December of 2019 marks the publication of a new medical textbook, The Microbiome and the Brain (CRC Press). The text features chapters focused on a number of important topics, among them the role of gut bacteria in a variety of medical conditions including autism, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. The common theme throughout the book, as one would surmise from the title, is the relationship between the gut and brain health. The chapters have been written by some of the most well respected researchers and clinicians from around the world, and I am honored to be the editor-in-chief of this important contribution.
One area in which the relationship between the gut and the brain that seems to be getting a lot of attention as of late focuses on how variations in the gut bacteria may ultimately contribute to alterations in mood. Specifically, there is currently a fairly in-depth pursuit to understand the relationship between nuances of bacterial constituents and depression. Continue reading
By: The Dr. Perlmutter Team
What does it mean to have a healthy brain?
It means having a brain that is readily capable of performing all of its vital functions. This includes basic functions, like regulating the involuntary functions of the autonomic nervous system, and higher-level functions, such as facilitating cognition and decision-making, and coordinating fine and gross motor skills. While the brain is necessarily an incredibly complex organ, the process of neuroplasticity, which describes the brain’s ability to undergo physical and chemical changes in response to stimuli, affords us a significant degree of control over the health of our brain. In other words, the lifestyle choices we make today have a very real impact on our brain’s current and future health; whether that impact is positive or negative depends on how we live our lives.
As stated above, neuroplasticity can work for or against you. While the natural process of aging more or less handles the “working against you” side of that equation, it is completely within our abilities to harness the power of neuroplasticity to maintain or improve overall brain health. Taking an active role in improving the health of the brain can help fortify the body from some of the most debilitating chronic illnesses we face — the likes of Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis. Fortunately, science has shined a light on numerous factors that have the potential to mitigate the effects of aging and improve overall brain health. To that end, I wanted to highlight six of the most effective ways you can maximize your brain’s potential.
Recently, at the annual PaleoFX conference, I had the opportunity to sit on a panel alongside Dr. Michael Ruscio. I was extremely taken by his interaction with the audience, the compassion (and information) in his message, and the depth of his knowledge.
I was delighted when he sent me his new book, Healthy Gut Healthy You, and I have found this book to be both extremely comprehensive and written in a user-friendly way. He has done an incredible job in writing this book and I’m hoping you will find it as interesting as have I once you’ve had a chance to read your copy. Continue reading
Could the food we consume impact our risk for mood disorders and depression?
It’s a fascinating question, and one we should absolutely be exploring further. Today, I want to look at a study from the journal Psychiatry Research, which looks at the relationship between dietary patterns and depression.
For more on how lifestyle choices affect your mental health, visit our Focus page.
We often talk about the importance of method of birth on a newborn’s health, not only in the short-term, but in the long-term. Research has found, again and again, that vaginal birth, and the experience of going through the birth canal, exposes a child to various microbes that form the basis for their own gut microbiome. Continue reading
The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is continuing to increase in the United States. Current data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that the prevalence of autism currently stands at 1 in 68 children, with incidence rates of 1 in every 42 boys and 1 in every 189 girls.
Without question, it’s been very difficult to try to determine what may be causing this virtual epidemic to be worsening over time. Over the past five years, researchers have been focusing their efforts in an attempt to relate risk for autism to events occurring not in the brain, but in the gut. Continue reading