Brain on Fire — How Inflammation Damages Mental Health

Inflammation is often visible and painful. Red, angry swellings make their presence felt. Yet sometimes inflammation is invisible and painless; you would never know it was there. When inflammation flares in the brain, it does so silently. Chronic, low-grade inflammation in the brain is a factor in the development of many neurodegenerative diseases, including depression and dementia. It is also seen in Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s disease.

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The physical symptoms of mental illness

Alicia was certainly different, but she was typical in one regard: she had a combination of physical and mental symptoms. And, as it turned out, there was one underlying cause. Alicia’s brain lacked fatty acids, and this deficiency was manifesting in other parts of her body.

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