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How Biotoxins (Lyme) Damage the Nervous System + The Power of Phospholipids

The nervous system is divided into two major branches: the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The CNS consists of the brain and spinal cord, which function as the control centers, processing and integrating information from the body and generating appropriate responses.

The peripheral nervous system (PNS) extends beyond the CNS and includes all the nerves that branch out from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. This connects the CNS to the limbs and organs, ensuring that sensory information and motor commands are efficiently transmitted. The PNS is further divided into the somatic nervous system (SNS) and the autonomic nervous system (ANS).

The somatic nervous system is responsible for the voluntary control of body movements via skeletal muscles and for processing sensory information that arrives from external stimuli. Its ability to process sensory information and control body movements is due to the presence of two types of neurons: sensory (afferent) neurons and motor (efferent) neurons. Sensory neurons within the SNS convey information from sensory receptors in the skin, muscles, and joints to the CNS. For instance, sensations of touch, pain, and temperature are relayed to the brain, allowing it to interpret and respond to these stimuli. On the other hand, motor neurons within the SNS send signals from the CNS to the muscles, enabling voluntary movements like walking.

To recap, the nervous system is divided into the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system. The peripheral nervous system is further divided into the somatic and autonomic nervous systems. The somatic nervous system has sensory and motor neurons responsible for relaying information from sensory receptors to the brain and sending signals from the brain to the muscles to initiate movement.

Now let's delve into the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system governs involuntary physiological functions and is crucial for maintaining homeostasis within the body. It regulates functions such as heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, pupillary response, urination, and sexual arousal. The ANS is subdivided into the sympathetic, parasympathetic, and enteric nervous systems, each playing distinct roles in maintaining physiological homeostasis.

The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) prepares the body for intense physical activity and is often referred to as the 'fight or flight' system. It accelerates the heart rate, widens bronchial passages, decreases motility of the large intestine, constricts blood vessels, and dilates the pupils. This system is crucial for responding to stressful or emergency situations by preparing the body to either fight or flee from a threat. Conversely, the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) is often called the 'rest and digest' system. It slows the heart rate, increases intestinal and gland activity, and relaxes sphincter muscles in the gastrointestinal tract. This system promotes a state of calm and recovery, facilitating digestion and relaxation.

The enteric nervous system (ENS), sometimes referred to as the "second brain," is a vast and complex network of neurons that governs the function of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

With this understanding, let's discuss what happens when there is dysfunction in the autonomic nervous system. Dysautonomia is a condition characterized by the malfunction of the autonomic nervous system, leading to a wide array of symptoms due to the disrupted regulation of involuntary functions. Symptoms include severe orthostatic hypotension (a significant drop in blood pressure upon standing), which can cause dizziness, fainting, and falls, abnormal heart rates (tachycardia or bradycardia), gastrointestinal disturbances (such as gastroparesis), bladder dysfunction, temperature dysregulation, and difficulty breathing. Essentially, any automatic function of the body can become compromised when the autonomic nervous system isn’t functioning correctly.

Why might the autonomic nervous system malfunction? One possible cause is infection. When addressing dysautonomia caused by an infection such as Borrelia or Lyme disease, it is best to treat the infection to address the dysautonomia. This root cause approach is essential. However, it's important to understand how infections and biotoxins can damage the nervous system.

A nerve cell (neuron) has three main parts: the cell body (soma), dendrites, and an axon. The cell body contains the nucleus and other organelles essential for the cell's metabolic activities. Dendrites are branch-like structures that receive signals from other neurons and convey this information toward the cell body. The axon is a long, thin projection that carries electrical impulses away from the cell body to other neurons, muscles, or glands. Many axons are covered with a myelin sheath, a fatty layer produced by glial cells (Schwann cells in the PNS and oligodendrocytes in the CNS). This sheath acts as an insulating layer that allows for rapid and efficient transmission of electrical impulses along the axon. At the end of the axon, neurotransmitters are released and can cross synapses (the gaps between neurons) to communicate with other neurons or target cells.

In the context of infections like Lyme disease, dysautonomia can result from several contributing factors. Borrelia bacteria can cause nerve damage by damaging the myelin sheath, neuronal cell bodies, and axons due to inflammation and cytokine storms induced by the infection. Lyme disease damages the nervous system through mechanisms including direct bacterial invasion of nerve tissues, inflammation caused by the immune response, and possibly autoimmune reactions where the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own nerve cells. Studies have shown that patients with acute Lyme disease may have lower cardiac vagal tone, indicating impaired autonomic control of heart function compared to healthy individuals. Lyme disease can also cause small-fiber neuropathy, affecting the small nerve fibers responsible for transmitting pain, temperature, and autonomic information, resulting in burning pain, tingling, reduced intra-epidermal nerve fiber density (IENFD), and reduced sweat gland nerve fiber density (SGNFD). Symptoms of small-fiber neuropathy have been found to improve with antimicrobial treatments targeting the underlying infection.

Addressing the root cause of the infection is essential for treating nerve damage. However, supporting the nervous system's repair is also crucial for restoring optimal health. One way to nurture the nervous system is through phospholipid support. Phosphatidylcholines, for example, can help repair the nervous system by contributing to the integrity and function of cell membranes in nerve cells. They are involved in the formation and maintenance of the myelin sheath, which is essential for the rapid transmission of electrical impulses along nerve cells. Phosphatidylcholines also support the recovery and regrowth of dendritic structures, improving neural connectivity and function.

In conclusion, understanding the nervous system and its divisions helps us comprehend conditions like dysautonomia. Addressing the root causes, such as infections, and supporting nervous system repair through nutrients like phosphatidylcholines, are essential steps in restoring and maintaining nervous system health.

--Always ever work with a licensed physician--


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