Learn how to reduce the impact of environmental toxins on brain development, functioning, and health.
The human brain is a marvelously complex organ that has evolved great new capabilities over the past 250,000 years. During most of that period, daily life was vastly different from our lives today. Exercise was not optional - one literally had to run for one’s life, livelihood, and sustenance. The Stone Age diet was not a fad, but the only food available. Periods of fasting arose from food scarcity, and hence the earliest keto-diet was commonplace. Life changed greatly with the advent of agriculture and industry. Diseases that were previously unknown or uncommon began to surface as by-products of civilization’s advance.
Changes in our ways of living have altered the nature of illness as well as its diagnosis and treatment. From the 1970s to the present, tens of thousands of chemicals with applications in all aspects of our lives have grown more than 40-fold. Exposure to these new substances has impacted many aspects of our health, especially the delicate parts of the brain and nervous system. In parallel with the changes in our environment, we have seen the growth of brain disorders including Alzheimer’s Disease and autism in previously unimaginable ways.
Here, Arnold Eiser elucidates some features of diseases affecting the nervous system that are increasing in incidence with a focus on those disorders that appear related to environmental toxins that modern life has introduced. He takes readers behind the scenes of the science itself to discover the human stories involved in the discovery and management of these illnesses. Offering insights from a variety of scientific disciplines, Eiser clearly and succinctly illustrates the impact of toxins on our brains and how we might better protect ourselves from negative outcomes. With interviews from leading authorities in the field of neuroscience, environmental toxicology, integrative medicine, neurology, immunology, geriatrics, and microbiology (re the gut microbiome), this book offers a robust understanding of the complex threats to our brains, and the healthy brain’s dependence upon many other systems within our bodies.
This is a voyage of discovery into the science, history, and human struggle regarding disorders challenging the brain as well as their possible prevention.
Arnold R. Eiser, MD, is currently a Master of the American College of Physicians (MACP), an Adjunct Senior Fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute, Adjunct Fellow of the Center for Public Health Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania, and Professor Emeritus of Medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine. Formally trained in internal medicine and nephrology, he has served in leadership positions in medical schools in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia, where he published articles in peer-reviewed journals and was named as one of the Best Doctors for his clinical expertise in each city. He serves as a reviewer for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Journal, Neurotoxicology, Neurochemistry International, Annals of Internal Medicine, and the American Journal of Medicine. He is the author of The Ethos of Medicine in Postmodern America: Philosophical, Cultural and Social Considerations (Lexington Books, 2014).
Chapter 1. Tempering the Inflamed Brain
Chapter 2. The World of Neurotoxins: Then and Now
Chapter 3. The Microbiome and its Discontents: Implications for Brain Health
Chapter 4. Fatty Liver and Fast Food: Are We Eating Ourselves towards Brain Dysfunction?
Chapter 5. The Many Facets of Dementia
Chapter 6. Can Alzheimer’s be Prevented or Treated?
Chapter 7. Autism: Developmental Disorder Early in Life
Chapter 8. Autism and Acetaminophen: Neurons and Liver at Risk
Chapter 9. Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction and Chronic Fatigue
Chapter 10. The Postmodern Stress Disorder: Rewired for Violence?
Chapter 11. The Differing Epistemologies of Allopathic and Integrative Medicine
Chapter 12. The Future of Our Brains
Chapter 13. Summation and Way Forward
About the Author
Have human beings created an industrialized world that makes them sick? Drawing on a half century as a physician and an imposing array of sources in science, Arnold Eiser tells us we have. But he also proposes measures that each of us can take to live healthier lives in the 21st century. This is an important and unique guide for individuals and society.
This important and clearly-written book by a respected physician examines rising rates of diseases of the brain and nervous system in modern societies and explores the newly recognized links between these very disturbing trends and hazardous exposures in the environment. Recommended reading for all who are concerned about brain health in today's world.
Brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, increasingly impact our society, yet these diseases seem to elude pharmaceutical intervention. Prevention seems even more elusive. In his new book, Preserving Brain Health in a Toxic Age, Arnold Eiser, a nephrologist by training, argues for a broader approach. Although the genetics of brain diseases have been carefully considered, the possible impacts of environmental toxins have scarcely been considered. Preserving Brain Health in a Toxic Age is provocative, but just might open a new door into understanding one of the most important issues of our age.
From neurotoxins and nutrition to autism and antioxidants, Dr. Eiser's book is a trove of pertinent information for lifelong brain health.
Dr. Eiser has written a readable and fascinating book describing the multiple chemical and biological toxic factors that act on the brain to interfere with brain function. The book is extensively referenced. And one of the things that makes it so lively to read is that in many places Dr. Eiser discusses conversations about research results that have not yet been published, and discusses findings of publications that are not well known. The brain is about the only organ that is significantly different in humans from that of animals. Our livers and kidneys work the same way they do in other mammals. The "toxic age" that Dr. Eiser describes is primarily due to toxins made by humans. How they alter brain function, whether directly or indirectly though effects on other organs, is important.
This is a fine book, engaging, searching, and deeply researched, but also written with a critical eye and a humanism that I found encouraging.
11/12/21, The Conversation: Arnold Eiser wrote an article about how frequent environmental disasters may be raising human exposure to neurotoxins and focused on key issues from the book.
2/25/22, KevinMD.com: An excerpt from the book has been posted.
5/7/22, The Podcast by KevinMD: Arnold Eiser shared his story and discussed the book.
8/13/22, Podcast for Healing Neurology: Arnold Eiser was interviewed about the book.
1/29/23, KevinMD.com: Dr. Arnold Eiser wrote an article featuring research from the book.
4/5/23, KevinMD.com: Dr. Arnold Eiser joins the podcast offering insights on Alzheimer’s disease.