Brain health and awarEness for fighters and combat sport athletes.
Let's try to be smarter about being stupid!
A coach's Dilemma
Throughout my 15 years training in MMA, concerns about the consequences of repetitive brain injury have been ever present. While those worries have waxed and waned, often depending on my training intensities, news cycles and personal life circumstances, they have spanned across three distinct stages.......Continue reading....
Info on Recognizing the signs of concussion and return-to-play protocols
Mayo Clinic - Signs, symptoms and diagnosis of concussionLink to Article
BMJ- Concussion management in combat sportsLink to Article
2016 - Consensus statement on concussion in sport.Link to Article
CDC - Managing return to activitiesLink to Article
Brain health Quick reads
Everyone knows that tobacco products are bad for your health, and even the new e-cigarettes may have harmful toxins. However, according to research at Texas A&M, it turns out the nicotine itself -- when given independently from tobacco -- could help protect the brain as it ages, and even ward off Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease.
Let there be light!
In the past decade, researchers and clinicians have been studying the use of light devices to affect healing in the brain for concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI), PTSD, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, and dementia. Numerous clinical trials are ongoing, with initial findings showing positive results. Most of the research studies are using light therapy devices which are placed on the head, to deliver light therapy through the skull.
Sounds too good to be true?
A new discovery for treating dementia that defies received wisdom by combining two formerly unrelated areas of research: brain waves and the brain’s immune cells, called microglia. It’s an important finding, but it still requires the buy-in and understanding of researchers to achieve its true potential. The history of brain waves shows why.
CBD and Concussion
Researchers also have been conducting studies to learn more about brain injuries, so they can understand the causes and develop new, more effective treatments. One brain injury treatment that is showing promise is cannabidiol, or CBD, which is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid molecule produced by cannabis.
The magic of mushrooms!
Lion’s mane mushrooms (Hericium erinaceus) are white, globe-shaped fungi that have long, shaggy spines. People can eat them or take them in the form of supplements. Research suggests that they may offer a range of health benefits, including reduced inflammation and improved cognitive and heart health.
The interest in psychedelic medicine – particularly psilocybin, a pro-drug derived from some 200 varieties of the so-called magic mushrooms – stems from multiple factors. Notably, decades of research into psilocybin by reputable universities suggests it may offer therapeutic benefits for patients diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, depression, anxiety, PTSD and similar conditions.
nac, fish oil and ginkgo!
A significant study has found that the deleterious effects of traumatic brain injury in American football players can be mitigated using a natural regimen of weight loss (if needed), fish oil, vitamins, and brain-enhancing supplements including ginkgo biloba. The positive results could help reverse brain damage in contact sport athletes, alcohol and drug addicts, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and people who have had brain damage from concussions.
Eat yer broccoli! (Sulforaphane)
There is a growing body of evidence which suggests that dietary components can help prevent AD. One such group of nutrients that are linked to reduced cognitive decline are cruciferous vegetables, e.g., broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. This study further strengthens the notion that sulforaphane acts through several mechanisms to help prevent AD. Our parents always said broccoli was good for us, perhaps it has even more health benefits than we once thought, especially for our brain health and memory.
Healthy levels of glutamate in the brain are necessary for normal brain function, but excess levels of glutamate and low levels of glutathione can be damaging for the brain, which may magnify mental health conditions like bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and addictive behavior.
Some studies even point to NAC impacting diseases such as Alzheimers because glutathione reduces oxidative damage to brain cells that comes with aging.
KEfir, probiotics and the brain
As our knowledge increases, microbiome-targeted therapies might present a new way of treating or minimising diseases. Probiotic use is a promising approach because there are few adverse effects, medications are likely to be better absorbed in a healthier gut environment, it’s less complicated than changing your diet, and is quick and easy to implement. It s early days, and there is still much to learn, but based on current research it appears that gut microbiome health is more intimately tied to our brain health than we imagine.
Skip the decaf!
In the CAIDE study, coffee drinking of 3-5 cups per day at midlife was associated with a decreased risk of dementia/AD by about 65% at late-life. In conclusion, coffee drinking may be associated with a decreased risk of dementia/AD. This may be mediated by caffeine and/or other mechanisms like antioxidant capacity and increased insulin sensitivity. This finding might open possibilities for prevention or postponing the onset of dementia/AD.