Sunday, July 11, 2010

Smell and Behavior Management

The digestive administration of chemical intervention in behavior problems can be fraught with unexpected consequences and results. Many of the side effects that occur can be the result of parenteral (digestive) changes in the chemical structure of pharmaceutical and natural substances that are administered orally (pills, powders, liquids). Knowledgeable people are aware that these changes occur through different systems, including the intestines and microsomal liver processes. To put it directly, the mouth may not be the best way to take medicine.

There are other ways to administer drugs. Intravenous injection is very direct. It has the short coming of being difficult to administer by the general public. Many non-medical people are aware of nose sprays, the recent innovation of administering flu vaccine nasally, and the use of asthma inhalers. The drugs enter the blood stream through the blood vessels in the nose or those that are in the lungs. Transdermal drug administration functions, for the most part, by capillary induction.

This brings us to the issue of what some people might regard as intervention on the edge, or even strange. Aromatherapy is old news to people who like the so-called hippies of yesteryear. Law enforcement officers are aware of the self administration of THC (marijuana for one), and cocaine. Some of the more modern uses are quite dangerous, as in teenagers "huffing" glue, gasoline, aerosol propellants, etc. Those things cause brain damage in the same way that some substances can cause benefits for behavioral and emotional functioning.

The smell of vanillin has been found to prevent apnea in premature infants who did not respond to more traditional treatment (Marlier, L., Gaugler, C., and Messer, 2005). The researchers monitored the respiration rates of 14 infants in the NICU at a University Hospital in Strasbourg, France, and noted that the frequency of apneic episodes occurred significantly less often when the smell of vanillin was introduced in their incubators. One of the major hypotheses about the mode of action of the vanillin was that the substance passed into the bloodstream through the nasal mucosa and was carried into the brain by nerves in the olfactory system.

A more recent finding is based on animal research (the foundation for the discovery of virtually all psychopharmacological products). The smell of jasmine (Gardenia jasminoides) has the potential to soothe, relieve anxiety and induce sleep. Researchers (Sergeeva, O, Klerke, A, Poppek, W. Fleischer, S. R. Schubring, G, Goerg, H. L. , Hass, X., Zhu, H. Luebbert, H., Gisselmann, G., and Hatt, G, 2010) cited in that the aromatic jasmine derivative Vertacetal-coeur (VC) and its chemical variant have the same neurological mechanism of action as barbiturates or propofol (which is suspected of being the cause of Michael Jackson's death), but with none of the known side-effects, including addiction. Scientists tested many fragrances when making their discovery. The substances had direct effects on the GABA receptors in the brain. Those effects were repeated five times, and cross checked on mice who had genetically modified GABA receptors. Finally, the scientists injected the substances using air with high concentrations of the substance into plexiglass cages of mice. The mice stopped all activity, and sat quietly.

Prospective applications of the use a jasmine aroma spray are only limited by the imagination. To be sure, there is a potential for abuse. However, the potential benefits also abound. One can imagine pumping jasmine laced air into setting where various criminals or terrorists are holding hostages. It might facilitate resolution of a dangerous situation. What if Michael Jackson used jasmine instead of propofol? He might still be alive today.


Marlier, L., Gaugler, C., and Messer, J. 2005. Olfactory stimulation prevents apnea in premature newborns, Pediatrics, 115, 83-88

Sergeeva, O. A., Kletke, O., Kragler, A, Poppek, A., Fleischer, W., Schubring, S. R., Goerg, B., Hass, H. L., Zhu, W.-R., Luebbert, H., Gisselmann, G., and Hatt, H. Fragrant dioxane derivatives identify 1 subunit-containing GABAA receptors. Journal of Biological Chemistry DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M110.103309

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Is Depression and Anxiety an Expected Consequence of taking Statins?

Several years ago, when statins were all the rage, and there were television adds every ten minutes stating that the best thing to do to prevent heart attacks was take statins, I was waiting to check out at a major department store chain. I noticed that the person in front of me was purchasing many heart healthy items and foods. I complimented her on her choices, and we began to talk of the flood of statin advertisements and that these poisons were being touted as the cure for nearly everything. The woman said that she worked for a local neurologist who told people that statins were poisons to the human nervous system.

This was something that I already knew. Lines of investigation are often too narrow. People who are told to take statins, were looking up statins. That has been the biggest mistake. I have often said that investigation is not planar or unidimensional. Doing a thorough search of cholesterol reveals its critical role in the proper functioning of the nervous system. Consideration of basic training in medical science forces one to consider the homeostatic functioning of the complex human body.

Years later, a pediatrician asked me, a non-physician, whether I thought that the statins that she was taking could be causing her "brain fog." We discussed the neurological role of cholesterol. She modified her diet, and took very careful control of her intake of statins (as in stopping them). Her "brain fogs" stopped and she never had them again.

Page forward to a recent publication (Shrivastaba, Pucadyil, Paila, Ganguly, and Chattopadhyay, 2010) cited by Science Daily. The summary revealed the finding that chronic cholesterol depletion using mevastatin impaired the functioning of serotonin receptors. Consider viewing this link and discuss any changes in medication with your cardiologist, and any possible consideration of treatment for depression with your psychiatrist, mentioning this article before allowing him/her to reach for his prescription pad.

In terms of practice, it would be especially wise to consider the importance of interprofessional consultation when practicing medicine. All too often, we tend to forget the homeostatic nature of the human body.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Critique of Mainstream Psychiatry and Things Down on the Psychopharm

This article says a bunch:

My article is not intended to disparage the field of Psychiatry in general. There are many Psychiatrists who are highly ethical and judicious with service provision. The intent of the article is to point out that people have alternatives, and can seek out service providers who will not be quick on the trigger of the prescription pad. It is also intended to clarify some apparently missing aspects of treatment information.

Too many Psychiatrists practice as if there is no alternative to manufactured chemical treatments. It would be nice if there were some practice standard that would concentrate on titrating treatment whenever possible. This would mean, of course, a start with interventions that do not involve prescriptions. It means a consideration of alternative medical causes of behavior problems as discussed in the book, A Dose of Sanity by Sydney Walker, III, MD. It is very easy reading, and can be readily obtained through book sellers such as Dr. Walker has also written a book, The Hyperactivity Hoax that traces, in plain language, his ability to find and treat medical disorders that would reduce or eliminate the symptoms of the purported diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

It is high time that the pharmaceutical industry revise their television advertisements to conform with reality. Those nice pictures of a synapse with neurotransmitters in the gaps create the impression that nerve impulse transmission is linear. Neurons, in nature, are three dimensional. Synaptic transmission in each neuron is not narrowly confined to one set or even two sets of gap transmitters. Neurons are interconnected in so many ways. I wonder how many people have thought of why drugs, er meds, intended to treat purported psychiatric disorders have side effects elsewhere in the body, especially the digestive system? I wonder how many psychiatrists bother to explain, succinctly and clearly, why the meds that they prescribe for "mental problems" can also cause gut problems. It would, perhaps, be helpful if the industry paid for some primetime on commercial television to provide a true picture. I doubt that they would. Do all mental health problems originate at the synapse? I think not, and believe that many psychiatrists know this.

Researchers know that some, if not many, mental health problems (those that are not associated with medical rule-outs) have to do with cell membrane ("skin") of the neuron. This is how some of the best natural and manufactured drug treatments work for Bi-polar Disorder. They regulate the passage of mineral particles throught that "skin."

Texts have been written about the role of hormones and supplements in human mental health. Why have these been ignored or neglected when people visit a psychiatrist?

I have a challenge. My challenge is for Psychiatry and Psychopharmacology to work on revising focus. Changing direction might reduce health care costs in the long run.