Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Gluten and schizophrenia SPECT scan

I've been meaning to post about the gluten schizophrenia paper in Nutrition and Metabolism, prompted by the paper itself, a forward from Bloggeier and now a reminder on the THINCS formum by Bogdan. But it turned in to an epic with lots of threads to interweave so, while I get it sorted, here's a quick one liner on the joys of a gluten based diet that I can fit in over a coffee break now I've run out of filler and floor board timber.

Take one adult established schizophrenic with recent onset diarrhoea and weight loss. For some reason do a SPECT scan to look at the blood flow within their brain and note that it is abnormal in the left frontal lobe.

Place on gluten free diet.

Re-scan a little while later and re-biopsy the gut.

All cured, including the "schizophrenic" disorder.

You don't have to be mad to eat bread, but you might end up that way!

Peter

BTW it's possible to speculate whether the blood flow is a vascular phenomenon due to the gluten affecting the arteries in the brain or a hypoperfusion due to abnormal brain metabolism, ie a direct neural effect. I'd never really considered that the gluten effects on the brain might be vascular...

29 comments:

Ken said...

There is, or was, a doctor in Russia who claimed to have successfully treated schizophrenics with fasting.

Insulin shock therapy was once the treatment of choice.

theshmaltz said...

Hmmm, interesting. I've recently, over the past 6 months, pretty much eliminated wheat from my diet, and by doing this the heavy headaches I was experiencing have completely disappeared. Wonder if there is a connection/relationship to the gluten and headaches, being a vasular issue? Thanks for the post! Shmaltzy.

Peter said...

Ken, do you have any refs for the guy? I remember seeing a few on pubmed but cannot for the life of me relocate them, my initial link was through Hoffer I think.

Obviously a water fast is a completely gluten free ketogenic diet and should work. Using high fat ketogenic diets should do the same without having an obituary citing you as slimmer of the year.

Peter

Shmaltzy, there are several possible mechanisms but getting down to the nitty gritty is hard, especially once you have decided that wheat a nono!

Anne said...

The Gluten File has some references to articles on schizophrenia and gluten http://jccglutenfree.googlepages.com/schizophrenia

Headache - all my headaches disappeared when I stopped eating gluten. I have met many others who have said the same thing.

Ken said...

Sorry I don't have Russian Dr.'s name or anything.

This may be of interest:-
Khaitovich, P., et al. (2008). Metabolic changes in schizophrenia and human brain evolution. Genome Biology, 9: R124, 1-11.

Nigel Barber says of this paper "First, our brains are adapted to a diet that is cooked. This means that one should be wary of the raw food movement. According to Khaitovich, this may lead to severe health problems (2). Second, the metabolic changes in brain tissue that allowed us to use more energy, and to think more elaborate thoughts, pushed our brains to an extreme performance where they are more likely to break down. We became more vulnerable to schizophrenia and other mental illnesses."

JMC said...

Cordain has written something on gluten and Scizophrenia in his paper on grains. This is an old paper, but still the best I've read on grains.

http://www.thepaleodiet.com/articles/Cereal%20article.pdf

JMC

Dr. B G said...

Peter, Ken --

I have many migraineurs who experience complete abolishment of headaches and migraines within 2 wks of going low carb and gluten free. (Omega-3, taurine, Magnesium, and thyroid replacement treatment to TSH < 1.0 and FT4 and FT3 to upper quartile of 'normal lab standards' help also!)

Migraines are assoc with certain HLA types, in a similar fashion to other autoimmune conditions that respond to gluten-avoidance (eg, Type 1 DM, Hashimoto's, lupus, RA, NASH/fatty liver, etc).

Hope that helps,
G

Nick said...

Dr. BG,

This is off topic (though I will show this post to a good friend who has been suffering from headaches for over six months), but I am curious about your thyroid comments.

I saw an ND who did various tests on me. Two of the things she said were that I was hypothyroid and that I had adrenal fatigue (I still have not bought into this as an actual medical condition).

She asked me to take a number of supplements for each item above and to start on 1/2 grain of Nature Throid. My TSH was 2.02. Btw, I started a grain free diet in March, and LC in January (high FSB). On the Nature Throid I had a very hard time sleeping more than five hours and felt pretty achy. It seemed hard to recover from my workouts -- don't mean to go on and on, but the whole thyroid treatment issues seems cloudy, with a lot of self-diagnosis. I honestly don't know what to think, but just thought I'd ask how you go about deciding if the meds are working or not, based on TSH, etc. My ND said she does not think TSH matters much, but that my below the ref range T3 needed to be corrected.

Rita. said...

Nick, The extra thyroid is enhancing your adrenal fatigue issues. If you need the thyroid you will also have to use the adrenal protocol as well. This is from a Hashimoto's hypothyroid girl who ended up on lots of extra non-thyroid pharmaceuticals until a naturopath addressed the adrenal issues. I do believe in it. Retired MD.

Dr. B G said...

Nick,

I'd concur with wise Rita...

Don't do thyroid replacement until the adrenal issues are flat out cleared up first. Uzzi Reiss, MD obgyn talks about it also in his books.

Adrenal fatigue is like the disease of the 21st century. EVERYONE has it...

Good luck!

-G

Nick said...

Rita and Dr BG

Just what I was hoping for, an OBGYN! jk

Forgive me, as I did ask, but I am wondering why there seems to be no science behind what the protocols should be and what they do? Cortisone scares the hell out of me. Phytisone seems like a multi vitamin.

Can you please tell me what you did feel is appropriate with regard to how to change cortisol levels (late stage)? I will check out Reiss.

Personally, I wonder if having been exposed to fairly high amounts of radiation from CT scans and xrays had some affect on my endocrine system. Just zapped the motivation...

Peter, sorry for hijacking your post on me. I'm so glad you ran out of materials for the constuction temporarily.

Bris said...

Check out this brand new paper on the role of the immune system in schizophrenia.

Stefansson H, et al. Common variants conferring risk of schizophrenia. Nature, July 1, 2009 DOI: 10.1038/nature08186

Gyan said...

Dont grain-eating cultures have lower homicide rates (and in general lower violence) than paleo-eating cultures (ie all primitive tribes)?

Why it would be wrong to make an hypothesis that violence level dropped as a society adopted grain-eating habits?

Bris said...

"Dont grain-eating cultures have lower homicide rates (and in general lower violence) than paleo-eating cultures (ie all primitive tribes)?"

Ever heard of the Zulus? They were probably the most violent society on Earth until conquered and disarmed by the British in the late 1800s. They lived almost entirely on grain.

Nostril Damus said...

Hi Peter

Just to confirm what many folks on here have said, from personal experience.

Both my mother and I were terrible migraine sufferers, on a regular basis. You know, vomit, turn out the lights, leave me alone I want to die, don't make a noise, must sleep types.

Since going low carb (2 years ago) neither of us has had a single migraine.

There is, without a doubt, a connection.

Cheers
Jordi

Dr. B G said...

Gyan,
Have you noticed the violence rate lately in the U.S.? We are the premier grain-eating nation, spreading the joys of healthywholegrain-madness to the rest of the world like India, China and other previously sane societies. They are going to get our wonderful rate of breast cancer, heart disease and schizophrenia too.


Jorgi--
Were you gluten free when you went low carb?


Ken--
*haa* The OBGYN know their hormones dude. Men have slow gradual declines in hormones but ours are abrupt and suck. I believe environmental toxins all affect us (I don't think Dr. Ayers agrees) but studies show radiation and environmental halogens and estrogenic compounds all cause protein and hormonal chaos in mammalian systems. Yeah -- CT and xrays cause DNA changes which if not repaired can lead to ROS, cancer and/or oxidative damage. Have you considered the benefits of boosting your antioxidant status by taking some carotenoids, antioxidants (vit C B ADEK1K2 omega-3) and/or flavonoids?

-G

Rita. said...

Nick, Read Dr Diana Schwartzbein, Dr Wilson and/or Dr Rind for adrenal protocols, not all use low dose cortisone. For me it was regular intake of protein, saturated fat, Vitamin C, de-stress, regular sleep (induced if necessary with tryptophan, 5-HTP, melatonin or progesterone in my case) along with Dr Wilson's adrenal rebuilder, and his herbal adrenal tonic---poof, off of the SSRI's and benzodiazepines. I can now tolerate the necessary thyroid replacement without the panic.

Bris said...

"Have you noticed the violence rate lately in the U.S.? We are the premier grain-eating nation, spreading the joys of healthy wholegrain-madness to the rest of the world like India, China and other previously sane societies. They are going to get our wonderful rate of breast cancer, heart disease and schizophrenia too."

China and India have had wholegrain-based diets for thousands of years.

South India has the highest rate of heart attacks in the world and probably the highest rate of schizophrenia.Those Indian holy men would nearly all be diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar in western countries

China also has a phenomenally high prevalence of psychiatric illnesses and suicide.

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Zakhar said...

This all makes so much sense. After going paleo diet, I got off 3 different medicines and feel just great.
Best Regards,
Zach

Joanne at Open Mind Required said...

The name of the doctor who fasted his patients for schizophrenia is Yuri Nikolayev. He learned about fasting from Herbert Shelton. I have found many references to Nikolayev, but I've never been able to find something he wrote.

Allan Cott writes about him in this PDF file titled Controlled Fasting Treatment for Schizophrenia.

Bloggeier said...

"Studies have been done in Ireland and it appears that one in every twenty-five people show signs of schizophrenia, opposed to one in every hundred in the United States.
E. Fuller Torrey has spent a great deal of time researching a number of schizophrenics in Ireland.

Torrey has discovered that the population of schizophrenics has been rising since the 18th Century. After he made his findings public other scientists began asking questions as to why the Irish are suffering so badly. The basis of their research has
focused around their diet, mainly potatoes. If potatoes are exposed to too much sunlight they produce an alkaloid called solanine.

Solanine has the ability to induce
gastro-intestinal problems and psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations. The idea that
schizophrenia in Ireland is caused by the potato is not as far fetched as people might believe.

Closer to home, a mental disease that afflicted southerners, pellagra, was caused solely from the lack of the vitamin niacin. This may lead us to believe that a mental disorder can be caused by too much exposure or lack of a certain type of food.
Another possibility, is the amount of insecticides the Irish consume from the potato."

http://www.essayexpress.com/essay/014430.html

Bris said...

"Torrey has discovered that the population of schizophrenics has been rising since the 18th Century. After he made his findings public other scientists began asking questions as to why the Irish are suffering so badly. The basis of their research has
focused around their diet, mainly potatoes. If potatoes are exposed to too much sunlight they produce an alkaloid called solanine.'

Torrey's hypothesis is totally idiotic. Potato consumption has been fallen dramatically in Ireland over the last 200 years. Potatoes formed over 90% of food in the Irish diet 200 years go. It is now a minor component. In the past 150 years wheat consumption has risen massively in Ireland.

Recent research (2009) shows that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are inherited immune diseases controlled by thousands of genes on the Major Histocompatability Complex (MHC). It is particularly prevalent in north-west Europe.

Jocelyn said...

Wheat has risen dramatically in Ireland and other outer UK locations like the islands and the north, where as before 1800's you had mostly potato and oats, not wheat. Same with areas of mainland England, wheat was introduced very very late by I think the Romans, and it wasnt adopted by all until the 1800s. I read somewhere the gluten content has been selectively bred for and rising, so earlier cereal grain forms may not have had as much. If you are of Irish, welsh or scottish ancestory, you might be particulalry vulnerable.

Dr. N said...

I'm a little late to this discussion but here is what I have to offer. I'm an HIV specialist with particular interest in insulin resistance and utonomic function - both big problems in HV Disease. I have found a reversal of headaches, fatigue, poor congitive function with a carb restricted diet (I generally recommend less than 100 grams per day). The reason I have found is the reversal of a condition known in the autonomic world as sympathetic withdrawal. In its worst form it causes orthostatic hypotension. A quick intial test is to have patients increase their sodium intakefor 1-2 weeks with a cup of chicken broth twice daily. If they feel better, there isa good chance carb restriction will reverse the entire thing. This is the cause for the fatigue, lightheadeness, "carb withdrawal" of the intial Atkins dieters.

Jazzie said...

I think the Russian doctor Ken was talking about is Natasha Campbell.

Jazzie said...

Dr. Campbell actually treated schizophrenia with GAPS, not fasting. Dr. Gabriel Cousens claims that fasting treated schizophrenia, but he is not Russian.

Unknown said...

Dr Hoffer used to talk about "wheat psychosis" in the 1950s, as I recall.

Peter said...

Unknown, I like that!

Peter