Why have we been fussing about allergies, gluten, casein and regarding ADHD diagnosis and treatment for all these years at CorePsych Blog ? Simple: because understanding these issues makes a considerable difference in ADHD treatment outcomes.
Far too many ADHD and psych treatment failures spin out of control on these immunity issues and they remain not only overlooked, but often disdained as clinically relevant by the medical establishment, from psychiatrists to allergists.
Immunity Update: Cognition and Cytokines
Cytokine messengers arise from gluten and casein sensitivity and interfere with neurotransmission. Cognitive functions associated with prefrontal cortical function regularly improve when storms are resolved by identifying and discontinuing the specific offending antigen.
Consider this report:
The brain is not only immunologically active of its own accord, but also has complex peripheral immune interactions. Given the central role of cytokines in neuroimmmunoendocrine processes, it is hypothesized that these molecules influence cognition via diverse mechanisms. Peripheral cytokines penetrate the blood-brain barrier directly via active transport mechanisms or indirectly via vagal nerve stimulation.
Peripheral administration of certain cytokines as biological response modifiers produces adverse cognitive effects in animals and humans. There is abundant evidence that inflammatory mechanisms within the contribute to cognitive impairment via cytokine-mediated interactions between neurons and glial cells.
Cytokines mediate cellular mechanisms subserving cognition (e.g., cholinergic and dopaminergic pathways) and can modulate neuronal and function to facilitate neuronal regeneration or neurodegeneration. As such, there is a growing appreciation of the role of cytokine-mediated inflammatory processes in such as Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
Consistent with their involvement as mediators of bidirectional communication between the CNS and the peripheral immune system, cytokines play a key role in the activation seen in stress and depression. In addition, complex cognitive systems such as those that underlie religious beliefs, can modulate the effects of stress on the immune system.
Indirect means by which peripheral or central cytokine dysregulation could affect cognition include impaired sleep regulation, micronutrient deficiency [ed note: trace elements ] induced by appetite suppression, and an array of endocrine interactions. Given the multiple levels at which cytokines are capable of influencing cognition it is plausible that peripheral cytokine dysregulation with advancing age interacts with cognitive aging.
This abstract from:
Wilson CJ, Finch CE, Cohen HJ., Cytokines and cognition–the case for a head-to-toe inflammatory paradigm.J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002 Dec ;50(12):2041-56. [10 years ago]
Cytokines and testing/consideration rapidly becomes part of a good biomedical workup for ADHD/EFD symptoms.