FOCAL BRAIN DYSFUNCTION
The limbic system in our brains serves as an organizer of information presented from sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. In fact, all of the information presented to the brain, either sensory, imaginative, verbal, motor, invisible (electromagnetic, trace chemicals, etc.), internal from hormones, chemicals, etc. and external is processed at some point through the limbic system. It is a pathway between the thinking and acting part of your brain (cortex) and the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus in turn regulates water balance, hunger, thirst, body temperature, circadian rhythms, and hormone production by the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland in turn influences the thyroid, adrenal, testes and ovaries. One can describe it as a communications network between that which is automatic (unconscious or autonomic) and that which becomes physical or emotional behavior.
An injury to the limbic system might cause an abnormal communication of information to higher centers and cause an inappropriate response. For example a slight chemical exposure might be interpreted by the brain as a toxic chemical. Where the limbic system is injured determines the kind of disturbance you might experience. The organic evaluator questionnaire developed by Jay Seastrunk, M.D. II helps direct us to where the brain may be impaired. For example, a temporal lobe injury might cause problems with recalling memories at will. The more items on the questionnaire that apply to you, the more likely you have focal brain dysfunction. A brain SPECT scan may also show a focal brain injury.
The limbic system can be injured by trauma such as a fall, auto accident, an object striking the head, concussion, etc. It may also be injured by a transient lack of oxygen that might occur during surgery, a stroke, overexertion at high altitude, a seizure, childbirth, etc. The limbic system may be injured during an infection either in the brain or near the brain such as meningitis, encephalitis, a severe ear or deep sinus infection, etc. It can be surprising the number of possible initiating or exacerbating events identified with a careful review of your own delivery, childhood, adult life, etc. Many may have seemed minor at the time and taken for granted. Stress, lack of sleep, intake of certain foods, and weather changes seem to make the limbic system more susceptible to improper functioning.
Because the nose allows chemicals to enter the brain directly (olfactory center), chemical sensitivity can develop through a process described as “kindling” and cause the limbic system to send messages making you feel ill. Very low levels of chemicals can thus influence the way we feel. Common symptoms include a sense of imbalance, gastrointestinal disorders, insomnia, being overly emotional, a sense of feeling overwhelmed, poor sleep, impaired memory, etc.
The management of focal brain dysfunction presently includes the use of gabapentin (Neurontin®), a medication licensed by the F.D.A. for epilepsy. Neurontin at relatively high doses seems to allow the brain to function more appropriately and allow healing of the injured or mal-functioning part of the brain. Gabapentin looks very much like the amino acid (leucine), which is essential to humans. It is not metabolized, does not interfere with other medications, is not addictive, and does not cause any long term injury to any of the body organs.
In addition to Gabapentin, a protocol using Frequency Specific Microcurrent has been very helpful for many patients who have had a head injury. Even those who report that the head trauma was minor and they had no symptoms of a concussion are amazed at the response to the Standard Concussion Protocol. They report better mental clarity, sleep, focus, etc. We see changes in their responsiveness to therapy and long standing conditions that had not responded previously.
A final consideration in patients with focal brain injury is the use of Activated Air. See the webpage on this powerful tool that appears to increase brain oxygenation similar to hyperbaric oxygen therapy.