Welcome to another edition of mycotoxins and chronic illness. This is 2.0, we’re back speaking again to Dr. Mary Ackerley. Mary is a hero of mine. She’s somebody who really keeps finding new ways to look at the world and also has really been helpful in spreading the word. She is a Co-Founder and First President of the ISEAI, International Society of Environmentally Associated Illnesses. I think I got that whole acronym right, or close.
She is a Psychiatrist, but today we’re gonna talk about the other part of her degree, which is we’re gonna talk a little bit about neurology and one of the imaging modalities that I have found to be very helpful in giving people an idea or actually literally a picture of what’s going on in their brains. So Dr. Ackerley and I had talked last time, a lot about mold and mycotoxins, and I’m sure we’re gonna touch about that today as well. And in fact in the introduction always its nice to, like there’s one story that you tell about maybe your first mold patient, as you say, it was a lucky one, but it really set the tone for beginning to understand how profound mycotoxins are and their effect on the brain. So, Dr. Ackerley, tell us about you a little bit and then we’ll go on to the NeuroQuant.
Okay, so thank you for having me back here again, in talking about the NeuroQuant. I think you’ve described really my interest in NeuroQuant. I’ve been doing them like you, since at least 2013, 2014, they’ve gone through at least three major iterations. And at some point they gave so much information about the brain. I found them more interesting than any other test I was doing. So I have focused a fair amount of attention on them. So I just like to share that passion and also help people understand how much information is gained when you have a chronic complex illness from looking at the brain directly, and not guessing what’s going on from symptoms. So my brain doesn’t work like it used to.
Pretty much every mold patient is going to tell you that. We were just talking about my first patient. Eric had asked me, “Why did you get into mold?” And I’ve told the story before, but it was a patient who I’ve been seeing for a couple of years for hormones and some depression and anxiety who came very late to an appointment. She was lost, we actually had to get her on the phone and direct her back. And now she’s been coming for two years. She was only 70 and should have been able to find a way again. When she got here, she was just so disheveled and distraught and not remembering her pocketbook or why she even came to the appointment.
And I asked her what was going on she said her home was being renovated and they had opened up the ceiling in her bedroom and were renovating found a lot of mold and she was living underneath it. Now we guess, okay? 12 years later, you couldn’t possibly do that. But at that time, one doctor in Arizona considered mold a bad thing. And I sort of knew about it and she, the patient, and certainly the people doing it had no idea that that was horrendous.
So she was there every night, breathing in the mold after the workman left and did never related that. But I did because I knew that mold could be toxic and I had no idea what else to do. We read Shoemaker’s book, “Surviving,” whatever book it was. He had symptoms and she remembered saying, I said, there are ice pick headaches. And she said, “Oh my God, yes”. And she clearly had her cognitive issues look like dementia ’cause I really did think about calling her sons. So I read the treatment was called Ironmine that seemed pretty safe. And again, not knowing much, I put her on four packs of colestyramine a day and she tolerated well. And three weeks later she came back, knew her way to the office and looked like herself again.
I said, wow, I cured dementia. Okay, so that was really impressive. And again, that was lucky, ’cause that doesn’t happen that often for everyone listening. But for that one it did. And I did tell her, look, why don’t you just go stay in a different house ’cause it doesn’t seem good to me to have mold kind of drifting on your body as you’re sitting there or sleeping. Remember it’s 12 years ago, a different world, very different world. So the most common mold brain complaints that I’ve seen, ’cause I’ll go through my records and look, it’s gonna be anxiety. And it’s always, everyone is anxious to some extent these days and we find distress and you’re not really sure what’s going on.
And insomnia is a little more worrisome because most people have busy schedules need to get up and know every night they’re not sleeping, they’re not having a good productive day. So these things are bothersome. The brain fog is when worry starts to set in is when you notice that your brain just is not processing, you hear things and you know you should respond, but you’re not sure exactly what to say and it’s going so slowly, people are looking at you. I always call this like just having one bar reception on your cell phone, it’s working, but it’s coming in really slowly, you don’t hear all of it. And then when you talk, what’s coming out is not really exactly what you need to say. It’s just a good description for brain fog.
That’s where people do get worried. Then we start getting to the cognitive impairment with lack of focus and word finding issues. That’s even more worrisome. And then we have people are noticing they’re easily stressed. The resilience isn’t there, that small things have really bothered them tremendously and they lose it. And I think, the word mold rage was something I came up with after having watched a married couples sit in front of me and go through mold. It was like, whoa, this is bad. And then watch when they got treated in clean houses, it all disappeared. And luckily they had less memory of it than I did.
So the mold rage, the irritability is real and most people who’ve had mold will tell you, they just lose their reason and ability to hold it in. Depression, and again there’s always a reason to be depressed, but it’s not being treated easily. And these are the patients who you try things like someone yesterday had transcranial for his depression and he went through 40 treatments and the guy kept telling him, oh, you’re gonna get better, everyone gets better. But he kept getting worse and worse. And again, it’s one of these gas lighting things where the doctors just don’t believe they’re seeing that a person’s not responding to a treatment most people do. And then there’s the usual lack of libido and poor motivation. So you put all that together of, you’re now gonna have to solve getting out of mold and you don’t have much motivation. You’re angry at everybody. And anyone else in the house is angry at you and you’re easily stressed and it makes a very difficult situation for everybody. So you can see how lucky I was on the first try. She had another house to go to. Wasn’t a big deal and just got out.
I always say that that’s God’s way of telling you that this is what you should be doing when you get those first cases that they work.
Well, it was, it was a dramatic impression ’cause I certainly have treated dementia throughout my career as a psychiatrist. You certainly see many people with cognitive issues and to clean it up that fast, not have to call the sons, its just like, wow, that’s impressive. And I had a couple more after too who were neurological one with MS who again, when we figured it out and all these neurological symptoms started melting away. It’s like very impressive because you know that’s not supposed to happen. So a NeuroQuant is something, it’s been around since actually I think 2008, 2009, I started using it, so did Eric I think about 2013, it’s volumetric imaging simply needing, it’s taking space, measuring the space that each region of the brain takes up.
And it takes these 2D segmented images uses an algorithm and calculates their volume. It was originally used to diagnose Alzheimer’s it’s being used to use for MS now and you can use it to access traumatic brain injury. Those are fairly conventional uses of it. So I’m gonna go through things quickly. A lot of people watching this may have had NeuroQuants done, they have data, they’re really not quite sure what it means. And I’m gonna try and give you some easy ways to look at it. And then some real reasons why A you should have hope because brains do get better and you can document it. And that’s probably one of the most important things this test does. And also you’re gonna have a lot more reason to understand what’s going on and we can tailor treatments more when we see are you fitting into neuro inflammation or neuro degeneration.
So Alzheimer’s is neurodegenerative. The case I’m about to show is a 70 year old woman, which is really not old, especially as I get old, its like, whoa, she really was that old. And she and her son had been through a remediation also where the kitchen ceiling had collapsed with mold and mold throughout the home. So they knew they had mold and they both were suffering many symptoms which at this point they knew she had had a heart attack and a lot of pulmonary issues like six months earlier, the son was very depressed with OCD and both them had a lot of fatigue and poor motivation. They both were complaining of difficulties with their speech where they would use the wrong word. It was similar, it was close, but it wasn’t the right word, which is usually specific neurological like would you drop telling me that.
And they were both doing it. I didn’t think anything of it. Again, she’s 70. And she seemed fairly intact and I’m pretty good at picking things up. But that was her NeuroQuant, came back. And so I’m someone with a lot of experience and I missed it. And I think many people, every other doctor and her son had missed it is pretty much just showed what we call well, a sea of red. Okay, easy to see. And you’re seeing here what we call the 99/1 pattern, the ventricles, which are the part of the brain carrying the cerebral spinal fluid. They’re very big here. They’re in the 99th percentile for age and sex. They’re very big and hippocampus, which is the memory center is in the first percentile.
That is Alzheimer’s, it’s gonna be the earlier stages, mini mental, or at that point maybe 25 or so, but it’s there. And when she saw that she knew immediately she had a family history of Alzheimer’s. She’d seen her aunt sick. It was a very emotional meeting. So this is Alzheimer’s and you pick it up and this is still useful, okay? This is difficult. This is not my favorite thing to have to do when I get about one every three months now. But there are lots of things you can do. The Bredeson protocols is what we call it to make things better cognitively to also prepare to understand what’s going on. And we did do some things. And I think that that’s going to be the next slide. There is the, let me just find what just happened is, okay, so we have the sea of red and the ventricles are having a problem. And I’m just showing again here where the ventricles are going into being very large.
So the, I’m not sure. And you can see here what the pattern looks like in, that’s really fairly exaggerated here and very quickly in neuroanatomy. We’re just trying to show you, not teach you neuroanatomy, but just say there is some way, some developmental ways to understand why the brain is, there, that’s what I want. Why is the brain developing? And we have certain needs, which anyone who have studied psychology does know is we have a very basic need for water, food, air, and warmth and safety. It’s physiological, everyone needs that. And it’s the basic need. And the brain is going to help you deal with all of that. Then we have a need for safety, security, which is really important. And the brain’s gonna need all of this. It’s the needs that every human needs. And then as you develop, we get into belonging.
It’s the TRIBE. And it’s a place where a lot of people are right now, its just wanting a TRIBE, wanting love, wanting connection. And the brain has a part of the brain that does that. And then again, as we get into the higher functions and the newer functions of the brain, we have self-esteem and we have with ourself and others. And then we have what’s called self-actualization it’s creativity, it’s logic, it’s math, problem solving. And presumably ethics are in the highest part of our brain, but that is considered where they respond. So understanding that triangle actually helps you when you’re looking at the brain is you can see, and again, everyone will say, but there’s this, it could be a little bit finer, but basically we have a brain stem. And this is where we’re really looking at our physiological needs.
It’s where your nerves, your cranial nerves that work with your heart, with breathing, with temperature are all gonna be located in the brain stem and your vagus nerve, which is gonna have a lot to do with safety here. And we talk a lot about the vagus nerve these days as to why this is where you heal and how big that need for safety is at a very basic level in the body. And then we have the limbic system, which is your emotional brain. And we talk a lot about that, how out of whack that gets, especially in mold, but that is your need for love, belonging, sense of tribe. And when you’re not feeling this sense of safety, it’s gonna really disrupt this ability to sort of be, love, belonging, finding tribe, you’re usually gonna be in panic and anxiety and seeing danger everywhere.
And then we get to the higher parts, our cortex, our thinking part of the brain. And that’s where there is esteem and a self of consciousness here in the parietals. And then we get to self-actualization again with the logic, math and some of the finer things that we consider as humans distinguish us from animals. So understanding that and again this is just to help everyone understand what are you looking at in NeuroQuant? Why are we talking about limbic dysregulation? Is the brain structure, is again our limbic system is interestingly the hippocampus, which I just told you is memory, but it’s emotional memory. And we have here the famous amygdala, which most people know that their amygdalas are their fear centers. And most people have felt that sense of fear when the amygdala is really running the show and you’re not gonna do anything else, than try and satisfy that fear, just dampen it in some ways ’cause it’s so unpleasant. And we have the cortex, and this is the limbic system that we’re talking about and what we’re gonna be looking at at the brain.
We also have the thalamus here, which is very important and part of it too. So our thalamus is the grand central station really for sensitivity, for pain, for all sensations are gonna go into your thalamus. That’s so pain. All the sensations that are coming from pain in your body, goes through the thalamus. Smell is gonna go into thalamus, sight, hearing, taste, touch, and we’re gonna see a lot of very over activated thalamus’s here. And you’re gonna begin to understand why with mold this is really common. People become very sensitive to light and sound. I’ll usually say, well, so you’re in a car together, and someone turns on music, does unless the patient, do you usually just turn it down automatically? And if it’s the family, they’re all looking at each other like, yep, mom turns it down like that.
Because it’s so painful, it’s the thalamus. And when that’s dysregulated, you’re really gonna have the somatic hyper vigilance. And again, almost in mold we see in the 90th percentile all the time and usually 99th. And this is a site of mast cells. It’s a known site of mast cells. So when we start talking about mast cells in the brain and the mast cells activating, they’re going to be making the thalamus even more sensitive to smell, sound and it’s right there. And so the amygdala, the other really famous part that we can again look at the T bar is it’s the fire alarm. It’s gonna be notifying the rest of the body there’s a problem here. And regulates this perception is the key word of danger versus safety, it’s perceptual. And this is fight or flight right there. So next case is, and we’re getting into chronic complex cases because in some ways Alzheimer’s, which is neuro degeneration is simple. Everything is not working as smaller than it should be.
It’s degenerated. Traumatic brain injuries is another thing that it’s fairly easy to pick up on a NeuroQuant. And that’s useful because that does change the brain. And many people have no idea, especially from my generation. You’re Eric that’s falling off the monkey bars when you were three, would be considered a brain injury. And no, because you got up and walked, it was okay. There was no things as concussion watch. And in fact, I think I’ve learned the best way for me to still get a TBI history is to have mom, next to the patient because a lot of people just minimize the fact that they’ve gone unconscious, got knocked on the head, had blows to it, because people didn’t make a big deal. So their alarm signals never got off, but if have mom there, she remembers every time she messed up, basically. ‘Cause that’s what she considers it. And it’s very helpful because you can see it here. This is what we call ventricular asymmetry. Remember I just showed you very big ventricles here. They’re a little bit smaller, but they’re the black ones.
They’re always gonna show up black on a NeuroQuant and you can see something called ventricular asymmetry. The size is different, and that is because they’re gonna be the softest part of the brain. A forceful impact is just going to change them easiest when the impact goes through the brain. So you can look for the asymmetry. We can find it in the ventricles first. And again, when we’re seeing it here, she’s at like 41%. I’ve said people at 60% and stuff, you know that these injuries she’s had, she was an ice skater, the next person she’s been in a motor vehicle accident, which was considered minor, but didn’t, and she had a concussion too, has made a real change in her brain. And again, this is what the ventricles look like. These are the inferior and superior and then the third ventricle, and then you’re gonna have the fourth ventricle going down. So this is our next one.
We’re gonna get into a sea of blue, which is chronic complex, and just really easy. You look at a traumatic brain, you look at a T bar, which is gonna show us these 50 regions. And you’re looking at mostly blue or mostly red. It’s not gonna be too hard to figure out neuro inflammation versus neuro degeneration. And in this person, again, we’re looking at inflammation here, a major inflammation. She’s in the 99th percentile, I think in her white matter and the limbic system, which we’ll come back to. Her cortical gray and even her basal ganglia is mostly nucleus accumbens, which is the pleasure center. And it’s kind of interesting ’cause she did have some drug issues too. It is the pleasure center, but it’s considered a reward center and studied in drug addiction. So all of that’s here, okay? But I looked at this and it’s like her behaviors pretty much, which had a lot to do with depression, panic and suicidal ideation can be understood as inflammatory.
And the reason that TBI is useful is that when you hit your head, you’re gonna open your blood brain barrier and that it’s gonna allow toxins to penetrate more easily, that’s a big one. And the other thing is repetitive injury is gonna be leading to repetitive damage to some of these brain regions, which we now call post concussive syndrome. We see it in football, I’ve seen it in soccer players, especially female is where people have been using their head in ways they probably shouldn’t be used, and getting damage they didn’t understand. And so when you’re seeing some of these cognitive issues, it’s not all mold and it’s important to know that. So again, this is just to understand the limbic system ’cause it’s the crux of a lot of mold issues is, basically you have a spark, you have sources of anger, just something has happened which has disappointed a person and feeling rejection, feeling fear, it just lights, it’s the spark, it lights that whole system we’ve just talked about bam.
Now you have a real brain on fire in these systems that are blue. Easiest way to understand why you’re seeing, when you see the sea of blue, you now have a person you’re looking at, you’re gonna have to be talking about limbic dysregulation. And this goes into physical reactions, which make a lot of things worse, especially your mast cells. Basically it’s going to be sending substances, the ACTH from the brain into the adrenals. The adrenals are then gonna be releasing your stress hormones and your stress hormones are then gonna be playing havoc all over.
But again, it’s a major activator for mast cells and the mast cells are sitting there in the microglia, in the amygdala, in the thalamus. And they’re just getting more on fire and more inflamed. And that’s really our task is to quiet that down. And I think Eric you’d agree at this point that for a number of patients they’ve become so reactive, their stress hormones still work so fast, just by seeing a food that they know is gonna make them feel bad that you have to quiet. You have to break this loop in multiple ways before the body’s gonna accept any treatment that they don’t see as dangerous.
Yeah, that is I think the most frustrating place for the patient and the physician, is when people reach that point where any change is red is danger. Whether it’s good or bad, it doesn’t matter what it is. If it’s different, we’re gonna bite.
Right. And there’s more things here than mold as I just, the cytokines can be from multiple sources. Lyme is certainly gonna be doing this as well as mold mast cells. Any of the autoimmune illnesses are all gonna be increasing. COVID setting off multiple cytokines and those are going to be a real trigger. Histamine is an enormous trigger for the brain and can be coming from the gut from people who can’t metabolize, histamine in the gut and the mast cells. And again, that’s gonna be activating the amygdala, which triggers theoharides. Very sure there are mast cells and the amygdala and that’s kind of fiercesome.
Actually, it’s like, so the amygdala’s already the fierce center and you’re having mast cell issues. And the histamine has now triggered the amygdala too. It’s not even your sense of danger, it’s a complicated issue that can be helped, but I think a lot of people are locked into it and feeling fairly hopeless about it. And then just endotoxins again coming from the guts. So we talk a lot about the gut. And one of the reasons it’s important is it is sending things like endotoxins in histamine, going to the brain very fast, getting through the blood brain barrier and setting off more fire. And it’s kind of what people mean I think when they say they’re reacting to food or to supplements is their gut is sending signals really fast.
So this is gonna be the crux of the brain retraining programs we often recommend is once you get this limbic activation here with the thalamus and the hippocampus and the amygdala, you get a sense of looping where the fear activates the brain, which then sends more fear signals, which then sends more activation. You get these increased glucocorticoids and catecholamines, that really are very important mast cell triggers. In fact, might be the most important mast cell triggers we have. You get this whole fight and flight reaction, which is completely physiological, we’re mammals, okay? Remember that brain I told you like 2/3s of it really was mammalian, okay? We’re not different.
We’re the same as the tiger who’s being pursued or the cat. And we have ways of reacting and fight and flight is the first one, we either are ready to fight or you’re just fleeing. And we see that mold a lot where people are angry or fighting or they’re fleeing they’re out of the house before you’ve even said the word mold and leaving things behind and not making great decisions. It’s really well known in this state. You don’t make good decisions and you don’t heal. And that’s the reason we keep saying, we have to calm it down, have to get you in vagel tone, where you rest and digest because in the sympathetic state, you’ll really just keep making a mess. And for most of us who’ve been doing this for while we’re really interested, how do we help these patients who’re going on three years, five years, or much longer that are not getting better. And they’ve had every reasonable treatment that you can imagine.
It’s the vagal tone and this whole dysfunction here. So that’s a very short course in limbic dysfunction and brain disfunction, but you can see from the brains I show you that it’s just really common. And can your brain recover from mold? Is the question most people listening wanna know and yes. So I tried to pick some things here where I can show you that brains have recovered. And it took me a little time to point this out because part of me thought, well, I’m not sure that the gray matter, things that are red are gonna really recover until I started looking through some myself and saying, these people are better in their gray matter, it really got better, and I thought that didn’t happen.
And that’s because I was confusing I think a neurodegenerative process like Alzheimer’s, which is harder versus from things neuro degeneration, we may see in something like mold or lyme, which just seems easier, so let me show you some of these. This was a person who was pursuing mold avoidance, fairly stream of mold avoidance. Had done which came to see me multiple treatments, including something we called the PK protocol, mast cells. This was her first NeuroQuant. And you can see that there’s inflammation and there is red too here. Her cortical gray was 38%, which I don’t really like. I’d rather see cortical grays above the 50th percentile and her palidum in the first percentile.
But she had all the major white matter. The neuro inflammation, the brain fog, the thalamus 99th percentile. And you can understand how sensitive she was to many toxins or feelings of toxins that kept her on the move avoiding them. And the hippocampus again, also very activated and her amygdala wasn’t quite as bad as it could be, but together she was pretty much in fight or flight. And then again with this months of treatments and moving, we did a second one and you can see right here, this looks better, just again, eyeballing it, okay? We have less blue and we actually have less red. This is already a win. And although she would tell you, she’s not much better. I would’ve said, she was more stable and seemed to not be so sick and for so long, but you can see here, her white matter, which is the myelinated, your myelin in your brain, which is carrying messages from different parts of the brain has gone down to the 61st percentile. The white matters in the 75th percentile.
The hippocampus has come down to a more normal number, 78th percentile. The thalamus has actually improved which is major because if you just listen to what I’m saying is you have this amplifier in your brain and the smallest amount of danger is so amplified, that life is very unpleasant and it’s hard to get a sense of what’s real. You can see how major this victory is. And the amygdala is also a little bit smaller. And the cortical gray had gone up to 78th percentile. That’s lovely, okay? That’s like the brain is looking much more normal and not going down on gray matter. Gray matter is what you think with, that’s what they’ve told you that higher fore brain that we all want. And I know this is one of the things I’m showing you ’cause this is so useful is the parents who were financing this when they saw this difference, I remember the mother just crying and crying because at that point they had really given up that this was gonna get better and they could see that the differences these treatments were making and it helped them continue going on with treatments is seeing that there was improvement.
So it’s one of the stories and I do have more than this, but I like to show that is just things get better from all of this. And again, just gray matter just ’cause I keep talking about it. It’s the icing right here on the brain, but it’s only like 6% of the brain. It uses what? 98% or 90% of the brain’s oxygen. And it’s so important to remember that because we have multiple ways. We know now CCI which Eric and I like to talk about, POTS, lack of exercise in vagus, oxygen doesn’t get to the full cerebral cortex and being able to restore blood flow and oxygen is what I think leads to such good improvements we see in gray matter. And then this is the white matter. It’s kind of your inner telephone wires here that take signals from one part of the brain to another part. This is usually very inflamed. You’re seeing this 99%. And I think this is where we really see brain fraud is we have slowed processing.
These wires are kind of on the fritz. They’re not moving material information efficiently. And it feels, people say, it’s like it’s wool. It’s fuzzy in my brain, it’s the inflammation there of knowing kind of what’s going on. And it’s slower than you like. So we see a lot of that. And again, I just showed you improvement. And again, here’s some more of the white matter. And this is also going to be where we’re looking at, the microglial activation is going to be this whole mark of blue, is the microglia as is the layers that line the brain, that’s what’s activated, that’s synonymous actually with neuro inflammation. So this is another case of a 21 year old male and he was EDS, POTS, CIS autoimmune, probably some more diagnosis we can put in there. I’m pretty sure he had bartonella. And when he came to me, he was 90% bedridden with the POTS. And this is severe POTS when standing up is very difficult.
‘Cause the blood pressure is so low. The heart rate’s so fast and there’s a weakness and the family really didn’t know what was going on. They didn’t really even understand ’cause they were all kind of bendy, the whole family. They didn’t understand that this was not normal and they hadn’t gotten very effective help. They were in the army, which is like, this is I gotta tell you beyond army ability to understand a 21 year old male who’s in bed and has low blood pressure and is bedridden. They’re not looking for that at all. So he hadn’t got much help. So in the first year you can see we’re seeing here really things here that were in the red, the occipital lobes, which is where you see from, it’s part of the vision is 21 percentile. You’re seeing the motor, which again, he’s not doing much motor movement, the right side’s in the 12th percentile and the middle temporals are here down. And that has a lot to do with mood down the 28th percentile.
So they’re there and he is showing some blue, but that was 2017. And his cortical gray was 48%. This was after a year of actually getting him upright and walking is we showed this kind of improve. We actually showed a more true mold picture, which is probably really what was his biggest problem, mold. But by getting him walking in PT, in vision therapy and movement, we got rid of the red and everything else. His cortical grays are now in the 95th percentile, palidum is actually within the 40th percentile. The primary mode has gone up to 71st percentile. That’s lovely. ‘Cause you really don’t wanna see degeneration in your motor neurons. And again, Eric, you’re nodding your head because you’re like, that’s not what I was taught. You were taught the gray matter goes you’re done.
You’re gone. Yeah.
Right. And I had the same bias and it took me a while to actually look at these and say, oh, it’s not just I can understand the blue going down. So that’s like a sponge was squeezing it out. No one told me that couldn’t happen. But I’ve been told my whole life that gray matter when you lose it, you’re in trouble and I’m showing you absolutely not is. And supplying oxygen doesn’t just mean hyperbaric. It means getting people up, walking, moving, getting blood flow with people who have low blood pressure and getting some exercise going. So this is another. And you would say look at this and this is fairly miraculous. Now it’s like, I’m showing now your inflammation, neuro inflammation but yes. Now we can see the mold picture, but we have your brain working at a much better level because you do not want more red.
I showed you the worst case first scenario, that one is hard to reverse. And then this is the last one I’m gonna show. And again this is a 65 year old. And again, we considered that slightly elderly now. I wouldn’t think he thought so, he’s an executive. And he was though feeling he had mild cognitive issues. He just really knew he wasn’t as sharps as he used to be and SARS had been diagnosed. Lyme had been thought about. So these were done by somebody who sent them to me because a lot of times now I will be consulting for people who get these and aren’t quite sure what they’re seeing. We also can run software to show improvements a little more easily than eyeballing it. And in 2020 you can see again, more red than you’d wanna see. His cortical gray was the 22nd percentile where I do get worried. And when I see it that that number, I’m usually thinking there’s Lyme or infection going on.
Unless it’s some severe POTS case, I come to that conclusion that that’s the most common cause just mold doesn’t bring it down there. But infection does. His temporal lobes, that’s like your mood regulation has a lot to do with hearing, it’s in the third percentile that does not look good. And the entorhinal was the 11th percentile. The entorhinal is that deteriorates is considered pre-Alzheimer’s. It’s linked to smell and we know smell starts to go, but that would be considered a warning sign classically for Alzheimer’s. And he had a family history. So he was right to be concerned, okay? And then 2021, they did it and you can see, and they were doing basically a full Bredeson protocol, which I’ll show you, is you can see a lot of this red is gone, okay?
His cortical gray has come up to 61 percentile. And I look at that besides the hippocampus and his hippocampus had actually gained like 10 points too, which is really important for like 59 to 69, the cerebral white is down, it’s 78th percentile, that’s come down. The cerebellar white had come down. The primary motor had gone up to 71%, which was good. The temporal lobes were at 36 percentile, that’s not supposed to happen, right Eric? I mean you could say like, that doesn’t happen.
No. It’s amazing because, I mean like we talk about neuroplasticity, but that always suggests that something else took over the function, but here you restoration of tissue mass.
Yeah, exactly. And right. And you have to sit there and think, and that’s why I’m saying I didn’t catch that at first because it just wasn’t in my mindset that that would happen.
And I think he was a TBI patient. See if I can find if he was someone I remember who had had a concussion in a bar fight and we had to find it on here in his ventricular asymmetry because he was in an age like in his 20s or something. It just didn’t compute that even though we had to go to like NYU, to Bellevue I think, get it fixed. But that was a problem. So I think that may have contributed to some of the issues he was seeing. Yeah.
Can you speak to some of the asymmetry other than, in the ventricles, like one of the thing you often notice is significant asymmetry in some of the parts of the brain. Are those are almost always you feel related to past trauma?
No. I mean, we have software that can kind of go through and tell us how much like asymmetry there is, like 20% differences, 30% differences, you’ll see 60 and 80% differences.
And I start looking at it, ’cause A we don’t know what a brain is like when they’re born. We know our brains are never totally similar. And I think there are genetic, you talk to parents who may have had learning difficulties or processing and I’ll put that in as like, that might be part of what we’re seeing. But my major conclusion is its infection, is like what else basically eats or destroys different parts of the brains at different rates. So I’ll see some like high patchy asymmetry and maybe a low cortical gray and say, I’m thinking bartonella, I’m thinking Lyme. And we definitely wanna check for that.
So, just trying to keep this a little more elementary for people. But yes, you can look at that and just say like, well, this is sort of bizarre because you have, like the primary motor is 12% on one side and like 80% on the other. And that doesn’t happen. One person I got yesterday was like that was lefthanded. So there would be some asymmetry, but that is it and also a blood flow difference. But POTS I don’t think is going to be on both sides, but if it’s a CCI issue and I’ve had some of those where, if we’re cutting it off on only one side, when you have compression of the cord or compression of the cerebral arteries as they go in, I think that definitely contributes too. And we do see a change over time. We see it get better a fair amount, and then you see some things stay that I think may be genetics. So that’s what I’m looking at when I’m looking at that. But it’s always, when I look at that I usually wanna go back and confirm it certainly with better testing.
Yeah I know. It’s just an area that just begs for a lot more data and a lot more looking for what’s underlying these things. Yeah.
Right. And sometimes you do get histories though of both. I mean, in fact a lot of times you get TBI histories with infection histories, with mold and you’re looking at all of it too. And I would say a couple of those there that was true.
Yeah. But thinking in terms of things that we, blood flow both in and out and neurologic flow in and out, it’s just, boy. Lots of things to look at.
There is, but if you’ve seen it for a while, you begin to really could be able to go through it at least major outlines. And then you can look at different parts of the brain. I saw something like palatal recently, it was in the 99th percentile. Most of the regions, he had had a severe accident. In fact, when I looked at his skull, it was actually misshapen. I mean, I could look there and just say, well, that doesn’t look right. But he would tell me, I can’t feel my limbs at all. I can’t feel anything in space at all. That is palatal. So they’re good points. I wanted to make the point here with the person who is a 65 year old and he is getting treatment with hyperbaric I think bartonella, and we’re trying to get another one. Is he got the improvement? It’s a long list of supplements, okay?
He’s a compliant person. He does not wanna lose what he has. And he hasn’t. And so he is doing KetoFLEX diet. He was doing high end intensity interval training, which is what Bredeson really likes, is where you just do the activities so that you have pulse very high activity. A lot of my patients honestly with chronic fatigue are not gonna be doing that. We’re very happy to get them up and walking and doing some gentle chi kung. But the APEN patients are somewhat different. Their bodies don’t hurt. They don’t seem to have the amount of fatigue many of my patients had. So this has happened. Lyme and mold treatment, multiple supplements, here you can see from different categories of, despite everything mitochondrial mast cell infection, removing toxins. And this list changed fairly frequently. I believe he was doing some stress management, which is another word. It wasn’t really therapy. It really was more stress management. He was doing the brain training HQ to make the brain work better.
And I think that can be very useful too, is just focus training. Its just the number of people who would do that as small. And they tend to be executives, people already whose brains were working pretty well, who are willing to do that. Optimizing sleep and we’re gonna talk about that, is incredibly important. And hormone optimization and essentially Bredesen protocol. You are fixing everything you can find and making people work harder than they’ve worked and really getting blood flow going and really getting the diet very antiinflammatory. But you end up with that. I mean, take a look, it’s a tremendous amount of improvement there and he hasn’t even done at that point I believe, Lyme treatment or hyperbaric or his PK that he was doing was oral, not IV. So these are all things that people will tell you will give you more improvements. Right. And you’re looking at me, Eric, like really? Was it the IV one? And yeah.
No. I mean, it’s just so impressive. It gives me hope. I mean, I’ve always thought we could reverse things and I’ve seen things reversed, but I haven’t done enough before and after NeuroQuants, I think that’s something we need to do.
Yeah, it is. And then it is helpful. So it leads me to a question is like, why is this important? A lot of people don’t do it because they don’t feel comfortable. They know they don’t know how to read them, or they think it’s very expensive. And I like to say, in Arizona, it’s $350 in the winter season and it’s gotten down to 277 in summer, that’s less than the cost of the micotox test, that’s cash. And that we can get that in Southern California too. So there’s a lot of padding on the cost of MRIs and this is a really good price and should be at that price.
Everyone should have that as part of their training, especially when it’s chronic and complex. And you’re really not quite sure what’s going on. So it’s a warning and we do get a lot of people whose parents have Alzheimer’s who are like, yes, let’s get that because I’ll get 40 year olds whose hippocampus is in the less than the 10th percentile. There’s a family history. And that’s a person who now is very motivated to work harder than they’re used to working at their health. Also, most of my patients obviously, ’cause I’m a psychiatrists come with psychiatric syndromes. They’ve been called psychiatric, unfortunately in legal realm and in disability realms, the word psychiatric means, hey, we have no responsibility for you. It’s your problem. It’s not ours, right? Is if you’re getting disability, they knock you down to two years, that’s it.
Instead of giving you full disability. In the legal realm it’s like how can you know this person’s crazy? We don’t have anything to do with it, the mold in their wall had nothing to do with it. Lots of these arguments are made and I get to refute them by showing that, hey, there’s real neurological dysfunction here. This is a disordered brain. You show some of these seas of blues, and there’s no way you can keep arguing that there’s not a toxic problem going on with neuro inflammation. It’s not just whatever craziness is that you don’t wanna pay for, that’s not the problem for this person. And I’m being sarcastic because I think most psychiatric illness is gonna be neuro inflammation. And I like NeuroQuants, because when I got better at doing them, I can give people a much more refined understanding than depression or anxieties. Look at that amygdala, it’s running the show for you and your frontal lobes are a little small and they’re not giving many breaks here. And so we can work with that instead of just saying, you have like bipolar or impulse control issues.
Yeah. And I think there’s nothing like seeing a test that just gives you that space to get outside of yourself.
Yeah. Right. I know a lot of things have been thrown at you. I know there’s been a lot of gas lighting. I know for some reason, most doctors with no training in psychiatry feel perfectly qualified to comment on psychiatric symptoms in patients they don’t understand. It’s like, there’s no training, but we know this is anxiety honey. And then there are multiple ways they have for fixing it. And they never bother to look for POTS. That’s really a common classic one. And so again, it’s obviously a little easier to get people to buy into the idea of trauma and safety and limbic retraining when they can see their brain is just looking like every other brain that has limbic dysregulation. And then again, the big one is the documents improvement. Which is a very big deal for a lot of people, everybody. We’ve treatments, probably have had a lot of people talking about treatments. And I don’t think I have anything particularly special here for the brain. I like the usual fish oils. I like SPM now.
Perhaps more than fish oil when it’s really acute, because I find that acutely it’s purified fish oil and it works faster and is more specific. So I use SPM. Curcumin and resveratrol really helps that blood brain barrier in people where we’re seeing there’s a lot of swelling when they have elevated MMP-9’s ’cause MMP-9 is a marker for the blood brain barrier permeability. You can watch that go down with resveratrol. And then diet, diet is everything. And thinking magnesium, those are simple things, but a lot of people just have never gotten the measured or people measure them once and don’t keep at it. I’m measuring a lot of copper now because everyone has taken zinc for COVID. They didn’t take copper announcing really a lot of low coppers and you need copper for the brain to work correctly too.
So again it’s just, the diet is gonna be anti inflammatory, which is usually low carb and increased good fats and lots of good fats and olive oils, fossil lipids, fish oils, all those things are gonna help that myelin sheath and help the brain detoxify faster. And sleep. And so getting sleep better is part of getting the brain better. And it’s one of the best tools we have to get your own body to clean it out, using the lymphatic system, using lymphatics. So I will work on sleep as fast as I can because if a person’s not sleeping, it’s again, we’re throwing a lot of supplements at people that the body doesn’t have any room to really use them because they can’t even detoxify the brain.
So I will work with sleep and general with women I’m gonna love progesterone, which is just the easiest thing to do. Niacinamide, which is kind of underutilized, breaks down glutamate and glutamate toxicities is a enormous problem. And a lot of the anxiety we see and glutamate does destroy brain tissue too. There are some meds I’ll use that remeron is very antihistaminegic. And so when I have somebody who’s not eating in particular and not sleeping, it really should be the med of choice because it will increase appetite. And a very low dose is like 7.5 or half of that will really bring around sleep fairly quickly when there’s a mast cell issue.
Yeah. I think clinically its funnily one of the better tolerated of the antidepressants that are out there. Yeah.
Yeah. And you don’t give it to someone who’s like 100 pounds overweight. That’s a big mistake. But for a lot of people who the weight is becoming an enormous issue, you may have to hospitalize them because the weight loss itself, the very reactive ones you can’t eat. That should be the med of choice. And the other one that’s very underutilized is nortriptyline which a lot of people don’t realize is an H1, H2, and H3 blocker. And again, that’s a low dose treatment like 10 milligrams. Like when I was using it for depression, it’d be 150 to 200 milligrams, but at 10 milligrams, 20 milligrams, it really can help migraines and migraines are pretty destructive to the brain.
They’re not benign. And so nortriptyline is one of my favorites too, for antihistaminergic. Seroquel is antihistaminergic. So those are okay. Melatonin, many people use magnesium. Sleep routine everyone tries. And then some of the peptides may start to help too. But these are just things people may not be thinking of much, which again can be used and can be very useful. And again, not permanently, not the rest of your life, but enough to get sleeping and start the process of detoxification and beginning to rest and digest so your body can start to heal. And CBD and PEA as bioactive lipids is one of the best combinations that has come out in the last few years is I use that for almost everybody with mast cells. I use a lot of luteolin for mast cell too, but that combination I think is very helpful to the brain. Very helpful to fight and flight. And that’s not something that makes people high, but it starts to really help pain with the PEA. And it’s really absorbed with the CBD. And phosphatidylcholine, many people use that for the oral PK protocol and staff.
And again, I’ve shown orally it can be useful, although most people say you need to do IV. It’s very hard to find IVs, especially during COVID, it was really hard. So those are things again to think about. And then just to end is I’m a very big believer that body work has to be a very big part of this. Body work meaning integration, really of the mind with the body. A lot of people, especially in fight and flight are living in their mind. Their fears are not real, but they seem very real. It’s perceptual. And the body itself is the most unsafe place in the world to them. Every time they feel their body, something new has gone wrong and they do not wanna be there.
Yet getting into your body is probably how you actually feel a sense of safety. And I give a good story here when I go into this is, one of my patients came to me as a young guy. He had end up in jail because he was very convinced his neighbors were doing bad things to his house. He lived with his mother and the neighbors were making noise and he was very angry. And anyway, the sheriff came one night and he mounted off to the sheriff and ended up in jail, which wasn’t the right place. And then in jail, he did even worse. And he did get released and sent to me, because people realized there was something off about him that he’s paranoia. And so his first diagnosis really was like paranoid schizophrenia. He was the right age, there was a real paranoia. And I did a NeuroQuant, it was one of these 99 sea blues.
Like there was massive neuro inflammation here. We can work on that. And we did. And the guy’s been very compliant with fish oils and some multivitamins they use all the time. He is on fluvoxamine, which we use for COVID, but worked well for OCD. And he did well, and there was some mold, we didn’t deem like major mold, moving out of the house. Mom cleaned up, there probably is still some mold, but the combination got him down. But the treatment I recommended to get detoxes, his very swollen brain. And begin to understand the paranoia and the temporal lobes was I recommend him for lymphatic drainage, which we were just talking about before we had someone very good.
Because again that can start to move the lymph here and relieve some of the pressure. And most everyone is gonna be complaining about pain back here, which is the cerebellum, which is really swollen. He had a very big cerebellum too. And he actually went willingly. He was like a 24 year old male. And he was going and going every week and he was getting better. And I’m thinking it’s the meds we’re doing right and everything. But then I realized like a couple of years later, he was still going and he had at that point, it was kind of clear that his diagnosis, probably somewhere on the spectrum, he had done something pretty funny. I’ll never forget, which was he texted his parol officer and asked her out on a date. At which point I realized that there was a social inappropriateness.
A little bit.
Right. And I sort of started to switch it, but he’s continued for like three or four years, four, five, that the light touch had gotten him a sense of bagel tone that I don’t think he had felt before. And he doesn’t know why he’s going. His mother goes with him. But he just actually I think in that setting relaxes and has begun to feel what relaxation is. I don’t have to say, we’re getting you into bagel tone. He’s actually getting it through light touch. And again, it may have been one of the first times, ’cause not everybody’s lucky enough to feel bagel tone in their life. And so he just continues. We don’t say much. It’s like, this is a good outcome. He’s off his jail records, I guess the parole officer forgave him. And he is maintained with some low fish oil and a little bit he’s off any antipsychotics, a little bit of luvox and lymphatic.
And like, yeah, this is something I would love to emphasize to people is that, I’ve always tried to have as many different physical modalities available and remind people that if one person’s touch doesn’t work for you, you have to be open to try another because this body work is crucial for most people who’ve been chronically ill. And unfortunately people are chronically ill as we’ve been discussing, your body is on a high alert. And you’re working and if you go to what I call a regular body worker who hasn’t had experience working with people who have nervous systems like you, you’re often gonna be disappointed and not because they’re bad, just because they’re gonna touch you with a little more force or try to move your system a little faster and you’re gonna flare. So just please.
Totally my experience I say is you can even say it here is avoid rolfing, avoid myofascial. Those are the people who believe everybody is like a linebacker and they’re pressing as hard as they can and releasing incredible amount of toxins. Plus setting off danger signals everywhere. Lymphatic drainage, which is the very like touching like nothing is happening, but you feel pleasant and you don’t know why or you feel something happened ’cause you feel so toxic. It’s like, well this must be good, but it’s handleable.
So osteopathic manipulation, I don’t know when I see some of these enormous asymmetries, I see I have no other way to get it better than to say, osteopath craniosacral people understand how to move the meninges and the fascia in a way that helps. And I do have some documentation. I should put it together of people who have shown their asymmetry is decreasing over time and they’re getting that treat. So it’s a very big recommendation for what we call microvascular cerebral edema. And there are very good people in the country. You have to ask around. The Osteopathics Association has a list of people who focus on that and a very well trained, but there are also a number of practitioners who received their training in other ways, who can also be very good. And again, it’s the person, it’s truly the person, as well as the technique they’re using.
It’s the singer, not the song.
So that lymphatic drainage all the time. And then, again, we can talk and I think most people know there are limbic retraining programs that, I tend to recommend the ones that are easier for people to do not harder. So I like things that involve breathing that involve body work. And there are more than the two that are usually recommended. If you look around a number of people are now offering resiliency courses, they may be physical therapists who’ve gone through some of this who are just teaching some ways to quiet that danger signal, using what we call somatic experiencing, which is holding the body in certain ways, beginning to notice the body, beginning to notice your feet on the ground.
Do you feel your feet? You know many people don’t feel their feet? Like they other guy, I wouldn’t have known this person doesn’t feel his arms, doesn’t feel his feet, how is he ever gonna feel safe? He doesn’t have many ways to really feel safe for ground. And so these sorts of things, chi kung I love because it makes the brain use the parts it doesn’t wanna use. All of us have one side that’s not quite as strong. All of us have traumas in our body. I can tell you we’ve fallen off things. We’ve had things happen. We don’t move parts of our body correctly. And when you start to move them, you usually tend to release a lot of sort of bunched up fascia where things are not flowing smoothly.
As that flows smoothly, you’ll see improvement in health in multiple ways. So organic intelligence, somatic experiencing, visual therapy is really important. ‘Cause I can look at the eyes, usually in the temporal lobes in certain parts, it’s where the auditory and visual work together. And you’ll see some really asymmetry. You’ll see some of the smallest numbers in people’s brains there. And it’s a clue to me that person is going to be having problems with accommodation in and out and moving from side to side. And that’s always mixed with, I have a perfect sight. No, you have perfect tunnel vision, okay? But you don’t have perfect sight in making it work in all the ways your site’s supposed to. That relieves a lot of anxiety. And a lot of trauma again is held in the eyes. We know that through EMDR and brain spotting.
So functional neurology can be useful for people who’ve had TBIs, but I don’t recommend that one first because it’s too focused and it’s a little too hard and it leaves people thinking they’re cured when they’re barely rarely are. It’s like, well you’ve done it and passed our test, you’re fixed. And it’s like, no, it hasn’t happened. I want things that really keep addressing the idea. It’s a journey. I can’t tell you how many people have told me I did so and so’s course. Well I did find a change in so and so’s course, I said, you did it, what are you doing now, okay? It’s a journey. You’re still are clearly into it. Oh, I haven’t been doing it every night. It’s like, no, let’s just find some different things and find some different ways that you can incorporate more easily. It’s like every day in every way, you need to be working on this sense of safety and recognizing how often. And actually most of everyone has gone through COVID or I mean the whole pandemic is just so obvious.
All of a us have dysfunctional responses in different ways of freeze where there’s no movement and that’s the person I’ll see in mold treatment who two years later after it’s been diagnosed, they know their major problems is still making their list of what things they’re taking with them when they move out of the house. It’s two years later, this is way too long. The fight and flight are very easy. They’re in panic. They have five doctors on speed dial. They have multiple protocols they’re doing, they always want something more for their guard while sleeping. And they are out of their house the minute there’s a drop of mold or they have again, a couple of IEPs on speed dial. You don’t heal that way too. You have to find this balance, and the balance is gonna be somewhere in here, feeling it for the first time, learning to cultivate it, learning to let go of things that always have you in panic and fear that you can’t let go of.
You don’t need to live in stress all the time. So that’s pretty much where I end. Is just the brain to me is fascinating. The autonomic nervous system coming through the brain stem and how the brain communicates to the body is through the autonomic nervous system. And if you wanna get well, you’re gonna have to talk to your body. You’re going to have to actually make it your friend. And not this enemy that every time you look at it, it’s something else bad has happened. So it’s getting the sense of safety as you heal that I think is where I start to look at my patients who get better is they have a little more patience, a little more resilience and a little more sort of spiritual attitude of like there is a gift here somewhere. I haven’t found it. I’m not lying to you, but I know that there’s something here and they’re not bitter.
And they’re not trying to blame other people for this, it’s they’re working on themselves and they come and they’re very willing to hear what suggestions I might have. And as Erick says, they’re not all gonna work out. You have to find the ones that work for you.
So that’s why NeuroQuant to me is just endlessly exciting. ‘Cause you can see progress and even doctors need to see progress that what we’re doing is working.
Yeah. Hope is what we need just to keep going and see the possibility for healing and I think it’s what you’ve laid out is just a beautiful course and a way for us as physicians and for patients to just guide themselves a bit, and that’s so hard because for so many people they’ve been told for so long that their tests are normal and they’re just neurotic. And we have lots of blood tests now, but the blood tests are often scoffed at, and at least the NeuroQuant is something that’s fairly, even the neurologists don’t know it exists. When they see it, they have to acknowledge that it’s somewhat real.
You would hope. And I’ll tell people again, you’re gonna find the gas lighting there too. Well, I didn’t learn it, therefore it doesn’t exist is an attitude. But there are more neurologists who will look and say, well, that doesn’t look too good. And even psychiatrists tend to be like me the most fascinated, like, wow, you can actually see the amygdala. So yeah, the gas lighting is so pervasive in chronic complex illness that I don’t think there are anybody who’s gone through without having some gas lighting that finding some test that seems validated by multiple ways and seems to be real science. And we can’t say that is mold.
We can say that that is neuro inflammation. And that can certainly be consistent with a lot of your symptoms here, is very helpful. So it’s underutilized and it’s not even expensive. So I think it’s just the brain scares so many people. It just is like, oh, not my favorite subject. Oh, I’m gonna mess up those cranial nerves. What did nine do again? These people are just a little terrified of it yet it’s not nearly as easy as looking at a urinary microtoxin test and saying, yeah, there’s mold, but it gives up to me much more information as to how has mold affected you? Which is the question I’m always asking.
Yeah. Well I thank you, that is the kind of information we need moving forward, is how is it affecting you? And more importantly, there’s inflammation in your brain, let’s see what we can do about it and get it better. And you’ve laid out a really kind of a straightforward beginning course, even if you’re doing it yourself, a lot of these supplements you can play with, hopefully you’re gonna find some good physicians to work with and help guide you through this morass, ’cause it is a mess, not easy.
Yeah, it is definitely a mess and the person who can be somewhat in charge of what they’re doing without totally taking over, allowing some of other opinions to come in it’s gonna be the best. It’s going to end up getting better. ‘Cause so many people really do get better. And that’s what I think I would most like people to hear and show you is yes, people get better and I can tell you, every one of those things I’ve showed you, people were pretty desperate or very desperate in the beginning for any glimmer of hope. I’ve had people see 50 physicians who told them there was no hope, it was psychiatric. And if they just took enough meds, they’d be comfortable pretty much. And only because that wasn’t working, they kept going as the meds were not making them comfortable they gave them suicide ideation and that wasn’t even working, which is when you really lose hope. The psych meds even don’t hold you.
Well that is what is amazing. ‘Cause our patients have the will and that’s impressive sometimes ’cause it’d be easy to give up. So thank you so much, Mary. It has been a real pleasure and hopefully a real learning experience and the great part is that it’s recorded. So you can watch it again. ‘Cause I think this one you’re gonna need to watch a few times. Okay. Thank you so much.