Is Your Brain on Fire? the Younger Video Series

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
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Younger, Jarred.PNG
[/fright] In this four-part series of posts we're going to cover Jarred Younger's video series and his thoughts on neuroinflammation, fibromyalgia, ME/CFS and the treatments he believes will work...

I love how Younger plants himself right in front of the camera and talks right at it.

First, he explains how increased temperature is a spot on sign of immune activation; if your temperature is up - whether in your body or brain - your immune system is on fire.

Unfortunately you can't stick a thermometer into your brain - here Younger waves a thermometer at his head - you have to use a big machine - an MRI.

This has been done before, but in contrast to past studies which have measured the temperature of one part of the brain, Younger wants to produce a temperature map of the whole shebang. If he can do that then he can pinpoint the areas of the brain, such as the hypothalamus, that might be inflamed in ME/CFS - something other techniques are not apparently good at doing.

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Thus Younger has found that a couple of ME/CFS patients have higher brain temperatures than healthy controls but much more work is needed. He's also going to snag people with other diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis....

He just got a grant to study this in RA.

The Japanese are currently trying to duplicate their work finding neuroinflammation in ME/CFS and Andrew Lloyd reportedly has his own study going - or soon to be going. All may be using different techniques.

In an interview with Self-Hacked Younger talked about some of the problems with detecting low-levels of inflammation and why he's chosen the path that he did:

We do not yet have, even as researchers, even outside conventional medicine, even the experimental stuff, we do not yet have the ability to (with high resolution) look at inflammation in a living human being. Like I said, the PET stuff, right now, that is very nonspecific and it also has very poor spatial resolution.

So, we can’t say “Oh yeah, look-there’s something going on right here at the hypothalamus.” Now, we’re working towards that, and many groups are, and we might talk about thermometry later, but that’s one way we may get at it-brain temperature.

What we need are more specific-we need tracers that we can inject in someone that can go specifically to a site of inflammation in the brain. Now that’s hard. It has to get through the blood brain barrier, it has to get right at the target, and it has to emit some kind of signal that we can pick up. That is really tricky engineering stuff.
Give us a year or so and we'll probably know a lot about brain inflammation - and that means the microglia - in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Since Younger is looking at a number of different diseases - how the neuroinflammation in ME/CFS and FM compares to that found in them.

Stay tuned for when the study opens up. In the meantime Younger has a Facebook Q&A session on the 27th
 
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Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
"Chronic Brain Inflammation is a Bad Thing" Jarred Younger

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Neuroinflammatory disorders.PNG
[/fright]First there's the normal kind of inflammation which produces swelling, heat and redness in an injured area or in response to an infection. That's all good but if goes on for too long it can damage say, a joint, and cause arthritis, or it can damage the heart tissue and cause heart problems, or it can damage the brain.

Inflammation in the brain is different though. The brain won't get red - at least so far as we can tell - it may get hot but we won't be able to feel it because we don't have heat sensors in our brain, and it won't feel pain.

Instead of feeling heat or pain Younger believes inflammation in the brain produces things like fatigue, depressed mood, cognitive problems, increased sensitivity to pain, etc.

Younger doesn't believe that the neuroinflammation found in ME/CFS and FM is damaging neurons, as occurs in MS. He believes it's causing them to produce fatigue, increase pain sensitivity, etc. in response to cytokines and other factors produced by glial cells.

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[/fleft](One wonders what Avindra Nath will find when he uses stem cells to grow ME/CFS neurons and then tests them in the intramural Clinical Center study. Will they be damaged or whole? Will they be working properly? In contrast to Younger, Nath must believe some damage must be present (???) for him to do this study.)

Now it's Younger's 2015 lecture on the need for a radically different approach to fibromyalgia...
 
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Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
"In order to successfully treat fibromyalgia we are going to have to drastically change our approach to this disorder" Jarred Younger

In 2015 Jarred Younger gave a presentation arguing that FM treatments mostly have it all wrong. FM is not, he rather boldly stated, about dopamine, serotonin or norepinephrine. Nor is about hyperactivated nerves. It's not about any of the pathways that that the approved drugs for FM effect. It's about neuroinflammation.

That neuroinflammation can be produced in several ways. In the Self-Hacked interview Younger proposed two ways it's produced in ME/CFS: by low level infections that are still present, and by infections that were defeated but sensitized the nervous system in the process:

I think, ultimately, when we figure out all of ME/CFS, we’re going to be calling them different things and we’re going to putting them in different directions. There’s gonna be a subset-a large subset-that have latent, low to moderate level infections-viral or bacterial. And the key there is going to be eradicate that virus, eradicate that bacteria, eradicate that trigger. That’s going to be a big group.

There’s going to be another big group that had an infection-maybe they had Lyme Disease or something like that-and that bacteria or that virus is gone but it damaged the immune system response. It basically hyper-sensitized that response.
In order to get at FM we're going to have to develop treatments that can get to the microglia in the brain and turn them off. Younger, though, is thinking much bigger than FM. The same processes, he believes, are occurring in many other diseases including chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, depression, IBS rheumatoid arthritis, autism and traumatic brain injury...

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[/fright]Develop an effective treatment for fibromyalgia and Younger declared you'll have an effective treatment for ME/CFS, IBS, GWS and a lot of other "multisymptom illnesses" as well as adjunctive or add-on treatments for disease like arthritis, RA and MS. All these diseases he believes are driven by inflammatory processes in the brain in some cases and in the body and brain in others.

(The huge array of symptoms that can be produced in ME/CFS, FM, GWS and other diseases has dogged advocates efforts at legitimacy. Researchers simply have not understood how to explain them other than in psychosomatic or psychological terms but Younger believes that microglial activation can cause all of that. In fact he believes that the presence of many unexplainable symptoms is a sign that microglial activation may be present.

The implications of this treatment approach, are, of course huge and the field is wide open.

Younger emphasized that all of the potential treatments for the microglia he was going to talk about were experimental and then the video cut off...but next up we have a video of Younger talking about specific treatments he'd been funded to explore in Gulf War Syndrome.
 
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Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
Treatments

In an earlier video Younger talked about the Fast Track Clinical Trials center he hopes to open up later this year. This study, which features nine treatments being assessed at once - something he called unheard of in the medical world - appears to be a trial run for that endeavor. Younger, in fact, wants to take this study design and apply it to chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia as soon as possible.

This study is on Gulf War Syndrome (GWS). Younger believes the immune systems of Gulf War vets were hit in so many different ways - by vaccinations and an extraordinary array of toxins including the oil fires - that they became sensitized and ready to go off at the slightest provocation. They're still stuck 25 years later.


There are no drugs for GWS and Younger and he didn't want to wait ten years to go through animal studies and then human trials. He wanted to get some answers as soon as possible - and this is how he proposes to do that.

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Younger has identified dozens of potential microglial treatments but he wanted something that could help now. He went through dozens of herbal and botanical options and picked nine which research studies suggested could calm down the microglia and which were available for use. All have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects; they include

  • Curcumin - long time anti-inflammatory derived from tumeric
  • Resveratol - recently successful in an FM mouse study
  • Reishi mushrooms - neuroprotective
  • Epimedium - old time botanical
  • Stinging nettle
  • Luteolin - used by Theorharides as well
  • Pycnogenol -
  • Boswellia (frankincense) - old time anti-iniflammatory
  • Fisetin - anti-inflammatory from strawberries
It's a nine-month study. Each participant will try at least three of these supplements and will track their symptoms on a smartphone. Check out the clinic - see our Resource page - for more.

See the Jarred Younger Neuroinflammation, Pain and Fatigue Lab ME/CFS and FM Resource page on Health Rising for more on Younger's work.
 
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Issie

Well-Known Member
I'm using three of those and off my meds (mostly, occasionally need them - but not daily). I do think inflammation is a key problem.
Issie
 

JWest

Member
I'm curious why the top ME/CFS researchers and doctors almost always focus on treatments being a pill or supplement when there are so many patients, at least in my circle of friends, that while not necessarily curing ME/CFS, greatly improve their symptoms by avoiding triggering things like foods (gluten, dairy, and sugar for example) or environmental things like strongly scented or chemically products or environmental things like toxic molds.

All these things I've just mentioned are known contributors to inflammation and it would seem prudent to attack the problem from both ends - first by removing the factors that are contributing to the inflammation and only then give supplements to help the body reduce any residual inflammation.

I also wish Dr Younger would also talk about Multiple Chemical Sensitivity which many patients with ME/CFS, FM and GWS suffer from to one degree or another, and in some cases can be the most debilitating symptom.

In my experience it is definitely feels related to brain inflammation. All that said I do think Dr Younger is doing a great job and has created an amazing research program, I hope he is able to continue his work for a long, long time.
 
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Lane

New Member
FYI: There is also a 2nd YouTube Q&A Session on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 @ 2 p.m. CST.
 

Tetley

New Member
I'm using three of those and off my meds (mostly, occasionally need them - but not daily). I do think inflammation is a key problem.
Issie
Hi Lissie . I wonder if you would share which three you use and how you came to choose them.? I certainly think this looks a very hopeful way forward.
P
 

AnnaL

New Member
I took six of these on a regular basis for one year: curcumin, resveratrol, reishi, luteolin, pycnogenol and boswelia. Today, I only take curcumin. It does help ... until it doesn't.

Then I have to lay off it for a week or few before starting back up. It was most effective for me at 8g/day, 2g/4xday. However, consistent effectiveness only lasted a few months. It has never been consistently effective since then. I tried numerous brands including a curcuminoid oil. The oil was effective, but hurt my stomach. Of the dozen others I tried, one brand, Physician Naturals was far and away the best.

I tried the five other supplements alone and in various combinations over a six to eight week period before taking them all in combo for one year, but found them of no benefit. No supplement has produced enough positive effect to allow me to go off my meds. All in all, it was a significant expense for naught. Except the curcumin. I chose those supplements and others I took for their purported anti-inflammatory and/or energy production properties.

Today I take high quality multi-vitamins, magnesium, ATP, ubiquinol, curcumin, B12 and my prescription meds including LDN. From the start and to this day, the most effective medication I take for brain inflammation is clarithromycin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that aren't well understood.

Curcumin runs a distant second, but still better than anything else I've tried. The LDN is doing something, it's helped with the brain fog and pain, but I've only been on it three plus months, upping my dosage by 1mg when I feel the benefits beginning to fade.

I wish there were a simple answer, such as a supplement, but i sincerely doubt there is.
 
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Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
I took six of these on a regular basis for one year: curcumin, resveratrol, reishi, luteolin, pycnogenol and boswelia. Today, I only take curcumin. It does help ... until it doesn't.

Then I have to lay off it for a week or few before starting back up. It was most effective for me at 8g/day, 2g/4xday. However, consistent effectiveness only lasted a few months. It has never been consistently effective since then. I tried numerous brands including a curcuminoid oil. The oil was effective, but hurt my stomach. Of the dozen others I tried, one brand, Physician Naturals was far and away the best.

I tried the five other supplements alone and in various combinations over a six to eight week period before taking them all in combo for one year, but found them of no benefit. No supplement has produced enough positive effect to allow me to go off my meds. All in all, it was a significant expense for naught. Except the curcumin. I chose those supplements and others I took for their purported anti-inflammatory and/or energy production properties.

Today I take high quality multi-vitamins, magnesium, ATP, ubiquinol, curcumin, B12 and my prescription meds including LDN. From the start and to this day, the most effective medication I take for brain inflammation is clarithromycin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that aren't well understood.

Curcumin runs a distant second, but still better than anything else I've tried. The LDN is doing something, it's helped with the brain fog and pain, but I've only been on it three plus months, upping my dosage by 1mg when I feel the benefits beginning to fade.

I wish there were a simple answer, such as a supplement, but i sincerely doubt there is.
Thanks for sharing AnnaL. I agree there is no simple answer and I've had similar responses with supplements; they work until they don't and sometimes they even start making things worse.

Interesting that an antibiotic would be helpful; some of them do have microglial inhibiting properties.
 

Issie

Well-Known Member
Hi Lissie . I wonder if you would share which three you use and how you came to choose them.? I certainly think this looks a very hopeful way forward.


P
I'm using Curcurmin and turmeric, frankincense, and mushrooms of that list. I'm using other things too. As one other comment above stated - I think avoidance of triggers is also key. I'm also doing cleanses for mold. In fact the title of this article made me think this is what the article would be about. It's not just these three things helping. It's a combination of things.

Issie
 

Gijs

Active Member
If higher brain temperatures are found in ME/CFS patiënts will the medical community accept this as evidence that it is a somatic illness? If not, these results will have no meaning for us.
 

lisapetrison

Active Member
Here's an article on a similar topic by Dr. Mary Ackerley, called "Brain on Fire: The Role of Toxic Mold in Triggering Psychiatric Symptoms."

www.paradigmchange.me/wp/fire/

Of course, as discussed by Jarred Younger, inflammation can be related to all kinds of other symptoms too.
 

AnnaL

New Member
Thanks for sharing AnnaL. I agree there is no simple answer and I've had similar responses with supplements; they work until they don't and sometimes they even start making things worse.

Interesting that an antibiotic would be helpful; some of them do have microglial inhibiting properties.
If the clarithromycian is indeed microglial inhibiting, then I'm up to three: LDN, trazadone and possibly the clarithromycin. I take a low dose of trazadone as a sleep aid. The LDN has disrupted my sleep so significantly, I went from 50mg to 75mg of trazadone. Helps somewhat for the most part, but often enough doesn't. Not interested in a higher dosage because it leaves a nasty/fatiguing drug hangover. (I've tried all the natural sleep aids that I can tolerate and none have helped.) What I am interested in is trazadone's microglial inhibiting properties combined with that of LDN. I'll give the LDN a year. It has helped most significantly with myofacial pain allowing me to almost -- but not quite -- eliminate the (low dose) tramadol I was taking. That alone may be reason enough to continue with LDN ... provided it doesn't lose its efficacy. I have noticed the benefits fading once I adjust to a dosage. After a month or so on 3mg, I just upped to 4mg when I felt the pain beginning again. Always a balancing act!
 

Katie

Active Member
Excellent article. Sounds like Dr. Younger's on to something with the increased temperature (possibly brain) and inflammation.
I've complained for years that I have low grade inflammation almost everywhere. I can tell when my rings are tight then loose, shoes are tight then loose etc. My left knee gets puffy but never enough for my family doctors (many locums for my regular dr.) to do anything about it. Plus I can't tolerate NSAIDS.
I also wonder why some meds work well, sometimes for years then they don't or don't work at all etc. We really do need epigenetics to solve our individual medical needs (targeted pharmaceuticals).
In the meantime I will add some of these supplements to my others (acetyl-L-carnitine, B12-methocobalamine injections, B complex, ubiquinol, milk thistle etc.)
 

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
If higher brain temperatures are found in ME/CFS patiënts will the medical community accept this as evidence that it is a somatic illness? If not, these results will have no meaning for us.
I don't see how they couldn't; it's a physiological finding. Plus if it shows up in other diseases like MS, RA and Parkinsons - perhaps in other parts of the brain - we'll be in good company.
 

Victor Maalouf

Active Member
Sorry, I've been a bit irritated lately, but what a joke.

Younger is no different from the rest of the other doctors and researchers chasing mysterious spooky causes like "neuroinflammation" and "microglia" or "infections" that can't actually be seen or felt by normal people. No no, you need a machine that costs millions of dollars to see it!

It's so disgusting and depressing. It's these kinds of approaches that have kept real progress in these syndromes from being made all these years. They're distractions.

Younger says others have gotten it wrong, well he's gotten it wrong too. It's nice that he's seen the similarities between syndromes, but just pinning it on vague "inflammation" is a copout, because that's just obvious. Ok, so it's not that he's gotten it "wrong" necessarily. Brain inflammation is a downstream effect. The question is WHY is the chronic inflammation happening?
 
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