Brain Toxicity and Infection
Today, you don’t have to be an industrial worker to be exposed to toxins that can cause injury to the brain. There are many kinds of ‘everyday’ toxins in the environment that can harm your brain. Some of the more common ones include:
- Carbon monoxide
- Cleaning products
- Nail polish remover
- Paint thinner
- Pesticides and herbicides
- Mercury, lead and other heavy metals
- Drugs and alcohol
Once they enter the body, toxins are carried through the blood stream into the brain. Toxins can impair brain function and even cause death. The degree and frequency of exposure to a toxic substance will impact the extent of brain injury from it. Chemotherapy treatments for cancer can also have a residual toxic effect on the brain.
Toxic brain injury can cause symptoms that include:
- Cognitive problems
- Memory loss
- Mood problems
- Personality changes
These symptoms can be mistaken as being caused by other disorders, such as:
- Chronic fatigue
Brain SPECT imaging is incredibly useful for uncovering the source of symptoms especially when a cause, such as toxic exposure, has been overlooked. If we don’t look, how do we know exactly what we’re treating?
“The world is facing a ‘silent pandemic’ of ‘chemical brain drain’” – Dr. Philippe Grandjean, Harvard School of Public Health
Bacteria, parasites, viruses and other infections can wreak havoc on the brain—quickly. These infectious agents release toxins, which cause inflammation, reduce blood flow and impair healthy brain function. Here are some of the illnesses that can lead to brain infections:
- Lyme disease and related infections
- West Nile virus
- Epstein-Barr virus
- Herpes viruses
Brain infections can cause a multitude of symptoms, including:
- Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
- Issues with judgment and impulse control
- Changes to personality
- Problems with attention, focus and concentration
- Memory loss
Because these symptoms resemble those of other disorders, people with brain infections are often misdiagnosed with:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia
- Multiple Sclerosis
Meanwhile—without the appropriate treatment—the infection persists, causing a potential worsening of symptoms and further injury to the brain.
The Importance of Brain SPECT Imaging in Diagnosing and Treating Brain Toxicity and Infections
On SPECT, infections in the brain can appear as an overall pattern of significantly high or low blood flow and look similar to a brain affected by toxins. With the sensitivity of SPECT, we can identify a potentially infectious process in the brain and get the patient onto the right course of treatment. SPECT can also show recovery after treatment.
Why We Are Different and How We Can Help
The Amen Clinics Method—developed through 26 years of clinical practice—uses a detailed clinical history, SPECT imaging to understand brain function, neuropsychological testing and laboratory studies to target treatment specifically to your brain using the least toxic, most effective means.
85% of patients treated with the Amen Clinics Method experience improved quality of life after just 6 months of treatment!
Hear the story of David who, for years, had been misdiagnosed with and treated for ADHD, depression and anxiety, when the real underlying problem was Lyme disease.
“Not only have we gotten our son back, but David is now back in college and he is on the Dean’s list…because of the pioneering work that Dr. Amen is doing.”
-Larry, parent of patient