The gut and the brain are two separate, but connected, organs. When the gut is dysfunctional, due to microbiota imbalance, it has been shown to manifest as a neurological disorder. Equally, within hours of a traumatic brain injury, the gut is inflamed. When the gut in inflamed, the intestinal barrier breaks allowing for the translocation of microbial antigens into the bloodstream. In response to the microbial or dietary antigens, the immune system produces autoreactive antibodies, which can infiltrate the broken blood-brain barrier and trigger neuroautoimmunity. The dysfunction of the blood-brain barrier and nervous system fuels the gut dysfunction, which fuels the brain dysfunction. This cyclic phenomenon can lead to neurodegeneration, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive decline and depression. Therefore, any treatment, or prevention, of neuroautoimmunity, must include a thorough examination of gut function. Clinical assessments for intestinal barrier and blood-brain barrier, systemic bacterial toxins, predictive antibodies for neuroautoimmunity and treatment protocols for healing barriers and eliminating gut dysbiosis, will be discussed. Devastating disorders involving neurodegeneration are preventable.
By the end of this presentation the attendee should understand: