I recently read a compelling opinion piece in JAMA Network written by an oncologist who spoke to the current times in which we, practitioners and patients alike, live and to which we must adjust. It is not necessarily an easy adjustment or one that has come without compromise and maybe even some sacrifice.
It seems all I talk about these days is the critical importance of immune health and how we are all standing on the precipice of good, the not-so-good, and just plain bad immune protection. We already know there are numerous things in our environment and as part of our daily lives such as poor air quality, EMFs, unhealthy diets laced with pesticides like glyphosate, chemicals, toxins and food additives that can negatively impact our health. But are these external influences also potentially a factor in disrupting our immune systems to the point of initiating such serious considerations as neuropsychiatric disorders and even suicidal behavior?
We are living in the proverbial “aluminum age” and for all intents and purposes, our brains are essentially sinks into which this highly neurotoxic element is being deposited.
A recent study sheds more light on the autoimmune origins of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and, quite possibly, other forms of neurodegenerative disease as well through the interplay of genetics and the environment. We have ample evidence that chronic neuroinflammation driven by multiple mechanisms leads to the breakdown of our blood-brain barrier and subsequent neurodegeneration. But now we have additional insight into these cellular activities that can hopefully lead us to more targeted responses and enhanced treatment protocols.
In the wake of ongoing and continually increasing concerns regarding the effects of air pollution on our health, a new study now cites air pollution as a possible risk factor for the development of multiple sclerosis (MS). Researchers in Italy who conducted the study noted that the risk was 29% higher among people who lived in urbanized areas.
Never before have we been faced on such a global scale with the realization of just how important it is to nurture a healthy immune system. While we have learned many lessons from these trying times of COVID 19, there are still a myriad of questions that remain to be answered. However, two undeniable facts have quite clearly emerged: individuals age 65 and older and those who have impaired immune status (e.g. history of cancer, other immunosuppressive condition) are at higher risk of developing severe symptoms if infected.1
“Over the course of recent weeks, I have found great comfort in the words of so many people, some whom I’ve not even met, and a common vision to grow our commitment to serve those who seek out our help in these unprecedented times of need.
The third most common disease in the world behind dental caries and tension-type headache, migraine has an estimated global prevalence of 14.7%. That equates to approximately one in every seven people who are affected and in need of respite from the often-debilitating symptoms that don’t consistently respond to current drug treatment.
There are still many things we don’t know for certain about COVID 19, but one thing we can say with certainty is how protracted high levels of stress can have an impact on our lives as it relates to health and our immune defense system. And each of us has had to deal with increased demands from added pressures resulting from this global health crisis.
The Washington Post recently wrote about an increased risk of stroke in patients with diagnosed COVID 19, "Young and middle-aged people, barely sick with COVID 19, are dying of strokes.”
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a typically a childhood-onset neuropsychiatric disorder, although adults can be diagnosed as well, characterized by persistent and impairing inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. ADHD involves dysregulated dopaminergic pathways. In 2011 over 50 million prescriptions for Adderall were filled.
We all know that exercise is good for us. And right now during this current period of social isolation, exercising is especially important – in fact, a recent study highlighted how physical activities can afford us access to more immunological benefits. So even if your gym is temporarily closed or your usual fitness regimen has been derailed by changes in your daily routine, it’s critical to find alternate ways to keep moving.
With the life-changing events that have transpired in regard to COVID 19, we all now know first-hand what it means to live through a global pandemic.
We have long known about a link between pandemics and neuropsychiatric disease. Dating back over a hundred years ago, this was referred to then as “influenza psychosis.” Many of my colleagues and I believe that after this worldwide COVID 19 pandemic, we potentially are going to see a tremendous rise in post-infectious neuropsychiatric presentations.