Has Your Brain Become Infested? - Part 2

Written by Anil Bajnath, MD
Posted April 7, 2022

Dear Longevity Insider,

I warned you on Tuesday about leaky brain and the important of monitoring the blood-brain barrier (bbb). So what causes leaky brain?

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There are many things that can cause chronic inflammation in the brain and lead to a leaky brain. Some of the most common causes are:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Infections, such as meningitis, encephalitis, and Lyme disease
  • Stroke
  • Alcoholism
  • Drug abuse
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Gut Dysbiosis (infections)
  • Leaky Gut
  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Mental Health Conditions
  • Stress & Vagus Nerve Dysfunction

Studies on the BBB

One area of research on the BBB is with NFL players. NFL players are at risk for head injuries, which can damage the BBB. Concussions are incredibly common in professional football. There was a study that looked at the brains of former NFL players from a brain donation program after they died. The study found Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) was found in 110 of 111 brains of deceased former NFL players1. The damage was most often found in the areas of the brain that are responsible for memory and thinking. The study also found that the damage to the BBB was linked to the players' level of cognitive impairment.

oc banner football

Another study was done on retired NFL players who had a history of concussion. The study found that these players had a higher level of harmful toxins in their brain than people who didn’t have a history of concussion. The study also found that the players with a history of concussion had a higher level of protein associated with brain damage2. This suggests that head injuries can damage the BBB and lead to the entry of harmful toxins into your brain.

Another area of research on the BBB is how it can be repaired. Some studies have shown that when the BBB is damaged, it can be repaired. For example, a study showed that when the BBB was damaged by a stroke, the barrier could be repaired by giving the patient erythropoietin (EPO), which is a hormone that helps your body make red blood cells. This suggests that there may be ways to repair the BBB if it is damaged.

How the BBB Affects the Whole Body

Our brains play a vital role in keeping our bodies healthy. The brain controls all of the functions of the body, including breathing, heart rate, and digestion. When the BBB is damaged, it can allow harmful toxins and bacteria to enter the body and cause damage. This is because the barrier not only protects the brain, but it also protects the rest of the body. This affects our entire bodies, not just our brains.

Functional Approach to the Blood-Brain Barrier

Functional medicine is an approach to medicine that looks at the body as a whole. It takes into account all of the factors that can affect your health, such as your lifestyle, environment, and genetics. Functional medicine physicians often use a systems biology approach to treatment, which means they look at how all of the systems of the body work together. 

I'm a big-picture guy. And part of looking at the big-picture sometimes includes looking at the tiny details that often go unnoticed. Just like this discovery right here. Who knew that such small, intricate process could have such a huge, lasting impact on your longevity?

To your longevity,

anil bajnath signature

Anil Bajnath MD
CEO/Founder, Institute for Human Optimization
Chief Medical Officer, Longevity Insider HQ



Scientific References

1.  https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2645104

2. https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa1900757

 

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