Given the times in which we live, the many changes and often-unrelenting stress that circumstances have precipitated, we know this has and likely will continue to impact the mental and physical health of our patients – and really, of so many of us on a global scale.
We know you are likely to be very familiar with vitamin D, a naturally occurring hormone produced by the body in response to sunlight. Among its numerous health attributes, including support of our bone health, vitamin D also has been found to affect key cells of the immune system. And now we are learning too that this basic nutrient in which many of us are often deficient can result in neurodegenerative disease and cognitive issues.
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.