Our Nervous Systems Under Siege!
The Epidemic of ADHD, Autism, Depression Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s Disease – Part 2
by Dr. Greg Fors, DC – Board Certified Neurologist DIBCN Posted On 09/18/2009
Do you treat brain health issues? You are if you see patients who have reoccurring pain or mood issues. The primary reason anyone sees a Health Practitioner is because of pain. A study in JMPT found that nearly 80% of all patients treated by a Chiropractor were being seen for a problem previously treated by that same Chiropractor; i.e. chronic or recurrent conditions.(1) Individuals with reoccurring low back pain on a functional MRI show sensitization of five brain regions involved in pain processing; proving that it is not just a chronic back sprain/strain, but involves brain health.(2) The NIH states that one in four adults suffer from a diagnosable mood or mental health disorder in a given year. Research reported in the journal Spine found that nearly 60% of chronic low back pain patients demonstrated current symptoms for depression and/or anxiety.(3)
What if as a society we are not maintaining optimal brain health; what if we are starving our brains; what would that look like? Today the most common brain health disorder in children is ADHD, which has reached an astounding rate of 1 out of 10 school-age children.(4) Autism was relatively rare in the US before 1990. Since then its prevalence has skyrocketed by three to five times;(5) a rate increase that experts now agree cannot be explained by genetics or improved diagnosis. According to a CDC governmental report published October, 2009, about 1 in 99 children develop autism by the age of eight. Whereas the autistic rate for children of Amish people around Middlefield, Ohio is only 1 out of 15,000 births.(6) Nearly 45% of the US population suffers from some form mood disorder with approximately 30% affected by depression and 15% with anxiety syndromes.(7) Today the most feared disease among your patients is no longer Cancer but Alzheimer’s Disease, and for good reason. It is a devastating disorder that steals their memories and personality. Alzheimer’s Disease is now the number one neurodegenerative disorder in the US today; every 72 seconds someone develops this disorder.(8)
Treating the Brain as The Organ It Is
We all realize that the health of any organ, such as the liver, is maintained by proper diet and necessary nutrients, and that it can be harmed by toxins such as environmental chemicals and alcohol. At a mere 3 pounds the brain is only 2% of the body’s total weight, but it utilizes more than 20% of the oxygen and at least 25% of the available calories one consumes. The brain is actually one of the most metabolically active organs in the body and therefore it is more readily damaged by any of these above mentioned factors. To perform all of its complex functions, the brain needs its cells to be maintained in optimum health.
The brain is composed of 100 billion neurons with more synapses than there are stars in the universe, all contained within the walls of the cranium. For an infant to develop properly, or a child to behave normally in a social setting, they must have a healthy mind that comes from balanced brain function. For your patients to realize all their dreams and health goals, to overcome whatever is holding them back, they need your knowledgeable assistance in creating and maintaining healthy brain function.
It is well documented that individuals with brain health disorders lack various nutrients, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, and have demonstrated increased need for methylation and detoxification support. It is a combination of these factors that leads to or aggravates neuroimmune dysfunction causing low-grade inflammation in affected brain tissues. This state of oxidative stress and chronic inflammation in the brain prohibits the nerve cells from communicating properly with one another, thereby causing symptoms in cognition, emotion and behavior.
The Benefit Of Feeding Starving Brains
One study found more than 50% of autistic children have low levels of Vitamins A, B1, B3, B5, B6 and Biotin along with mineral deficiencies such as Selenium, Zinc and Magnesium; most demonstrated essential fatty acid deficiencies.(9) In 11 double-blind, placebo controlled Vitamin B6 trials, more than half of autistic children and adults improved; efficacy and safety were improved when Magnesium was added to B6.(10) With ADHD, Vitamin C, B1, B3, B6 and Folic Acid are most commonly found low. In a double-blind trial, a Vitamin/Mineral supplement produced significantly less antisocial behavior in children and teenage delinquents.(11) Even for children without behavioral problems, a quality Vitamin/Mineral supplementation may be of benefit. A 12 week randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study of 81 healthy children age 8-14 years found that a Vitamin/Mineral formula enhanced cognitive performance and improved mood in school-age children. “These results would seem to suggest that Vitamin/Mineral supplementation has the potential to improve brain function in healthy children”.(12) Clinical research has found low levels of plasma P5P (activated B6) is associated with symptoms of major depression.(13) Case studies have demonstrated rapid recovery from major depression using 125-300mg of Magnesium (as glycinate and taurinate) with each meal and at bedtime.(14) A controlled study on patients with chronic muscle pain found dosages of 300mg Magnesium with 1200mg Malate, or up to 600mg Magnesium with 2400mg Malate (dosage depended on severity) had reduced myalgias within 48 hours. Eight weeks later patients still had reduced TeP index scores.(15)
It is vital to have your patients first learn how to start cooking and eating for healthy brain function; supplements cannot overcome a bad diet. Have your patients go to www.whfoods.org today for that extra edge in improving their neurological heath or that of their children. Beyond a healthy organic diet, the above research shows that supplementation can benefit brain health. It is best to utilize a well-crafted formulation that provides broad support for brain health. This formula should provide comprehensive Vitamin support including Vitamins B, C, E, A and D, as well as the vital minerals Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Iron, Manganese, Iodine and Selenium; all at clinically significant levels. This formulation should deliver the latest in clinical advances including the biochemically active form of B-6 (P5P) with Magnesium to promote healthy nerve function and a biochemically active form of Folate (Folinic Acid) and B12 (Methylcobalamin) to provide support for proper methylation. In this chemically burdened environment it is vital to include potent brain protectants such as Alpha Lipoic Acid, Co-Q-10, NAC and Grape Seed Extract that cross the blood brain barrier. Along these lines it is helpful to support sulphation detoxification pathways by including nutrients such as MSM. Become a provider who helps support healthy brain function!