down in the hill in my car sustained multiple injuries. The seatbelt saved my life. It was from Dr. Klinghardt, one of my favorite Lyme doctors, that I learnt that these inflammatory and traumatic incidents reverberate 20 years later. This is one reason why I have paid great attention to brain inflammation as I have also witnesses the impact Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Lyme disease, not just on the individual, but also on the loved ones and family. I am working on my brain as best as I can.
Now with Football season back on, we will hear more about concussions, brain damage, personality changes and suicide in the media. Yet we also have concussions on the ski slopes, football, car accidents and falls that often go undiagnosed. Besides excessive alcohol consumption, medications, chemical exposures including personal and home cleaners, formaldehyde and benzenes, vapors from amalgam fillings in the mouth, all poison the brain. Do take care of your brain, you only have one.
The work of Dr. Amen is getting more traction, and I am researching Functional Neurologists Chiropractors in the City that use biofeedback and other methods to help heal the brain. Nutrition is one part, electrical recalibration another, mood chemical rebalancing is another cornerstone in the brilliant organ called our brain.
Lyme, inflammation and the brain
When it comes to Lyme-related brain inflammation there are key components that must be considered. Turmeric, rosemary, gentian, boswellia serrata and proteolytic enzymes are helpful. Do avoid all processed foods and artificial sweeteners.
Other considerations include:
- Decrease immune burden from infections with antibiotic or botanical interventions.
- “Drain the brain.” The lymphatic system in the brain is referred to as the glymphatic system. Draining occurs at night when we sleep. The brain shrinks and the lymphatic fluid can move and drain more freely. Homeopathic drainage remedies and herbal formulations are effective. Nettles, cleavers, red root come to mind.
- Provide healthy fats to shore up the integrity of brain membranes and nerve sheaths. This includes coconut oil, DHA in Cod Liver oil, omega-6 in unrefined plant oils and omega-3 fats.
- Choose whole foods, and supplement with targeted nutrients that support microcirculation and mitochondrial energy in the brain, e.g. CoQ10, L-Carnitine, Bacopa, Gingo, Garlic.
- Add a B vitamin complex. Nerves need B-vitamins.
- Consider amino acid support to support brain biochemistry. Gelatin powders and broth are helpful.
- Consider alternative brain healing modalities including, e.g. cranio-sacral care, cranio-osteopathy, acupuncture, neuro- biofeedback techniques, and meditation.
The above a general information and must not be considered medical advice. Discuss all supplementation with your physician or a qualified health practitioner.
Take care of your brain. With Lyme it is a challenge, but by lowering inflammation you will make a difference. Use nutrition as a starting point for your self-empowerment on your healing journey.
NY Integrated Health
Nutrition plays a very important role, as the brain needs healthy fats, especially at a young age and when we get older. (The low-fat paradigm and statin revolution are contributors to the avalanche of neurological illness we see in the young and older population.)
Cod Liver oil with DHA fats are brain supportive, but so are others including choline found in egg yolks.
Plant-based omega-6 oils support the membranes in our brain. Sunflower seed butter, or Tahini sauce or evening primrose oil help our body and brain.
Fish and pasture-raised meats provideomega-3 fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory. Some benefit with additional omega-3 supplements.
Scientific studies show that coconut oil feeds the brain, even if if applied on the skin. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25997382
Amino acids in proteins are essential as are B vitamins that support the nervous system.
The brain has a high need for energy, after all it is our energy. Energy comes from whole foods, but with brain challenges CoQ10 or L-Carnitine are supportive. (Statins deplete CoQ10, as do many other medications)
Berries of all kinds and red coloured fruits support the microcirculation in the brain. Garlic and gingko are brain and memory foods.