Brain Health Articles
Pamela Costello MD, PhD
Holistic Neurological Surgeon, Neuroscientist
Creating our best brain health in 2014
Every man can, if he so desires, become the sculptor of his own brain.
– Santiago Ramon y Cajál, Neuroscientist, Nobel Laureate Medicine, Physiology (1852-1934)
As a holistic physician, neurological surgeon, and a neuroscientist, additionally trained in biological and energy medicine, I offer a comprehensive healing approach to identify and correct root imbalances in the brain and nervous system. After completing a neurotoxin burden assessment, a customized repair program allows the patient to ‘sculpt’ their best brain/neurological health.
For the New Year, I’d like to offer an option of health restoration to those who want the highest health of their brain and nervous systems, and to those struggling with their health in general. I’ve outlined below a list of questions that is part of my patient evaluation:
1. Neurotoxin Burden: Do you have mercury/silver fillings? Do you know the amount of heavy metals, pesticides, solvents, e-smog, radiation, etc, that is acting to prematurely age your brain? Are you aware that a vast amount of retained toxins, acquired while you were in your mother’s womb, and throughout childhood, is adversely affecting your neurological and physical health?
2. Environmental Exposures: Are your home and work environments clean of molds, solvents, and other threats to your good brain function? Do your personal hygiene, make up, hair coloring, laundry/household cleaning products contain solvents, heavy metals, or other toxic agents? Electromagnetic fields from electrical lines, lights, computers, cell phones, microwaves, plus infectious opportunists and allergens, also burden our immune and nervous systems.
3. Dental Health: As biological dentist Dr. Bill Wolfe says, “Your teeth are a big piece of the health care puzzle.” Are chronic infections, toxic fillings, root canals, implants, or jaw malalignment compromising your best brain health? (See www. drwolfe.com).
4. Dietary Evaluation: Eat organically and with the intention of providing your brain with good fuel sources, rather than short term energy fixes. What are your greatest food sensitivities? The immune system and nervous system are inextricably linked. What antagonizes your immune system also affects your brain.
5. Physical Exercise: Regular exercise increases endorphins (natural morphine-like substances) and strengthens the heart and cerebral circulation, mobilizing brain damaging toxins, which can be excreted via sweating. A simple daily walk is a gentle, yet effective start. For a more focused program, exercise therapist Sean Plake, CPT, advises to start off with 2-3 days/week with 20 min. of controlled bodyweight exercises followed by 15-20 min. of cardio/walking...gradually progressing to 30 min. each’resistance and cardiovascular exercises (firstname.lastname@example.org).
6. Adequate Rest: Sleep apnea? Insomnia? Nighttime pain syndromes? Restless legs? Neck pain? Such issues keep you from the recuperative rest your brain and body need. All can be successfully managed with a comprehensive neurological approach.
7. Proper Elimination: Keeping the bowels emptied on a regular basis keeps excreted toxins from being reabsorbed, decreasing the level of neuroactive toxins.
8. Mental Exercise: Exercise the brain with daily intellectual exercises such as crossword puzzles or reading, strengthening your neural network.
9. Spiritual/Inspirational Support: Meditation and prayer raise your consciousness, bringing you a sense of well being and peace. Such practices bring you joy and inspiration. Listening to or creating music, art, speeches, lectures, or seeing plays which inspire you, reinforce the pathways of higher cognitive functioning, supporting the brain’s longevity.
10. Attitude Towards Life: Do the challenges of life appear to you as stumbling blocks or stepping stones? Your attitude towards adversity dramatically influences your sense of wellness. Positive thinking strengthens the mind and the immune system.
Understanding the Environmental Influences of Neurotoxins on Your Brain: Radiation
As diseases of the nervous system escalate, reaching epidemic proportions, understanding the equally escalating causal factors that disturb our brains becomes increasingly important. Radiation is proving to be a major source of brain dysfunction and disease. The global voice on an overwhelming and dangerous tragedy remains largely silent as to what has happened in Japan and what continues to increasingly threaten our planet and our nervous systems.
An ongoing leak of Plutonium isotopes from the Fukushima Power Plant heavily damaged by the March 2011 tsunami is globally contaminating the planet with substances which are extremely neurotoxic, yet difficult to diagnose and monitor.
Please see video of Fukushima Report from Investigative Reporter Harvey Wasserman
While much of the country is aware of the fateful tsunami that ravaged the coast of Japan in 2011, most are not aware of the fallout of this tragedy on a global scale. The Fukushima Power plant was not sufficiently protected during the tsunami, having ignored the Japanese Nuclear Regulatory Commission demands that a proper sea wall be built to protect the plant from just such natural accidents. As a result, the plant was demolished and three of the nuclear core reactors melted down, due to the cooling system being damaged.
Subsequently, the plant has leaked highly radioactive Plutonium isotopes directly into the air, as well as continuously into the Pacific Ocean and globally via air currents and rain water. The levels of radiation reaching beyond the Japanese coast have been estimated at varying degrees from ten to thousand fold increases of levels considered dangerous for human exposure. Unfortunately, radioactive fallout carried around the globe by trade winds and weather patterns has not been adequately addressed.
What is the harm of radioactive fallout or of any form of radiation to the human nervous system and body? Our brains are electrical organs, acting as both generators and receivers. Radiation toxicity is absorbed and creates an electrical blockage or interference to normal neurological function, as well as damages our genetics and the DNA carried on to our future generations. Although our nervous systems can and do suffer numerous insults which act to create neurological inflammation and dysfunction, radiation exposure from the environment is one insult for which it is critical to maintain high surveillance.
What to do? We can minimize our exposure and maximize clearing of the radiation which we do absorb. Knowledge of the radiation issue is the first step, and managing the issue is second. Such management would include minimizing exposure to ionizing (X-rays, gamma rays, and microwaves) and non-ionizing (EMF - computers, cellphones, WiFi, and all electronic devices) sources of radiation. Also, avoidance of all microwaved food is critical, with removal of microwaves from your home and work environments; replacement with convection or toaster ovens is an easy solution. An important dietary consideration is minimizing consumption of seafood from contaminated ocean sources, preferring inland Alaskan waterways or Arctic wild-caught seafood sources and checking carefully the sources of fish oil and other ocean derived supplements.
Our nervous systems and our DNA are being bombarded by these damaging elements, therefore reduction of our exposure, and clearance of what we've already absorbed, is mandatory to survive and thrive in today's environment. Please don't assume that this is not a global threat and life-changing issue nor trust you or your children's future to the ill-informed or those who are denying this global tragedy. Be a voice of awareness and change, and minimize your risk of radiation-induced illness.
1. Aluminum-free baking soda - add to wet toothbrush, prior to toothpaste, daily when brushing teeth. Also, gargle and swirl in mouth daily, then spit out.
2. Wash face and neck with baking soda daily. It neutralizes radiation, removes toxins from the skin, and is a skin softener and exfoliant.
3. Use 1/2 - 1/4 cup of baking soda in a foot bath, or 1 - 2 cups in bath, or use as a detergent/skin softener when showering. Sprinkle directly onto skin or onto washcloth, and use as a cleanser and detoxification. Also, sprinkle in shoes and sneakers to pull toxins and radiation from feet.
4. Wash all laundry with 1/4 cup for small loads and 1/2 cup for medium to large loads. Baking soda is a water softener, so less detergent will likely be needed. This provides a radiation barrier for you in your clothes, but also acts a neutralizing agent in your sheets and towels.
5. Use a small amount of baking soda as an alternative to underarm deodorant. It detoxifies your upper body, but is also a great deodorant and antiperspirant.
6. Check your Iodine levels by checking your daily body temperature. Lower basal body temperature (the body's temperature when you first wake up) can indicate low levels of iodine. We need iodine to convert thyroid hormone to its active form, but Iodine also blocks radioactivity from being absorbed. Our bodies do not make Iodine, and the common dietary sources of Morton iodized salt, shellfish and seaweed, are all poor options at present. Iodine drops or tablets can be used as a good supplement.
7. If you feel toxic or stressed, a pinch of aluminum free-free Iodine in your drinking water will reduce your acidity and help clear radiation toxins.
8. There are agents that work to neutralize all forms of radiation. Two good commercially available sources are "Radinex” by Bioresource's/Pekana and "Envi-Rad" by Byron White Formulas. They are herbal/homeopathic formulations, which are internationally available and quite effective.
If you'd like a neurotoxic evaluation and a detailed, customized treatment plan for managing radiation exposure, please contact my office at 505-503-8325.