head injuries screw people up in ways previously never imagined

STRUGGLING WITH CHRONIC HEALTH ISSUES?
HAVE YOU HAD A HEAD INJURY OR WHIPLASH?

MTBI Whiplash Health

Max Andrews / Patrick J. Lynch

“We report that TBI, a common injury in sport, military, and domestic environments, alters the fundamental aspects of gene regulation, which could explain mechanisms by which the TBI pathology can divert into other brain disorders. TBI affected the network organization and the epigenetic and transcriptional program of genes in the brain and blood governing critical aspects of cell communication, metabolism, inflammation, and blood functions. These genes intersect with those previously linked to psychiatric and neurological diseases in humans. These results provide new genomic and epigenomic evidence of mechanisms underlying the TBI pathology, infer the risk posed by TBI on the pathogenesis of related brain disorders.”

Earlier this year, the journal E-BioMedicine published a study called Traumatic Brain Injury Induces Genome-Wide Transcriptomic, Methylomic, and Network Perturbations in Brain and Blood Predicting Neurological Disorders.  It’s an amazing study, but before we talk about the results, lets talk about what the title actually means.

  • Traumatic Brain Injury: Otherwise known as TBI or sometimes an MTBI (Mild Traumatic Brain Injury), this problem affects millions upon millions of Americans (be aware that WHIPLASH INJURIES are categorized as MTBI even though large numbers are severe enough they could easily be categorized as TBI).
  • Induces: I’m not trying to be a smart ass here but induces means “causal”.  This is important to understand because what it means is that what studies have been increasingly showing for decades — that head injuries are directly related to a host of symptoms that have been described as “bizarre and seemingly unrelated” in relationship to the initial injury — is even more true than previously imagined.
  • Genome-Wide:  The genome consists of all the genetic material of an organism, including DNA, RNA, Mitochondrial DNA, Genes, Chromosomes, etc, etc.  It’s the whole shebang. 
  • Transcriptomic:  This is referring to RNA and the fact that in order to copy DNA, the process must involve “transcription” via the nucleic acid RNA (there are many forms of RNA — mRNA, rRNA, tRNA, etc, etc.
  • Methylomic:  This refers to mutations of the METHYLATION PATHWAYS (DETOX / BIOTRANSFORMATION) of the DNA / RNA that make up an organism’s genome.
  • Network Perturbations in Brain and Blood:  Dozens upon dozens of biomarkers are fouled up in the blood and brain of those who underwent TBI, affecting “the network”. This just means that everything has the potential to be screwed up after a head or neck injury.
  • Predicting Neurological Disorders:  Specifically fouled up biomarkers reveal specific neurological diseases / disorders.  The problem is that most of these biomarkers are not commonly used or known outside of very specialized trauma facilities or within acedemia.  Most likely this is because there are not currently good treatment options (i.e. drugs) for changing these markers. Bottom line; if certain biomarkers are present, you are more likely to develop or exacerbate certain neurological disorders we’ll talk about momentarily.

In plain English, head injuries not only cause brain damage that can be measured via blood work and as shown in this study, technologically advanced imaging studies, but these injuries can actually cause an array of issues that lead to genetic material going haywire, which in turn lead to an almost unlimited number of potential diseases or health-related dysfunctions.  Although I have written about this phenomenon in the past — particularly as it relates to AUTOIMMUNITY (HERE, HERE, and HERE) — let me give you a few high points of this study.

The CDC says that, “An estimated 1.7 million people sustain a TBI annually.  Of them 52,000 die, 275,000 are hospitalized, and 1.365 million, nearly 80%, are treated and released from an emergency department.  About 75% of TBIs that occur each year are concussions or other forms of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI).”   According to this study, the 80% number above is actually 90%, and about 1 in 5 of those that survive their TBI go on to develop long-term or even lifetime symptoms.

Some of the specific diseases mentioned in this study included PARKINSON’S, ALZHEIMER’S, memory loss, cognitive dysfunction, behavioral problems, PTSD, CTE (think NFL football players here), Huntington’s Chorea, cardiomyopathy (HEART DISEASE),  problems with metabolic pathways for glucose, lipid and lipoproteins, fatty acids and triglycerides (DIABETES, OBESITY, HBP, HIGH CHOLESTEROL, etc, etc), psychiatric disorders (ADD / ADHD, ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, Bipolar, SCHIZOPHRENIA, eating disorders, BRAIN ATROPHY, etc), poor energy management (CHRONIC FATIGUE), poor ECM regulation (SCAR TISSUE / FIBROSIS), a tendency toward both SMOKING and alcoholism, problems with general homeostasis (HERE), and a propensity toward OUT-OF-CONTROL INFLAMMATION (an important method of cellular communication).

“We found genes modulating important cellular functions such as inflammation, metabolism, and cell communication. The gene regulatory mechanisms uncovered from the current study span from epigenetic regulation and alternative splicing to gene network regulation. Alterations of these regulatory mechanisms could explain how the incidence of TBI alters the course of brain homeostasis and increases the risk of related brain pathologies.  In summary, our comprehensive systems investigation shows that concussive injury affects fundamental aspects of gene regulatory mechanisms that maintain brain homeostasis.”

One last note.  Although this study had to do with genes and various sorts of TBI-driven genetic aberrations, it also mentioned the word “EPIGENETICS” in one form or another a whopping 26 times.  For instance, “An increasing body of evidence indicates that predisposition to various neurological and psychiatric disorders are saved as epigenetic modifications.”  This sentence will not make much sense to you unless you understand the difference between genetics and epigenetics (click the link for a very short read — one of the most important, yet least read articles I’ve written). 

I bring this up because almost every disease process imaginable (including CANCER) is being shown to be driven far more by these “epigenetic factors” than by raw genetics.  In other words, not only are you not bound by your genetics to the degree you’ve always been taught (it’s called brainwashing), you have the potential to actually change your health by changing some of these factors.  Allow me to show you a very cool example from a study that came out earlier today in Development and Psychopathology (Epigenetic Correlates of Neonatal Contact in Humans).

In this study, scientists correlated the amounts of hugging and cuddling that parents gave their infants, to the amount of DNA methylation (or lack thereof), which manifested itself in genes related to immune system function, metabolism, and even physical / mental / social development in said child — five years after the fact. Not so surprisingly, the authors concluded that, “Early post-natal contact has lasting associations with child biology.”  Understanding the difference between genetics and epigenetics is why if you have a doctor who is constantly blaming or scape-goating your various health issues on “bad genes,” it may be time to find a new doctor.  At the very least, it is critical to figure out what it will take to lessen the inflammatory burden on your body and brain.  The good news for you is that I have already done this for you in the form of a generic protocol (HERE).

There is no doubt that some of you reading this will have to undergo some specific testing and / or treatment.  With the funky neurological issues that are seen with TBI, it may mean you need to see a CARRICK-TRAINED FUNCTIONAL NEUROLOGIST.  Or it may mean you need to undergo some FUNCTIONAL TESTING.  However, in most cases, a great deal of epigenetic alteration can be made on your own via the lifestyle changes I talk about in the link from the last paragraph.  And let’s be honest with each other for a moment; what have you got to lose?  You’ve tried every drug imaginable, and so far they’ve done nothing other than make you feel like crap.

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