Over the years of partnering with patients on brain health and the prevention of dementia, I have seen amazing restoration of health and brain clarity. Through lifestyle changes and dedication to addressing whole-system health, it is possible to stop brain decline and continue active engagement in life. It has been a beautiful extension of this experience to realize that these principles apply to brain health at all ages.
The Bredesen Protocol for preventing and reversing dementia is based on the concept that brain health is dependent on several specific contributing factors: inflammation, blood sugar and insulin normalcy, nutrient availability, toxin load, blood flow and injury. Using the principles of functional medicine, each of these areas is addressed to optimize brain and body health.
It has been astounding to recognize how majorly these same factors impact a multitude of other disorders. In our MeRT (Magnetic e-Resonance Therapy) clinic, we have been seeing children with autism spectrum disorder who have findings that are eerily similar to my early dementia patients. What is incredible is that as toxins such as heavy metals or molds are cleared, these children improve.
In our adult patients with auto-immune disorders, this pattern is again notable, where clearing inflammation through healing the gut or normalizing blood sugars causes the timing between flares to lengthen.
In others with endocrine disorders such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, we see nutrient optimization along with gut-healing make a world of difference in symptoms. These patients begin to have normalization of the antibodies their body made to fight their own tissue, and as these antibodies drop, their disease remits.
Toxins have a sneaky role in brain health at any stage of life. Whether in children with learning disorders or adults with anxiety or memory concerns, we are finding that environmental toxins are major players in the level of brain function. There are multiple blood tests that gauge the body’s inflammatory response, and if these are elevated, we know to look further for the cause of the alarm signals. This search may lead us to gut infections, mold in the environment or re-activation of viral illnesses. When these hurdles are cleared, the body is able to rebuild, and the person’s experience improves.
In restoring health, we not only work to remove these external invaders but also to buffer and build the immune system’s strength so that the body’s natural fighting capacity is at its best. The basics of healthy lifestyle choices are pivotal in achieving this strength. For example, getting consistent, adequate sleep; choosing to manage and limit stress; eating a healthy diet; nurturing human connection; moving and exercising; seeking new experiences and learning – each of these has vast impact on the body’s ability to clear toxins to keep the body healthy.
The phrase “how you do anything is how you do everything” applies to our bodies as well. When we put healthy habits into place, they work for every age and almost every “diagnosis” as the most important way to restore optimal health.
Jeralyn Brossfield, MD is the founder and physician of XO Health and medical director of Brain Treatment Center, both in Rancho Mirage. She can be reached at (760) 573.2761 or www.BrainTreatmentCenter.com and on Facebook @XOHealth.