Building a Better Brain Dr. Loren Bassett What will we learn? • Look at the habits of some of the healthiest families to discover their secrets • What science tells us about health & the developing brain • A blend of common sense and the latest research Our Goals • Key take home messages on the growth, and development of your child‘s nervous system • Understanding that the quality of the nervous system determines not only how smart your kids are, but also how athletic (coordination/strength), how happy (moods, emotional stability), and how healthy they are (super-immune function) Since every experience you will have in this life Is mediated through your brain and nervous system…. “the quality of your nervous system determines the quality of your life” This information, applied correctly, has the potential to change the lives of every man, woman, and child on this planet! How do we grow a brain? • The age old question: does size matter? • How about the number of brain cells? • Einstein‘s brain- it is the number of connections that has a direct influence on intelligence/function Connections • Synapses: the process of synaptogenesis, means growing new connections between adjoining nerve cells (like collateral circulation) • Connecting the hard drives • More really is better When Do We Start Making Connections • Huge growth and development from conception to age three (when is the best time to learn Chinese?) • Development does continue throughout life- use it or lose it • The case for crossword puzzles, and feeding yourself • Challenge the system and you get a response, like building a muscle Growth influences Positive Negative • Movement • Toxins • Nutrition • Stress • ‗Clean‘ input • ‗Dirty‘ • Positive Mental input/subluxation Attitude/Optimist • Negative mental attitude/pessimist Stimulate The Brain! • Restak, R.M. (1979) The Brain: The Last Frontier • ―sensory enrichment leads to changes in the branching of neurons and the complexity of their (connections). The immature brain is dependent on sensory stimulation for normal growth, development, and function. Sensory stimulation has, in fact, been compared to a ‗nutrient.‘ There is a dependence on sensory stimulation for normal brain development‖ • What kind of sensory stimulation do you think they are talking about? Game Boy? TV? Computer? Visual, hearing? Cerebellum • Movement is the stimulation of choice • Cerebellum is part of the brain with more cells than the rest of the brain and cord combined • Direct connections to emotional centers, pleasure centers, higher ‗cortical‘ thought and others • Mechanoreceptors are nerve endings which detect movement, vibration and position: located in the skin, muscle, ligaments, and joints all feed sensory information into the cerebellum • Greatest density found in the spine; therefore greatest potential for input to cerebellum thalamus cerebellum cortex HT MR = mechanoreceptors in joints, ligs, muscles (think spine) and skin Immune organs MR Blood vessels Sympathetic Nervous system viscera What is the ―Broccoli‖ of all movement? • Proprioception- and in english that means a combination of knowing where your body parts are, how they are oriented in space, and balance • Therefore movements which challenge these systems and nerve pathways provide the strongest stimulation for the developing brain, giving the most bang for the buck Good Broccoli Gone Bad • Subluxation; any distortion to incoming sensory information • Caused by faulty alignment, tension, stress • Produces a distortion in the system, how your body relates to gravity • Your internal picture doesn‘t match the external reality • Imagine a blind person feeling your face Garbage in equals garbage out • Subluxation will have a negative effect on the growth and development of your brain!! • Also consider the effects of stress: ramp up your SNS, shunting blood away from your brain, bathing cells in adrenaline, depressing the immune system • Your Chiropractor is the only one trained to find it, and fix it!! Great Choices • Infants: lots of cuddling!! Being ‗swaddled‘, massage, gentle play and ROM (huge volume of research showing positive benefits to emotional health, and detrimental effects of sensory deprivation) • Toddlers: let them crawl before they walk: programs the brain/enhances development • Older kids: swiss balls, skateboards, trampolines, wobble boards, wobble chairs etc. Growth influences Positive Negative • Movement • Toxins • Nutrition • Stress • ‗Clean‘ input • ‗Dirty‘ • Positive Mental input/subluxation Attitude/Optimist • Negative mental attitude/pessimist Trans-fats • Beware the hydrogenated oils! • Hidden in pretty much everything that will sit on a shelf and not go bad, as well as fries, chips, frozen foods , cakes etc • Why so bad? Essentially it comes down to screwing up your bodies ability for cell signaling, and a huge shift toward inflammation in your body (linked to pain and fatigue) Cell Signaling • Fats make up the cell membrane (wall) • Trans fats are very rigid/omega 3‘s are very fluid • Receptors are like locks embedded in the wall, which receive the ‗key‘- a molecule transmitting a signal from another cell (example insulin) • Too rigid a wall, will change the shape of the receptor, and suddenly the key doesn‘t fit anymore • The body will produce more ‗keys‘ to force the issue • Think of the fair-shooting buckets at a smaller imperfectly shaped hoop-it takes 50 shots to get one bucket • 50 hits of insulin does a lot of damage…wt.gain, fatigue, depression, diabetes • Same model for serotonin, and dopamine (pleasure messengers in the brain) but thank god for ritalin/prozac Brain Foods • Pharmacological Research 1999 Sep;40(3):211-225 Health Benefits of DHA • Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research 1998 Apr;31 • Journal of Affective Disorders: Volume 69, Issues 1-3, May 2002 • Brain Lipids and Disorders in Biological Psychiatry; Elsevier Science,2001 • The list is endless, yet all hardcore respected medical journals, linking this one substance to everything from Diabetes to Depression, to Arthritis, Heart Disease, aggression, violent behavior, ADD, atherosclerosis, inflammation, hostility etc, etc, EPA/DHA Fish Oils • Used to build synapses(connections) between brain cells; promoted by DHA,suppressed by AA • DHA is necessary for the neurological development of both fetus and infant • Inadequate intake of omega-3‘s is associated with major depression and other affective disorders • Prevalence of postpartum depression related to DHA/fish consumption • Supplementation during pregnancy is safe and beneficial • Pregnant women should consume a minimum of 650mg/day of EPA with a min of 300 mg/day DHA • Vegetarian sources of omega-3‘s like flax seed are insufficient as only 2%is converted • Childs mental processing and mental development scores and intelligence at age 4 is significantly correlated with maternal intake of DHA and EPA during pregnancy • Positive correlation to breast feeding • Baby will take ‗all you‘ve got‘ in store, and it may take up to 26 months to restock your shelf. Higher incidence of pp depression and health problems after baby number two Guidelines • Pharmaceutical grade fish oil to prevent mercury poisoning—purity certified • Eat fish 1x per week (wild Alaskan salmon) • 2gm per day with EPA/DHA ratio of 2:1 Growth influences Positive Negative • Movement • Toxins • Nutrition • Stress • ‗Clean‘ input • ‗Dirty‘ • Positive Mental input/subluxation Attitude/Optimist • Negative mental attitude/pessimist Positive Mental Attitude • Goal Setting • Affirmations – ―I‘m getting stronger everyday in every way.‖ – Beliefs create reality! Toxins • Psychotropic Drug Use in Very Young Children JAMA, Vol.283 No.8,February 23, 2000 • Medical News & Perspectives PayAttention: Ritalin Acts Much Like Cocaine JAMA: Vol.286 No.8, August 22/29, 2001 • Reported Adverse Drug Events in Infants and Children Under 2 Years of Age Pediatrics, November 2002, Vol.110, No.5 • These articles represent just a small sampling of what is in the MEDICAL literature The Immune System • And if the dangers of adverse drug events are not enough, we will take a short detour through the IMMUNE system to see where things get really messy The Latest ‗Immune‘ News • This information has the potential to change your child‘s life; PAY ATTENTION –STAY WITH ME ON THIS • First some basics; immune system defends the body against anything ‗foreign‘ such as virus‘, bacteria, protozoa, even dirt or embedded particles etc. • 2 essential parts to immune system • Realize that if the ‗innate‘ immune system does not respond to an intruder, then the adaptive system will not respond • Recall also that the innate immune system is under direct control of the ‗sympathetic‘ nervous system • The nervous system and immune system will talk to each other to maintain health • Chemical messengers released by SNS activate the immune response Key Points • The Sympathetic Nerve An Integrative Interface between Two Super systems: The brain and the Immune System • Pharmacol Rev, Vol. 52 Issue 4 Dec.2000 • 1-the brain and immune system talk to each other • 2-the SNS connects to all parts of the body; including lymph nodes, tonsils, bone marrow, • 3-SNS releases chemical messengers which control immune function (CA‘S) • 4-SNS control blood flow to immune organs; thus control WBC traffic and immune response • 5-immune cells (WBC‘S) have receptor sites that respond to CA‘s, altering their function; turns them on/off • 6-SNS directs where immune cells go, blood flow, and lymph flow • 7-the SNS is also critical in the neonatal development of the immune system organs, and in shaping the immune responsiveness Th2 Shift • Sympathetic CA‘s cause a suppression of Th1 responses and cellular immunity (innate) and a Th2 shift toward dominance of humoral immunity (adaptive) • Th1 protects against bacteria, virus, protozoa (think flu) • Th2 adaptive immunity provides protection against toxins/allergens …produces atopic disease/allergy symptoms • SNS driven shift associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis, MS, Diabetes, autoimmune thyroid disease, Crohn‘s, Fibromyalgia, CFS, and tumor growth • Removing subluxation will reduce SNS activity, reduce CA release, enhance Th1 response which improves infection fighting; inhibit the Th2 response, which will reduce allergy/atopic disease signs and symptoms Summary • Proprioception is in; can you say ‗synapse‘ • Omega 3‘s (EPA/DHA fish oils) • Toxins : drugs are overprescribed, have serious short and long term consequences • Chiropractic adjustments keep the input ‗clean‘ – decrease need for drugs, enhance immunity, enhance brain development, minimize the deleterious effects of stress • People with positive attitudes live happier, healthier lives! THANK YOU • Thanks for all of your attention, it has been a pleasure to share this information with you!!