MCAS & Brain Inflammation: An Increased Risk For Dementia?

The Disease / Saturday, July 8th, 2017 / no comments

Mast cell disease causes brain inflammation which can contribute to many other diseases and disorders including Alzheimers. The fact that we are inundated with a barrage of chemical mediators opens us up to innumerable possibilities for things to go wrong. Terribly wrong.

Sometimes fatally wrong.

I doubt anyone reading this who has MCAS would argue that we often feel like we have dementia because of the brain fog and confusion mast cell degranulation brings. For many of us it comes and goes and we have periods of clarity in between but for some of us, like my own brother, the dementia can set in early, be utterly debilitating and stay that way permanently.

I was reminded of my brother and the connection between MCAS and dementia when I came across a news article this morning that talks about TBI (traumatic brain injury) and how it can…

…nearly DOUBLE your risk of dementia by releasing an overload of inflammatory particles into the brain…

Whoa, right? It goes on to say:

A growing swell of research has shown that chronic inflammation leads to progressive cell loss after traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Some studies have shown that neuroinflammation often can continue for years after TBI, causing severe brain damage.

This article isn’t about mast cells directly, but we do have to worry about chronic inflammation in our brains caused by mast cell degranulation. Our mast cells release these same inflammatory cytokines they talk about, not to mention all the other chemical mediators. Dr. Theoharides even describes how tryptase acts like a meat tenderizer and damages or kills the cells.

Our brain cells!!

It’s rather scary. There’s a lot more research out there on inflammation and dementia, too. Here are a few articles from just a quick Google search.

Inflammation, depression and dementia: are they connected?

It is hypothesised that the progress from depression to dementia could result from the activation of macrophages in the blood, and microglia in the brain, that release pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Auto-Inflammation May Be A Cause of Dementia

the researchers have assembled strong evidence that the neurological decline common to these diseases is caused by ‘auto-inflammation’, where the body’s own immune system develops a persistent inflammatory response and causes brain cells to die.

Research finds blocking brain’s immune cells with drugs to prevent inflammation could stop dementia getting worse

A study has found that the inflammation seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients is not merely the result of the disease – it also drives its progression. Blocking the brain’s immune cells with drugs to prevent inflammation could stop the dementia getting worse.

I personally still battle with brain fog really bad  because I’ve yet to find an anti-inflammatory that doesn’t trigger me so I’m doing my best to avoid triggers at all costs so that I don’t end up like my brother.

But it’s not easy.

Some might say it’s rather impossible.

Yet that’s really all we can do, isn’t it. Take our medicines (the few we can take, that is) and avoid our triggers (there are less grains of sand in the Sahara).

That’s about all we can do.

Or is it?

I’ll be exploring more “alternative” methods in the near future and of course I’ll share here, starting with an update on my curcumin experience. Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss it and please take a moment to share using the social share buttons below. The more #mastcelldiseaseawareness we can spread the sooner we can find a cure, or at least better treatments.

In the meantime,


Mother. Wife. Patient. Keeper of Huskies. MCAS blogger & advocate. Living life in the mast lane with the Grand Tetons & Yellowstone as my backyard. You can also find me blogging at Life In The Mast Lane and The Empty Nest Housewife.

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