Recovery Is Dependent on Neuroinflammation Reduction
Achieving a healthy inflammatory process that results in complete recovery from brain injury requires the normal activation of a specialized white blood cell known as the microglia. Microglia are activated by the trauma, and drive the initial inflammatory process which is responsible for repairing the damaged brain tissue. After the tissue is repaired, the microglia then shift to an anti-inflammatory mode, and halt the repair process.
The cycle of injury, inflammation activation, repair and lastly inflammation suppression is critical for the complete recovery of brain injury. We evolved over millions of years to be able to recover completely from the common occurrence of major and minor head injuries that occurred when living in a primitive hunter-gatherer environment.
The process of recovery requires a healthy brain, and is dependent on a balance of essential nutritional factors, and devoid of factors contributing to neuroinflammation (SIBO, omega fatty acid imbalance, parasympathetic damage, AGE neurotoxicity, neuronal ischemia) and overnutrition (i.e. endoplasmic reticular stress).
Brain injury commonly result in damage to the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system as can be seen in the following example.
Reversal of Traumatic Brain Injury
In November of 2013, our patient, a 46-year old female, demonstrated normal autonomic functioning during spectral analysis for other medical issues. Notice that the sympathetic response (i.e., red bar is within the grey zone) is interpreted as being normal.
Normal 5-Minute Stand Test
Approximately 18 months later, the same patient suffered a sports-related brain injury and developed balance issues, visual changes, dizziness, headaches and neck pain, anxiousness as well as difficulty with memory and concentration throughout the day.
Notice how the injury has resulted in damage to sympathetic response (i.e. the measurement of the red sympathetic signal is reduced to below the normal grey zone) resulting in inadequate sympathetic activation while standing.
5-Minute Stand Test with Sympathetic Damage
This damage is known as sympathetic withdrawal (i.e. weakness) and results in the inadequate vasoconstriction in the major vessels in the lower portion of the body. Blood pools in the lower extremities making it difficult to achieve the correct level of blood pressure into the brain when in the upright position and results in suboptimal delivery of blood and oxygen to the brain. The majority of the patient’s symptoms are a reflection of the suboptimal cerebral oxygen supply.
Fortunately, the patient had already been receiving care through the Autonomic Advantage™ Brain Recovery Program. Her ongoing maintenance regimen of neuromodulation, fatty acid balancing and neuroinflammatory control allowed her now healthy brain to recover fully and quickly.
In only 3 months after experiencing her brain injury, the patient’s symptoms had completely recovered and the damage to her sympathetic response had completely normalized (i.e., red bar has increased back into the grey zone).
5-Minute Stand Test with Sympathetic Recovery
This is an excellent example of how a healthy environment within the central nervous system allows an individual’s inflammatory repair mechanism to function normally leading to a full and timely recovery of brain damage.