Bridging Gaps in Research

Through a coordinated research effort involving patients, clinicians and researchers, the Brain Inflammation Collaborative strives to uncover connections between brain inflammation and mental and physical health and make advances in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of neuroinflammatory illness.

Uncover hidden connections between inflammation and mental health with patient-reported outcomes that leverage wearables, and validated assessments on the Unhide™ Platform for groundbreaking research insights.

The Unhide Project is an ongoing online clinical study that assembles patient-donated data to help clinicians and researchers accelerate breakthroughs surrounding brain inflammation and mental health.

Join the Movement

The relationship between brain inflammation and mental health is vastly understudied and misunderstood. The Brain Inflammation Collaborative is leading the charge to change that. Discover all the different ways you can support our mission to find long-overdue answers and solutions for patients.

Most people don’t worry about an abscessed tooth, a viral infection, concussion, or a tick bite causing the body to develop a chronic illness. However, for some people, these events trigger inflammatory or autoimmune processes which can impact the brain, even much further down the line in a person’s life.

The role of infection (and reinfection) in brain inflammation

Infection has been linked to disorders that are characterized by chronic brain inflammation and may be a trigger for autoimmune dysfunction. Re-infection in these cases often causes the development or worsening of neuropsychiatric symptoms. 

In fact, psychiatric symptoms that seemingly appear overnight—clinically called “acute- or abrupt-onset”—are thought to be part of a post-infectious response in which a previous infection has paved a path for cytokines and other inflammatory substances to make their way into the brain.

Infections associated with chronic brain inflammation and altered immune system function:

  • Streptococcal bacteria (Sydenham chorea, Pediatric Autoimmune) Neuropsychiatric Syndrome Associated with Streptococcus- PANDAS)
  • Mononucleosis (multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue)
  • Tick bite (Lyme disease)
  • COVID-19 (brain fog, post COVID psychosis)
  • urinary tract infection (UTI) (delirium)
  • dental bacteria (including an abscessed tooth), periodontal disease, and gingivitis (Parkinson’s, Alzheimers, depression)
  • Viral or bacterial infections (ME/CFS, POTS, Nacrolepsy, PANS)

Mechanism of infection in chronic brain inflammation

One theory underlying chronic brain inflammation is when the body’s response to infection leads to sustained cytokine release. (Cytokines are small proteins that control activity of the immune system.) 

This in turn leads to the production of distress signals that damage the endothelial cells forming the blood brain barrier (BBB). When immune cells migrate across the BBB, brain tissue becomes vulnerable to further damage from inflammatory processes.

This depicts how cytokines break down the BBB by damaging the tight junctions and through endothelial transcytosis. Click here to read the study.

Need for research: the Unhide™ Project

Our vision is for brain inflammation disorders to be easily diagnosed by medical professionals and to find accessible therapies. 

To support research in this area we developed the Unhide™ Project, a longitudinal and historical research registry and bio repository platform to study the potential immunological mechanisms driving chronic brain inflammation in order to find new therapeutic targets.

Research is critical to evolve current therapies and develop new treatment targets

The Unhide™ Project was established to collect lab samples from patients with diseases characterized by brain inflammation in order to compare and understand common biomarkers.

You can mail a check (payable to Brain Inflammation Collaborative, Inc.) with your donation any time to the following address:

Brain Inflammation Collaborative, Inc.
925 Genesee St #180440
Delafield, WI 53018