Straight from the litter box: how toxoplasmosis alters the brain


Toxoplasmosis is caused by a parasite who sets up shop in the bodies of birds n’ mammals. The name of this parasite is Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii).

M. Gandhi once said, “A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.”

But when T. gondii soullessly resides in the hearts… and in the souls… and in the brains of people, the results can be disheartening.

M. Gandhi the pacifist vs T. gondii the parasite

Via Deutsche Welle:

“Toxoplasmosis has been linked to schizophrenia, depression, autism — and even an increased risk of being involved in traffic accidents.”

Brain in a man's body

New research from German scientists reveals that T. gondii can mess with the brain’s messengers (synapses).

“Malfunctions of glutamatergic synapses are associated with depression, schizophrenia and autism. Components of the immune response also show links to these diseases,” says Ildiko Rita Dunay, an immunologist who worked on the study.

“This suggests that immune reactions may cause changes in the synapse that may lead to neuropsychiatric disorders.”

Toxoplasmosis life cycle

Toxoplasmosis is usually spread by exposure to infected cat feces (litter box, garden), eating poorly cooked food that contains cysts (typically found in pork, lamb, venison), or from mamma to child during pregnancy if the ma becomes infected.

No need to panic; there are preventions and cures for all of the above.

The most important takeaway from all of this is:

If you don’t like cats but you do love to garden, just think of how lucky you are to have become a virtual cat owner. Your garden is one big dreamy litter box, and, man, do those felines appreciate it… as does T. gondii.

Be well,
— T. Gandhi-Allen

Cute cats can wreak havoc on gardens

#toxoplasmosis #Gandhi #cats

#neurology #neurologist #Colorado #Wyoming #Cheyenne #FortCollins

🎶It’s that time of the year…

music therapy, videos

“The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called ‘Gitche Gumee’
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy”

#EdmundFitzgerald #GordonLightfoot #boats #shipwreck

🎶Free Music Friday: The Roctors to Rock Windsor

events, music therapy

The Roctors perform this Friday, Sept. 21, 2018 in Windsor, CO. Open to the public. See you there!

Click here for details.

#FreeMusicFridays #Windsor #music #Roctors

A neurologist tries whole body cryotherapy at 5280 Cryo Recovery Clinic

integrative medicine, videos

[Note: This is not a paid advertisement. But it is an act of adventure-sharing. My goal is to checkout new and interesting approaches to healing, and to share my discoveries with you.]

Recently, I joined the ranks of many great humans who’ve tried everyday things such as immersing oneself into a metal chamber whilst surrounded by gasiform nitrogen for nearly 2.5 minutes to lower one’s skin surface temperature by 30-50 degrees Fahrenheit.

This, my friends, is known as whole body cryotherapy (WBC). It’s cold. It’s quick. It’s known to provide pain relief. You see, WBC is WMD = a weapon of mass de-inflammation.

Dr. Ryan & Dr. Tim at at 5280 Cryo Recovery Clinic, Fort Collins

The technical definition of WBC is here.

In short, WBC helps you ice your owies faster and more effectively, compared to putting an ice pack on your skin or enduring an agonizing ice bath. WBC reaches the core of your body, tackling inflammation deep inside. The anti-inflammatory results are known to last weeks or months for most people.

WBC worked for me. I’d been coping with some issues with my back for quite some time. (News flash: Doctors are human beings. We can — and do — experience inflammation, strains, and pain… just like you.)

Immediately after my WBC session, I was able to turn and twist, zippering my spine back into place. And, man, did that feel fantastic! Later on, I slept like a baby. WBC is known to induce zzzs.

Connoisseurs of cryotherapy include a grab-bag of people: from common Joe coping with neurological problems, to average Jane coping with soft tissue injuries, to top-notch triathletes, and even the Denver Broncos.

Me? I’m just a neurologist. The closest thing I got to football was wearing footsies bearing the Bronco’s logo. I needed to keep my feet fashionably cozy in subzero temps.

This ESPN video gets to the point of WBC:

The local cryo joint I visited was 5280 Cryo Recovery Clinic, located in Fort Collins, CO. They have other locations in Denver and the surrounding area, and are expanding elsewhere, which is super-cool.

The owner of 5280 is Dr. Ryan Tuchscherer. He’s kind, bright, down-to-earth, and prefers to be called “Dr. Ryan” which is a good indicator of a healthy, well-grounded individual. He’s a swell guy who has helped heal hundreds (thousands?) of people.

On a more fascinating note, Dr. Ryan is also a rancher. No joke.

If you’d like to give cryo a tryo, here’s a handy coupon from Dr. Ryan:

When booking your appointment at any 5280 cryo location, simply mention this article to receive a $25 first time cryo session.

Many thanks to Dr. Ryan for letting me chill at 5280. Your kindness is much appreciated.

My complete cryo experience was captured on video by photographer/videographer/artist Alistair Dunnington. The video’s being edited; stay tuned for more.

(I know, I know, I know, all my recent videos are being edited. The creation of fine, fine, fine video takes time.)

Until next time,
Dr. Tim
Neurology Specialists of the Rockies

Various conditions cryotherapy has been known to help reduce symptoms of: pain, inflammation, sprains, strains, sciatica, pain or injury in: back, shoulder, neck; numbness in extremities, neuroma, contusions, issues with: shoulder, elbow, forearm, hand, wrist, pelvis, rib, knee, ankle; soft tissue injuries: muscles, tendons, ligaments, muscle; arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, chronic headache, pinched nerve, benign nerve growths (neuromas), pinched nerves (nerve entrapments), pain management, neurological conditions.

#cryotherapy #neurologist #neurology #Cheyenne #Colorado #FortCollins #Colorado #Wyoming #5280Cryo #5280 #coupon #discount #Broncos #DenverBroncos #WholeBodyCryotherapy #WBC #WMD #WeaponOfMassDeInflammation

You, too, can change the world: you don’t need to play trumpet or dissect a brain

causes, events, music therapy

We all help the world in different ways. I suppose the special skill set I have to offer the universe includes quirky things like dissecting brains with kids, or attempting to rock the minds of adults. I try.

One of my fave causes is Boys & Girls Clubs, for they help young people — especially those who need us most — to become productive, caring, responsible beings.

Last weekend, KD & The Painkillers (a band I perform in) played at a fundraiser for Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County.

If you missed the show but would like to change the world by donating to BGCs of Larimer, click here.

Last spring, I dissected a brain with the kiddos at Boys & Girls Club of Cheyenne:

At Boys & Girls Club of Cheyenne, neurologist Dr. Tim Allen dissects a human brain

Image credit: Boys & Girls Club of Cheyenne

If you missed the dissection but would like to change the world by donating to BGC of Cheyenne, click here.

Have a great day,
Dr. Tim Allen, MD
Neurology Specialists of the Rockies

#neurology #Cheyenne #Colorado #neurologist

🎶 Music therapy alert: my band’s performing on Aug. 31

events, music therapy

The Roctors has a show on Aug 31, 2018 in Windsor, CO. Open to the public. See you there!

Click here for details.

#FreeMusicFriday #Roctors #music

Here’s my killer recipe for homemade weedkiller


Roundup: what a downer! It contains toxins known to be harmful to pets and humans. Our brains don’t need that stuff.

Not to fear. Here’s a recipe for homemade herbicide. I use this mix all summer long.

It works great, is less expensive than commercial products, simple to make, and easy to apply.

Only 3 ingredients:

▪ 1 gallon white vinegar

▪ 12 ounces of white table salt (or Epsom salt)

▪ 1 tablespoon dishwashing detergent

Mix and shake the ingredients in a plastic container, such as a spray bottle or pump sprayer, like this one:

Spray the solution onto weeds, covering the entire plant and roots. I suggest spraying it on sunny day, for the heat helps the mix stay stuck onto weeds.

If there’s a hearty rain, you’ll want to reapply the spray.

More details here.

My practice grows, my dog pack grows: Raurie the Aussie visits today

animal therapy

Yet another dog joins the Dr. Allen Pack! Trish Chacon and her therapy dog Rauri are stopping by the clinic at 11am.

Rauri is a 2 year-old Aussie. He is both a registered therapy dog and a certified emotional support dog.

Trish is working on her Masters degree as a Licensed Professional Counselor. Together, Rauri and Trish not only volunteer, but work together to help others see the positive side of life.

Thank you to Trish & Rauri, for uplifting our patients, families, caregivers, and staff.

To learn more about Alliance of Therapy Dogs, click here.

Petting is the best medicine,
Dr. Timothy J. Allen, MD
Neurology Specialists of the Rockies
2003 Bluegrass Circle
Cheyenne, WY 82009


Haven the Dog is visiting the clinic today

animal therapy

Hear ye, hear ye! Today is Therapy Dog Tuesday! Haven, a four-and-½-year-old Doberman Pinscher, will be stopping by at 11am to spread some sunshine.

Haven’s a special soul. She’s deaf (but doesn’t know it). Haven’s here to cheer up patients at my clinic, Neurology Specialists of the Rockies, along with Cheyenne Radiology Group — located in the same building.

Alliance of Therapy Dogs

Haven’s human handler/best friend is Billie Smith, Executive Director from the Alliance of Therapy Dogs. Thank you, Billie, for volunteering your time and kindness to bring smiles and joy to our patients, families, caregivers, and staff.

Learn more about the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, here.

Petting is the best medicine,
Dr. Timothy J. Allen, MD
Neurology Specialists of the Rockies
2003 Bluegrass Circle
Cheyenne, WY 82009