The brain and nervous system are the hardware, our minds and spirit are the software. Their dysfunctions can affect emotions, thought, memory, attention, creativity, and other regulatory functions such as sleep, blood pressure, heart rhythm, and even digestion. We have a “second brain” in the gut, which makes specific chemicals that not only affect our brain, but potentially every cell of the body.
When we test for emotional and cognitive (brain/mind) function (sometimes called “functional medicine”), there are several categories of molecules.
These include: vitamins, minerals (elements), oils (omega-3 and trans), hormones, amino acids, and immune markers (for allergy, inflammation and infection). In addition to these naturally-occurring bio-chemicals, we can also test for man-made chemicals, many of which are toxic. These include plastics (such as BPA), pesticides (such as Roundup), heavy metals (such as mercury, lead, and arsenic), halides (such as fluorides and bromides), and petro-chemicals (such as toluene). While some of these tests can be done by conventional labs such as Quest and LabCorp (for which there is some insurance coverage), others require special labs. These labs can be thought of as a professional photography studio, where the chemicals are of higher grade, leading to more sensitive detection and accuracy.
Our Brain-Neuro-Psych Program consists of:
1) Reviewing past history, data and performing a comprehensive evaluation
2) Design of lab testing protocol and initial lab prescription using conventional labs (Quest and LabCorp).
3) Review and interpretation of the labs using ranges derived from scientific research and thousands of patients worth of data. Often the “reference” ranges provided by Quest and LabCorp are sub-optimal since they are based on past data or known global deficiencies.
4) The interpretation is followed by design and/or adjustment of food plan based on the problems, goals and other factors (cost, time frame, energy, etc). We often utilize supplements to address priority deficiencies and absorptive issues. Based on response, we then customize the program to include special tests, yoga, acupuncture, mind-body-therapies, and other modalities. Pharmaceuticals are not altered initially but a gentle taper under physician supervision is available.
For new patients, we recommend starting with two sets of labs, usually done approximately 3-4 months apart.