A Functional Approach to the Blood-Brain Barrier in Health and Trauma

Robert G. Silverman, DC, MS, CNS, CCN, CSCS, CKTP, CES, CIISN, DACBN, DCBCN, HKC, FAKTR

Presentation Overview:

The blood brain barrier (BBB) is a physical barrier between the brain and the circulating blood, which restricts the movement of all soluble proteins greater than 400 Da from the blood across to the brain.  Within hours of concussion or other traumatic brain injury (TBI), the BBB and intestinal barrier fail.  This scenario allows for the invasion of intestinal bacterial toxins, neuronal tissue-binding food proteins and cross-reactive food protein antibodies into the once protected nervous system.  Bacterial toxins, some of which cause SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) contribute to systemic inflammation that cyclically keep the intestinal and blood-brain barriers open, even years after the trauma.  Adding further damage, specific proteins, such as gliadin, milk butyrophilin and food aquaporins share homology with human asialoganglioside, myelin, cerebellum, synapsin and the aquaporin, in the astrocytic foot process.  Additionally specific food lectins and agglutinins bind to myelin tissue.  Patients with circulating food antibodies and/or lectins and agglutinins, who experience BBB breakage, are at the risk of reactive antibodies infiltrating the brain and causing neurological tissue damage.  Once environmental trigger antibodies cause tissue damage, neurological autoantibodies can be produced, which will further contribute to the neuroautoimmune process.  It is therefore important to implement a pro-brain dietary protocol and treatment strategy to heal the broken BBB.  By taking proactive strategies, the risk of neurological disease occurring after the concussion or other TBI, can be significantly reduced.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the role of the blood-brain barrier in health and trauma
  2. Discover post-trauma blood brain barrier (BBB) healing protocols
  3. Integrate nutritional protocols for concussion
  4. Expertly assess post-traumatic intestinal and BBB dysfunction
  5. Identify modern lifestyles and environmental triggers that affect the gut to brain axis and contributing to the neuroautoimmune epidemic