How Neuroinflammation Disrupts Your Immune System

Gary Kaplan, D.O.

An inflamed brain can trigger immune system dysfunction, leading to chronic health problems. Learn what helps.



In this Episode of The Human Upgrade™...

… you’ll learn about neuroinflammation and its connection to the immune system from integrative medicine pioneer Gary Kaplan, D.O. The conversation gets into many topics like the immune system, infections, chronic disease and why your brain may be on fire. It’s all connected!

 More than 20 million Americans suffer from chronic disabling disorders. But often the way they are treated for those conditions doesn’t reflect the pathophysiologic mechanisms of their illness.

Dr. Kaplan is a pro at alleviating chronic pain and illness in the field of integrative medicine, by combining integrative and alternative strategies. Conventional thinking about chronic pain and depression is flawed, he says, as more research shows often those symptoms are rooted in inflammation in the brain. 

Three major causes of inflammation include:

  • Environmental factors
  • Childhood trauma
  • Epigenetics and genetics

Inflamed brains cause mental, emotional and physical pain like depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic fibromyalgia, pediatric neuropsychiatric disorders and more, he says. So he started asking questions and researching answers: “How do we take the poisons out of our system and then fine tune the immune system so that it’s really working for our benefit and not against us?”

“So this failure to look at these causes of inflammation in the brain is causing a lot of people to remain very sick, to be labeled psychiatrically ill when they're not, and to become disabled when they don't need to be.”

Gary Kaplan, D.O.

He explains how everyday symptoms of pain might have causes you never thought about, for example, celiac disease causing depression or certain light exposure causing fatigue. And he’ll tell you how you can heal yourself through it. You can learn more in his book, Total Recovery: A Revolutionary New Approach to Breaking the Cycle of Pain and Depression.

Dr. Kaplan’s treats patients at the Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine he founded in 1985. He’s board-certified in Family Medicine, Pain Medicine, and Medical Acupuncture. He’s also studied and practiced Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Herbal Medicine and is certified in Chelation Therapy. For decades, he’s been educating patients; building an online community of patients, doctors and researchers; partnering with leading researchers, academics and innovators; and studying data. He’s done this to find a baseline approach to diagnosing and curing neuroinflammation.

Virtual Conference Zeros in on Neuroinflammation

Dr. Kaplan’s drawn on his interest in brain inflammation, the immune system and chronic disease to assemble experts from around the world. This group will share new developments and research about chronic illness at a virtual conference in February 2022.

“We have put together a faculty that is some of the literally best and brightest in the world — from top institutes, all highly regarded in their professions, he says.

The conference topics will cover brain inflammation due to immune dysregulation. You’ll also hear about new breakthrough data on diagnosis and treatment of long-hauler Covid. It’s open to the public and healthcare professionals.

Virtual Conference Details

  • “Symposium on Autoimmune Encephalopathy Secondary to Infectious Disease: A New Perspective on the Pathogenetic Interaction of the Immune system, Infection and Chronic Disease”
  • Feb. 9, 10, 11, 2022
  • Early bird pricing = $69 before Jan. 17
  • Regular pricing = $99 after Jan. 17
  • Webpage:
  • Landing Page (with agenda & speakers)
  • Registration
  • More about the sponsoring foundation:

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  • I was going back and forth with the opioids and seeing that my patients were seesawing back and forth between depression and anxiety disorders and chronic pain while we’re giving them opioids and I’m going, “Okay, this is bullshit. What’s going on?” – 2:06
  • My average patient has seen somewhere around 20 to 30 other physicians before I see them, and many of them have been told they’re crazy.  – 7:26
  • So she has, if you’ll excuse the expression again, autoimmune encephalopathy of infectious etiology. This is a situation where the body’s immune system is attacking the brain as a result of an over-response to an infection.  – 12:46
  • For most of our patients, the unifying factor is inflammation in the central nervous system. Then how did they get there? Then we start the investigation, walking through it.  – 19:25
  • We’ve brought together these really top docs and researchers from around the world so that we could present a conference to tell the rest of the profession that, A, all of these conditions are real: chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic pain syndromes; and redefine them from their symptoms into the pathophysiology. – 23:43
  • It’s a virtual conference. You can attend it from home. This is about backing you up. This is about helping you understand, yes, you’re really sick. Yes, we now understand why you’re really sick. – 25:42
  • The website that you can go and register on is – 27:06
  • Bruce has identified a piece of the immune system that’s been broken as a result of the infection. Now what we’re doing is we’re looking at cytokine panel. Now, what’s a cytokine? Cytokines are small molecules that come out of the inflammatory cells that turn on and off inflammatory process. They’re the ones that actually govern inflammation and quieting of inflammation and growth, for that matter. –  31:49
  • Dave:
    the standard of care is to take Pepcid AC or a similar H2 blocker with aspirin to stop the bleeding of the stomach. –  36:35
  • Dave:
    PANDAS. Can you talk about what PANDAS is?  – 41:12
  • We label pieces of the immune system A, G, M, E, okay, so IgE, IgM, IgG, and there are four subclasses of IgG. Typically, there’s a dropout of one of the classes of IgG and that’s why you’re susceptible to all these infections. – 44:49
  • What’s a persister? It may be a piece of the organism still left in the system, still tickling the immune system.  – 50:38
  • You’re causing change faster by bringing the right people into the room, Gary, and I think that’s cool.  – 53:41
  • Gary’s conference, I think, is setting up to change the face of medicine because there are lots of disparate, disconnected groups of patients and doctors looking at them, and they’re all looking at the same thing, but they don’t know it.  – 1:03:16

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