Neurology and Hormones, Denver, Colorado


  • Presenter: Dr. Datis Kharrazian, DC, DH SC, MS, MNeuroSci, FAACP, DACBN, DIBAK, CNS, CCN, CSCS, CCSP
  • Location: Westminster, Colorado
  • Date: April 10, 2009
  • Web site: Apex Energetics
  • Attendee: Joanne Quinn, PhD, RMA


Datis Kharrazian, DC, DH SC

With the onset of perimenopause, the nervous system, endocrine system and immune system axis all work in tandem and are affected by the drop in estrogens that occurs at this time. Symptoms include cardiovascular disease, stroke, osteoporosis, dementia, Alzheimer's, arthritis and autoimmune disease.

Menopause is typically managed with hormone replacement therapy. However, once the axis of the three systems (nervous, endocrine and immune) flares up from the drop in estrogen, estrogen will not reverse the spiral.

The increase in inflammatory cytokines that results rarely has symptoms until it has progressed. As an example, inflammation in the bones has no real symptoms until osteoporosis is evident. Inflammation in the brain is not symptomatic until dementia is diagnosed. In the event that the individual had preexisting inflammatory conditions, these are likely to worsen with the decrease in estrogen. Many studies confirm this.

There are five main layers of activity. The first layer involves an increase in nitric oxide activity, increase of pro-inflammatory prostaglandin and increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines. For this layer a protocol of Vitamin D3, a combination of herbs which influence the immune system and a protein powder which includes vitamins, minerals and anti-inflammatory herbs is used.

The second layer deals with the stress response. The adrenal glands are responsible for up regulating the conversion of androstenidione to estrogens. If there is an adrenal imbalance this conversion is inadequate. To address this situation, it is not necessary to support the adrenal gland, but rather to work with the cytokine surges using adaptogens.

The third layer is the brain connection. The hippocampus, pituitary, adrenal axis gets out of balance. There is dysregulation of the neurotransmitters, paraventricular nucleus resulting in hippocampus degeneration. The autonomic function of the brain shifts to being dominated by the sympathetic nervous system.

The symptoms of this include high blood pressure, dry eye, dry mouth, less gut motility, compromise of the blood-brain barrier, decreased neurotransmitter activity and over active microglia cells to mention a few. This layer is addressed with supplements that support the four neurotransmitters and supplements that modulate microglia inflammation, support and protect the neurons and promote blood flow to the brain.

The fourth layer involves the bones. The cascade of pro-inflammatory cytokines has been found to be the most powerful stimulants of bone resorption. The use of fatty acids and flavones reduces this impact. This includes vitamin D.

The fifth layer involves the autoimmune system. As the hormone shifts begin the ovarian-pituitary feedback loop dysregulates and causes an increase in autoimmune disorders. In short, as estrogen decreases, inflammation increases, antioxidant activity decreased, cytokines increase, stress receptors become more active for cytokine activity, fatty acid metabolism shifts to the PG-2 pathway increasing more inflammation regardless of diet, neurotransmitter activity is affected, bone resorption increases, autoimmune disorders are exacerbated and systemic inflammation increases.

These issues must be addressed individually since replacement of estrogen does not reverse this cascade. Apex Energetics offers a full line of supplements to support all of these layers.

For more information, visit the Apex Energetics web site.