Preserving Brain Health in a Toxic Age: New Insights from Neuroscience, Integrative Medicine, and Public Health
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, and especially the delicate constituents of the brain and nervous system. In parallel with the changes in our environment, we have seen the growth of brain disorders including dementia and autism in previously unimaginable ways.
In this book I will help elucidate some features of diseases affecting the nervous system that are increasing in incidence and prevalence with a focus on those disorders that appear related to environmental toxins that modern life has introduced. Furthermore, I will take you behind the scenes of the science itself to discover the human stories involved in the discovery of these illnesses and their treatment. Different types of medical knowledge are examined with a critical eye for their pros and cons. I have interviewed leading authorities in the field of neuroscience, environmental toxins, integrative medicine, neurology, geriatrics, and the microbiome (the bacteria that dwell in the human body especially the gut in important equilibrium). While these disciplines differ greatly, contributions from all of them together give us a robust understanding of the complex threats to our brains and the healthy brain's dependence upon many other systems in our bodies, especially the liver.
This is a voyage of discovery into the science, history and human struggle regarding disorders challenging the brain as well as their possible prevention. Let us take the journey together and perhaps make the world a little safer.
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.
Jonathan Moreno, PhD
David and Lyn Silfen University Professor
University of Pennsylvania
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.
Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc, FAAP
Director, Program for Global Public Health and the Common Good
Director, Global Observatory on Pollution and Health
Professor of Biology
Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society
"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."
—Paul Alan Cox, PhD, Director, Institute of Ethnomedicine, Brain Chemistry Labs, Jackson Hole
"From neurotoxins and nutrition to autism and antioxidants, Dr. Eiser's book is a trove of pertinent information for lifelong brain health."
—Barbara Demeneix, PhD has served as the Head of the Department of Comparative Physiology, National Museum of Natural History, Paris France, is the author of Toxic Cocktail: How chemical pollution is poisoning our brains, Oxford University Press, 2017, and is a recipient of the Commander of the French National Order of Merit award.