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Traumatic Brain Injury TBI: Valuable Lessons Learned

Bilberry - Vaccinium uliginosum - lessons from traumatic brain injury TBI to provide support for brain fog - Linden Botanicals

There has been an uptick in reports of brain fog as a symptom associated with long COVID. An interesting approach to helping to clear brain fog is currently being borrowed from treatment for traumatic brain injury TBI: antioxidants and omega 3,6,9 to reduce neuroinflammation. All-natural Bilberry (Vaccinium uliginosum) may also help to support treatment.

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People dealing with long COVID, often called “long-haulers,” can have symptoms that stick around for weeks, months, or even years after the initial viral infection. One of the big issues many of them face is what’s commonly known as “brain fog.” It’s not just feeling a bit spaced out; it’s a serious thing that messes with your ability to think clearly and remember stuff. People with long COVID might struggle with focusing, remembering things, and doing more than one thing at a time. These neurocognitive issues can really mess up your day-to-day life, and right now there aren’t any treatments specifically approved to help with it.

What Is Brain Fog?

Brain fog is a term used to describe a feeling of mental cloudiness or confusion. It’s like your brain is wrapped in a foggy haze, making it hard to think clearly or remember things. People experiencing brain fog might struggle with focusing, processing information, or feeling mentally sharp. It can be caused by various factors, including stress, lack of sleep, hormonal changes, or certain medical conditions. Brain fog can range from mild to severe and can be temporary or persistent.

What Is Traumatic Brain Injury – TBI?

Prefrontal cortex dysfunction refers to issues with the part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for a range of important functions like decision-making, planning, impulse control, and social behavior. When this area isn’t working properly, it can lead to difficulties in these areas and impact daily life.

Conditions like ADHD, traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and certain mental health disorders can involve dysfunction in the prefrontal cortex. Symptoms may include problems with attention, memory, emotional regulation, and executive functions. Treatment often focuses on addressing the underlying cause and may involve medication, therapy, or other interventions tailored to each person’s needs.

Back in 2009, the FDA gave the green light to guanfacine to treat ADHD. Guanfacine is a compound that strengthens prefrontal cortex connections, protects against inflammation and stress, and improves cognitive function

Since that time, doctors have been using it for other disorders, too, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI) and PTSD. Now, some researchers are trying out a combination of guanfacine and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) to help people suffering from long COVID. NAC is an antioxidant used for treating TBI. Together, these two drugs may help clear up that brain fog people with long COVID often deal with.

How the Brain Berry May Help with Brain Fog

We’re excited about new studies pointing to the ways guanfacine and NAC may help people suffering from brain fog.

From an herbal perspective, we have a great candidate for all-natural herbal support for people suffering from brain fog: Bilberry. Also called bog blueberry and Vaccinium uliginosum, Bilberry is one of our favorite all-natural herbs. It provides significant learning and memory support and support for cognitive decline. We call it the brain berry.

Bilberry is an herb that contains a range of polyphenolic compounds such as anthocyanins that have been used to support treatment for cognitive disorders and help to reduce cardiac risks. The herb grows in acidic soils in cool, temperate conditions. Some of the regions where this herb is found include China, Mongolia, Japan, and Europe.

The herb is also known as Vaccinium uliginosum, Bilberry, and Bog Blueberry. It’s also known as Airelle Bleue, Airelle des Marécages, Airelle Noire, Arándano Negro, and Western-Huckleberry.

Some of the main polyphenols found in the herb include anthocyanins, flavonol-glycosides, and phenol acids.

Bilberry Health Benefits

 

Cognitive Function Support

Cognitive function refers to several mental abilities such as learning, memory, problem-solving, reasoning, attention and focus, and decision making. Many factors can impact one’s cognitive function, including primary illness, brain injuries, and demographic factors such as age. Uremic toxins and oxidative stress also play a key role in cognitive malfunctioning.

Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain, potentially improving cognitive function. They also contain flavonoids that may support brain health by promoting blood flow to the brain and protecting brain cells from damage.

The anthocyanins in Bilberry play a significant role in reducing oxidative stress with their anti-oxidative properties. The antioxidants donate electrons that attract free radicals in the brain and deactivate reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Diabetes Support

Polyphenols have exhibited anti-diabetic activities against diabetic-causing enzymes. They can inhibit enzymes such as glucohydrolase enzymes, α- amylase, β-glucosidase, and α-glucosidase. Anthocyanins may also reduce glycosuria, glycated hemoglobin, and blood glucose, as well as increase the secretion of insulin and lower the rate of sugar absorption in the small intestines.

Support for Reduced Inflammation

Bilberry exhibits anti-inflammatory properties against THP-1 macrophages. Phenol acids may also inhibit lipopolysaccharides, reduce nitrous oxide and prostaglandins. Clinical studies show that the herb can reduce inflammatory biomarkers in the plasma.

Antimicrobial Activity

Bilberry has shown antimicrobial properties against Fusobacterium nucleatum and Streptococcus mutans. This antibacterial activity is attributed to flavonoid glycosides and anthocyanins. With the increasing antibiotic resistance concerns, the herb could serve as a great alternative for bacterial infections.

Lessons Learned from Traumatic Brain Injury – TBI

The overlap between the symptoms of brain fog and the symptoms of traumatic brain injury has led some scientists to propose the use of guanfacine and NAC, an antioxidant use in TBI treatment.

This regimen can be helpful for people suffering from long COVID and for those suffering from brain fog and cognitive deficits due to Lyme disease, myalgic encephalomyelitis, and multiple sclerosis.

Herbal therapy may also help. To be clear, herbal therapy is not a cure or a replacement for traditional medical treatment. Instead, it provides all-natural support for medical treatment.

Herbal therapy is often regarded as a holistic therapy that integrates spiritual, emotional, and mental health. Rather than selling hundreds of different tea and extracts, Linden Botanicals sells only a dozen teas and extracts because we believe we have identified the herbs that have the greatest potential medicinal value. Bilberry (Vaccinium uliginosum) is one of those herbs.

Linden Botanicals sells Bilberry in 100 gram (50-serving) sizes as SAVVY! Brain Health Support. We also sell Bilberry herbal extract in 100-500 serving sizes. The Bilberry FAQ provides a lot more information about the herb we call the brain berry.

Buy Bilberry

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