The brain turns on when you get sick, but if you don’t get sick right away, it may take some time to do so.
In this week’s episode, we explore the biology behind the process.
1:10 Why does the brain turn on when we get sick?
The brain’s cells make antibodies that are part of a protective network.
These antibodies are constantly fighting off invading viruses and bacteria, so if they are out of balance, they don’t know how to get rid of the bad cells.
In the brain, they work like a network of sensors, communicating with each other to detect when the bad ones are in the system and to kick in the bad sensors to try to get the bad stuff out.
The antibodies are also made of proteins that help the cells to make antibodies themselves.
When these antibodies go bad, the cell stops making its own antibodies.
That means the cells are constantly being hit by viruses and microbes, which are constantly killing them off.
The bad cells that are attacking the brain also stop making their own antibodies, and so the bad proteins are now making antibodies too.
The result is that the brain becomes more vulnerable to infection, and eventually it shuts down, says neuroscientist Chris Sager, a research fellow at McGill University in Montreal.
Sager was not involved in this study.
He says it’s important to note that even though we are not living in a perfect world, our brains have evolved to do a lot of different things, so this doesn’t mean we have the full capacity for survival.
So the question is: What does that mean for our bodies, which we’re also working to understand?
“We know we are going to be exposed to a lot more viruses, and we’re going to have more viruses that will make our cells vulnerable to attack, which will make it harder for us to heal and protect ourselves,” says Sager.
“The brain is a system of cells that uses this immune system to try and protect itself against invaders.
And if it’s really stressed and compromised, it stops working properly.”
2:30 How do we get our brains to turn off?
The body uses enzymes that can make proteins called cytokines, which cause the immune system and the cells in the body to make anti-inflammatory antibodies.
The body also produces other proteins called anti-neuropeptides that make antibodies to help the brain keep the immune response going.
This makes up what’s called the complement system, which is the system that helps to regulate the immune responses and keep the brain healthy.
Sagers believes this is why the brain does all the things that we do, including driving, eating and sleeping.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
“You can get it back to normal by using other ways to stimulate the immune systems, like using drugs,” says Dr. John O’Connell, who heads the neurobiology department at McGill and is also the author of the book The Brain that Changes Itself.
If we can get the complement systems to stop making these anti-inflammatories, we can restart our ability to function normally.
“So, what we know is that if we get rid or start using another way to stimulate these systems, our immune system can be back to its normal state,” he says.
“We don’t have the brain that it used to be, but it’s certainly still in a state of being.”
3:15 How does the complement network get involved in the immune reaction?
The complement system is a group of proteins called monocytes that protect the body from the damage of the immune cells, and they also help to control the production of the anti-cancer antibodies, says Dr., Mark Tissot, an infectious disease specialist at McGill.
When the complement cascade is disrupted, they are no longer protected by the immune defense, and this causes the body’s immune system attacks its own cells.
This is what causes the brain to turn on.
In a brain-damaged state, the brain is no longer protecting itself, and its complement cascade can no longer control it.
“There’s a lot going on in the brain and you can’t control it,” says Tissott.
“It’s sort of a mess, and that mess is causing the brain’s immune response to turn against itself.”
So when we have brain damage, the complement cascades get upset and start attacking our own cells, turning off the immune defenses and attacking our cells.
Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, thought the brain was “a strange, inscrutable thing,” but that’s not the case.
He thought of it as a “complex mechanism of control that operates independently of any one organ, organ, or system.”
Freud’s theory is that when a brain is damaged, the immune cascades can’t be controlled because they are too tangled up in the intricate mechanisms that control the immune reactions.
“That’s why they have to turn,” Freud said.