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Functional Medicine®

🔴 Notice: As part of our Acute Injury Treatment Practice, we now offer Functional Medicine Integrative Assessments and Treatments* within our clinical scope for chronic degenerative disorders.  Learn More* Call Us Today: 915-850-0900

Functional Medicine Explained

Functional Neurology: The Blood-Brain Barrier and Brain Health

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Our brain is protected by the blood-brain barrier, a connection of blood vessels that permits the passage of important nutrients while blocking other compounds. However, this security system is so efficient at guarding the brain that it can frequently prevent many drugs and/or medications from being able to effectively treat a variety of brain health issues. Scientists are working towards developing ways to allow treatments to penetrate the blood-brain barrier.

The brain depends on a variety of precise communication signals from the nerve cells to perform many fundamental functions. And it’s surrounding environment must remain stable to successfully send and receive transmissions. During the late 1800s, the outcome measures of a research study on the brain started a collection of experiments that demonstrated how the brain ultimately protects itself from the natural changes that happen in the body.

Understanding the Blood-Brain Barrier

Paul Ehrlich, a German scientist that later earned a Nobel Prize for developing a cure for syphilis, was first interested in the way that several different types of cells and tissues absorb various chemical dyes. The purpose of Ehrlich’s experiments was to discover new components that could protect the brain from other “harmful” compounds. However, Paul Ehrlich made an unexpectedly strange discovery throughout the course of his research studies.

During a research study in 1885, Ehrlich injected blue dye into the bloodstream of a group of mice. The dye stained all of the animals’ organs blue with the exception of one essential organ: their brains. During a follow-up research study in 1913, the same blue dye previously used for the last experiment was directly injected into the brains of another group of mice. But this time, the animals’ brains turned blue while the other organs did not change color.

While these experiments discovered the blood-brain barrier, there was no such equipment at the time that could have demonstrated the existence of this security system. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t until the 1960s that scientists detected the actual blood-brain barrier for the first time.  Scientists were able to see the detailed connection of blood vessels in the brain using a microscope that was about 5,000 times more powerful than the one Paul Ehrlich used.

Scientists also discovered that, much like all of the other blood vessels in the body, the blood vessels in the brain are filled with endothelial cells which function as a sort of connection between the blood and vessel wall. Unlike all of the other blood vessels in the body, however, the endothelial cells in the brain are closely attached together which forms an almost impermeable barrier between the brain and the bloodstream: the blood-brain barrier.

The blood-brain barrier permits the passage of nutrients and hormones, such as glucose and amino acids, while blocking “harmful” components, such as bacteria and toxins, from entering the brain. In order to demonstrate how the brain’s security system determines which molecules to permit passage to and which molecules to block, scientists injected certain compounds into the bloodstream of animals and then measured the amounts that arrived in the brain.

Blood-Brain Barrier and Brain Health Issues

Over the course of several research studies, scientists demonstrated that certain compounds that are very small and/or fat-soluble, including anti-anxiety medicines, antidepressants, cocaine, alcohol, and many different types of hormones can slip through the endothelial cells of the blood-brain barrier. Bigger, more desirable molecules, including glucose and/or insulin, must be selectively carried across the blood-brain barrier by transporter proteins.

Nerve cells found on either side of the blood-brain barrier are constantly communicating with one another regarding which molecules they should permit passage to and which components to block. By way of instance, nerve cells working hard within the brain may ultimately transmit signals to the blood vessels on either side of the blood-brain barrier for them dilate and allow nutrients to rapidly travel from the bloodstream to the nerve cells in need.

However, several brain health issues, including injuries, underlying conditions, infections, and certain types of cancers, can cause the blood-brain barrier to become damaged and break down, resulting in tiny ruptures to the blood vessels in the brain. A variety of components that would normally be blocked by the blood-brain barrier can then be permitted passage, causing various problems for the brain, including a variety of neurological diseases.

Moreover, outcome measures from several research studies suggest that the weakening of the blood-brain barrier may even be associated with a number of neurodegenerative disorders. For example, scientists suggest that a leaky blood-brain barrier permits the passage of too many white blood cells into the brains of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). These cells attack the myelin sheath between the nerve cells, causing multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms.

Through new treatment technologies, scientists are starting to create new ways to open up the blood-brain barrier to allow drugs and/or medications to reach the brain without interfering with its functions. Although numerous challenges probably still lie ahead, many scientists are becoming hopeful that new knowledge on the structure of the blood-brain barrier will one day lead to better treatments for several of the most challenging brain health issues.

After the discoveries Paul Ehrlich during the late 1800s, a collection of experiments started to help demonstrated how the brain regulates what to permit passage to and what to block from entering its blood vessels. The brain is protected by the blood-brain barrier, however, this security system can frequently prevent drugs and/or medications from being able to effectively treat brain health issues. Scientists have started working towards developing successful ways to allow treatments to penetrate the blood-brain barrier. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight


Neurotransmitter Assessment Form

Neurotransmitter Assessment Form AE260 (1)

The following Neurotransmitter Assessment Form can be filled out and presented to Dr. Alex Jimenez. The following symptoms listed on this form are not intended to be utilized as a diagnosis of any type of disease, condition, or any other type of health issue.


Our brain is protected by the blood-brain barrier, a connection of blood vessels that permits the passage of important nutrients while blocking other compounds. However, this security system is so efficient at guarding the brain that it can frequently prevent many drugs and/or medications from being able to effectively treat a variety of brain health issues. Scientists are working towards developing ways to allow treatments to penetrate the blood-brain barrier.

The brain depends on a variety of precise communication signals from the nerve cells to perform many fundamental functions. And it’s surrounding environment must remain stable to successfully send and receive transmissions. During the late 1800s, the outcome measures of a research study on the brain started a collection of experiments that demonstrated how the brain ultimately protects itself from the natural changes that happen in the body.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez

References:

  • Bates, Mary. “The Blood-Brain Barrier.” BrainFacts.org, 2 July 2014, www.brainfacts.org/brain-anatomy-and-function/anatomy/2014/blood-brain-barrier.


Additional Topic Discussion: Chronic Pain

Sudden pain is a natural response of the nervous system which helps to demonstrate possible injury. By way of instance, pain signals travel from an injured region through the nerves and spinal cord to the brain. Pain is generally less severe as the injury heals, however, chronic pain is different than the average type of pain. With chronic pain, the human body will continue sending pain signals to the brain, regardless if the injury has healed. Chronic pain can last for several weeks to even several years. Chronic pain can tremendously affect a patient’s mobility and it can reduce flexibility, strength, and endurance.


Neural Zoomer Plus for Neurological Disease

Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate neurological diseases. The Neural ZoomerTM Plus is an array of neurological autoantibodies which offers specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. The Vibrant Neural ZoomerTM Plus is designed to assess an individual’s reactivity to 48 neurological antigens with connections to a variety of neurologically related diseases. The Vibrant Neural ZoomerTM Plus aims to reduce neurological conditions by empowering patients and physicians with a vital resource for early risk detection and an enhanced focus on personalized primary prevention.

Food Sensitivity for the IgG & IgA Immune Response

Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate health issues associated with food sensitivities. The Food Sensitivity ZoomerTM is an array of 180 commonly consumed food antigens that offers very specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. This panel measures an individual’s IgG and IgA sensitivity to food antigens. Being able to test IgA antibodies provides additional information to foods that may be causing mucosal damage. Additionally, this test is ideal for patients who might be suffering from delayed reactions to certain foods. Utilizing an antibody-based food sensitivity test can help prioritize the necessary foods to eliminate and create a customized diet plan around the patient’s specific needs.

Gut Zoomer for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate gut health associated with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). The Vibrant Gut ZoomerTM offers a report that includes dietary recommendations and other natural supplementation like prebiotics, probiotics, and polyphenols. The gut microbiome is mainly found in the large intestine and it has more than 1000 species of bacteria that play a fundamental role in the human body, from shaping the immune system and affecting the metabolism of nutrients to strengthening the intestinal mucosal barrier (gut-barrier). It is essential to understand how the number of bacteria that symbiotically live in the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract influences gut health because imbalances in the gut microbiome may ultimately lead to gastrointestinal (GI) tract symptoms, skin conditions, autoimmune disorders, immune system imbalances, and multiple inflammatory disorders.




Formulas for Methylation Support

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Proudly, Dr. Alexander Jimenez makes XYMOGEN formulas available only to patients under our care.

Please call our office in order for us to assign a doctor consultation for immediate access.

If you are a patient of Injury Medical & Chiropractic Clinic, you may inquire about XYMOGEN by calling 915-850-0900.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C.,C.C.S.T

Welcome-Bienvenido's to our blog. We focus on treating severe spinal disabilities and injuries. We also treat Sciatica, Neck and Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sport Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven therapies focused on optimal mobility, health, fitness, and structural conditioning. We use Individualized Diet Plans, Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Adapted Cross-Fit Protocols and the "PUSH System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems. If you would like to learn more about a Doctor of Chiropractic who uses advanced progressive techniques to facilitate complete physical health, please connect with me. We a focus on simplicity to help restore mobility and recovery. I'd love to see you. Connect!

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