Episode #4 Friendly Fire: How the Brain's Tiniest Cells Hold Hope for Autoimmune Diseases & Mental Disorders with Donna Jackson Nakazawa

Body of Wonder Podcast

What happens when good cells go rogue? What if those cells reside inside your brain can have a dramatic impact on your body and mind?

In this episode we discuss the fascinating world of the brain's tiniest cells, microglia. Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Victoria Maizes speak with award-wining science journalist Donna Jackson Nakazawa on her latest book, The Angel & The Assassin, which explores the science of neuroimmunology. Previously defined as the housekeeper cells of the brain, microglia have been quietly overlooked since their original discovery in the 1800's.

Now, Nakazawa shares how researchers have recently uncovered the cells real work and why they might just be our best ally in the battle against the alarming increase of autoimmune diseases and mental health disorders.

In the show, we hear about the cutting edge, non-invasive technology and explore two free integrative lifestyle techniques that aid in microglia support.

Body of Wonder is hosted by Dr. Victoria Maizes and Dr. Weil and produced by the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. Learn more about this and other topics by going to www.azcim.org/podcast.

Connect with us on Twitter: @BodyofWonder, Instagram: BodyofWonderPodcast, or Facebook/BodyofWonder

Please note, the show will not advise, diagnose, or treat medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your physician or healthcare provider for questions regarding your health.

Please note, the show will not advise, diagnose, or treat medical conditions. Always seek the advice of your physician or healthcare provider for questions regarding your health.

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Andrew Weil, MD and Victoria Maizes, MD


Donna Jackson Nakazawa

Donna Jackson Nakazawa is an award-winning journalist and internationally-recognized speaker whose work explores the intersection of neuroscience, immunology, and human emotion. She is the author of six books, including her forthcoming book,The Angel and The Assassin: The Tiny Brain Cell That Changed the Course of Medicine(Random House/Ballantine, January 2020), which illuminates the newly-understood role of microglia ? an elusive type of brain cell capable of Jekyll and Hyde behavior. When triggered, microglia can morph into destroyers and take down synapses, causing depression, anxiety, and Alzheimer?s. But under the right circumstances, they can be angelic healers, repairing the brain in ways that can help alleviate symptoms and prevent disease. Hailed as ?riveting,? ?stunning,? and ?visionary,?The Angel and the Assassinelucidates the biological basis behind the mind-body connection and offers us a radically reconceived picture of human health. Donna?s other books includeChildhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology, and How You Can Heal(Atria / Simon & Schuster, 2015),The Last Best Cure(Hudson Street Press / Penguin, 2013),The Autoimmune Epidemic(Touchstone / Simon & Schuster, 2009), andDoes Anybody Else Look Like Me? A Parent?s Guide to Raising Multicultural Children(Perseus, 2003). Her writing has been published inThe Washington Post,Health Affairs,Aeon,More,Parenting,AARP Magazine,Glamour, and elsewhere. She blogs forPsychology TodayandHuffPost.

In addition to her work as a science journalist, Donna has been a keynote speaker at numerous universities, conferences and hospitals. Her keynote lectures include the 2019 Care Plus Annual Conference, 2018 Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care Conference, 2018 Golisano Children?s Hospital Annual Pediatric Conference, 2017 Royal Society of Medicine SIRPA Conference on Chronic Pain and Emotion, 2017 Learning and the Brain Conference, 2016 Johns Hopkins Conference on Trauma-Informed Healing, and the 2012 International Congress on Autoimmunity. She has appeared onThe Today Show,National Public Radio,NBC News, andABC News. Donna?s book,Childhood Disrupted,was a finalist for the 2016 Books for a Better Life Award, and for her written contributions to the field of immunity, she has received the international AESKU Award, as well as the National Health Information Award, which recognizes the nation?s best magazine articles on health. Donna received her Bachelor of Arts from Duke University and is a graduate of the Radcliffe Publishing Procedures Program.

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