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Canadian Quackery Watch

Synergy Group - True Hope or True Hype?


Meeting began with a video clip of Dr. Bonnie Kaplan being interviewed on the Canadian Discovery Channel.


Our speaker tonight is David E Gilbert who is a research assistant with the Synergy Group of Canada. Now they deal with methods of dealing with what I call mood disorders . .. And his topic tonight is the breakthroughs that they have recently made and the continuing research that goes on in this particular field.


Fortunately I am no longer suffering from panic disorder because when I volunteer to do these lectures in various cities I never know what I am going to find and I never know what equipment is going to work. So, if somebody to catch the lights (mumbled about problems reading without glasses).

. .Calgary Alberta Children 's Hospital she is the coordinator and the one who is responsible for the research going on at different universities (Bonnie Kaplan whispered into tape by Polevoy) . At this point we have seven universities involved.

A video of an interview from TV with Kaplan was shown about how the supplement seems to correct some sort of imbalance that people have.

Kaplan: “It is not possible to take this supplement and get better unless you are decreasing some psychotropic medications and that requires a physician usually to be involved as it is very complicated for individual patients.”

Question: “So you shouldn't just go out and start popping nutritional supplements on their own.

Kaplan: Well you can't actually buy this over the counter because the people the people who have manufactured it are very concerned about harm coming to individuals who might start popping these on top of their psychotropic medications. They are behaving very responsibly in that regard.

End of video clip.

Gilbert: I should explain that my being here is very personal. From the time I was very young I suffered from what is now called dysthemia. I was always depressed. Then 15 years ago I had some rather devastating personal issues in my life which triggered me from dysthimia with periodic suicidal bouts into panic attacks as well. There is often a family history of these as my mother is schizophrenic-  fortunately only mildly schizophrenic but even mildly is interesting growing up with

My grandfather on my mother 's side was an alcoholic and a high percentage of those people are self medicating. They are bipolars, schizophrenics. I lost an aunt because of it on my father 's side. By 17 or 171/2 he started developing sleep problems (son?). I have always had terrible sleep problems as had my sister. They would trigger the cyclic depressions and would become suicidal. I didn't realize how bad they were till he came into my room one night and said ‘dad I think I need some help '

What 's the matter and he said ‘I have no emotions. I 've gone dead inside. Something 's wrong '.

Well after what I 've gone through having had friends come and stay with me periodically through my life so that I would not kill myself. Not that I wanted to die but because it felt like an outside force was trying to force me to die. I immediately called the school psychologist and I called his doctor and I called the counselor and we went to see all three of them and he went through three different rounds of medication and things got worse and worse and worse. And finally he came to run the audiovisual system at the first lecture that was given in Eastern Canada when the open case study was just starting. Before that it was all confidential because it was far too premature. You simply can't start dropping bombshells without major data to back it up.

He came home and he started going on the website and said “dad this sounds an awful lot like me. Is there any way I can get on the study? '

It wasn't till after they published and he wrote an open letter to other teenagers that I found out how severe his depressions had been. I knew they were bad because my kid wasn't a mean depressive He didn't get surly. He tried to be polite but when you were talking to him his face would be so stiff. He couldn't talk clearly. His responses would be heh heh. It sounded like his face was frozen. We found out after he had recovered that he slept at night curled up in his closet . .writing good bye letters to his friends.

. ..the inability to sleep wore him down. My sister 's panic disorder and her mild bipolar are now gone. My anxiety disorder and depression are now gone. When you see your sister get well that 's fascinating but when you get well, and you see your son come back from the brink of suicide there 's no words for that. So I don't care whether or not ... if anybody goes to their doctor and makes arrangements to go on the open case study. I care that they know this is in the pipe. If they want to get into the study program we can make the arrangements as long as there are no contraindications for it. If they want to wait till it goes to open market that 's fine too.

But there is one word I want you to take away tonight “don't give up and slip away”.

We lose 32000 people every year in North America to suicide and this is unacceptable.

Don't give up.

. .to go back to the beginning you may have heard something about a hog supplement. It wasn't actually a hog supplement that they used but when Tony Stephan lost his wife to bipolar suicide and when he lost his father in law eight years earlier to bipolar suicide 4 of his 10 children were bipolar – 2 of them were bipolar shizoaffective with rapid cycle 1. One of them was violent enough that they were seriously thinking of institutionalizing him because the younger children were frightened. He was 6 foot 1, 15 years old 210 pounds. When he became manic that literally had to wrestle him to the floor, pry open his jaws and pour the lithium in and hold him there till things would start to settle out.

For his daughter, legally she couldn't be left on her own. She had to be on a 24 hour suicide watch in order to be out of the hospital and she could not be legally left alone with the baby because when she was manic she was violent and when she was depressed she was virtually comatose.

Tony married his wife 's best friend 8 months after she died and he warned her you understand you are marrying into an insane asylum – literally . ...

So he wound up going back to work and as he became friends with a co-worker he got talking about his personal situation and of course as you can imagine as a parent he tried every psychotherapeutic medication known to mankind. He tried acupuncture, acupressure, megavitamins, herbals, magnetic mattresses on the beds, magnetic hats with flaps over the ears. Anything that could possibly keep him from losing any more ?  

David Hardy was a retired hog food supplement specialist and a biochemist. He said you know this sounds an awful lot like what we see in the hog runs (?). The hogs become hyper irritable and its called ear and tail biting syndrome. They savage each other and for some years now we have always gotten control of this by giving them highly bioavailable broad spectrum trace elements. The hogs aren't human but they are the closest thing to humans biochemically on this earth. And what else do you have to lose.

To make a long story short, Tony Stephan 's son went symptom free in January 1996. He started on symptom free shortly after that. The research began from then and the researchers who took it on from various universities will go into later. But now to take a look with the situation that we are currently living with. In the USA today from 1999, schizophrenia no cure, no solutions, people living in agony inside their heads. People living in the street. It 's a tough condition to live with.

The costs are staggering. It 's the number two health care cost in North America right behind cardiovascular disease. And it will be number one within 2 years. This shows the hospital admission rate for mental health in Canada 1983-1994. You have to understand that this was the same period that the hospitals were being closed down and that people were being put in the street. From 1983 we went from about 11 million admissions that was per year to up to 15 million 11 years later.

Watch what happens in the US where they were not closing hospitals and accessibility to medical care is pretty much ?. In a three year period from 1990 to 1993, they had gone from 1.3 million outpatient visits a year to 3 years later almost 12 million. That 's just not increased diagnosis. Things did not change that much over a 3year period. Ritalin production. Every teachers favourite. ADHD kids. 1990-1993 the same 3 year period 1800 kg, 3 years later almost 5000 kg of Ritalin given to our children.

The only reason that you see a leveling off in 1996/97 is other medications which have similar biochemical effects to Ritalin have come on the market and started to take market share but the actual overall use is still showing this meteoric rise. We see the same explosion in autism, in irritable bowel disease, and here this is the is the Canadian experience looking at psychotherapeutics because it doesn't matter if you are in the hospital or not.

In a 4 year period we 've gone from 1.5 million psychotherapeutic prescriptions to 2.5 million in 4 years. It is epidemic. If this were AIDs there would be rioting in the streets. Here in Ontario its no better. There has been a 15% increase in the cost of treating central nervous system conditions per year. . . . .. But it 's a silent killer. People either figure everyone else is the same as I am but if you 've only got one experience and that 's the one inside your head, everybody else is putting up with the same thing I am nobody else is complaining so I better not either. That 's what I did. Nobody else is living like I am so I better not say anything. So people with panic attacks have got all kinds of coping skills to try and live normal while they 're in terror with their lives.

I used to have agonizing bowel cramps and this is quite common for these conditions. So severe that I used to seriously consider this one of the passing thoughts was how hard to you have to hit yourself on the head to knock yourself out without having to do it twice and killing yourself?

Now that I have teenage kids and my son particularly is talking to other kids about his experiences, all of a sudden all these other kids are saying well yeh that 's the way I 'm feeling. That 's what I 'm going through. I can't . . . ...either. My stomach is always constantly tied up in knots. I 'm so depressed I want to end it. When we look at a study done by the World Health Organization ...at university, shows the same thing. Worldwide, in developed economies. That 's the United States, Canada, the European union. Mental health considerations are the number 2 of health care costs in the world and will be number one shortly.

The US surgeon general 's report paints a really grim picture. Almost 1/5 of children ages 9 to 17 have diagnosable mental or addictive disorders associated with a ? impairment. A high percentage of the kids who are substance abusers are trying to stop their racing thoughts. We have two people. One was a bipolar schizoaffective disorder with mixed states also suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder and severe panic disorder. She used to be terrified of going to her bathroom often as she could see the demons there. She didn't just think the demons were there because she knew the demons were there because she could bloody well see them . . . . . . . . ..      

Another man was a rapid cycle bipolar who was in crisis and was given 24 hour suicide watch. This was before the open case study program was started before we knew anything about it. Well 24 hour suicide watch can tell the doctor to get enough medications into him to get him stabilized. He actually wound up to be the first person in Eastern Canada to go on the open case study program. But they both say the same things. We started out as alcoholics to try and deaden the pain. And then we tried cocaine. We tried cocaine and as one of them said the racing ? finally stopped. They felt so good that they jumped in with both feet and they stayed there till there was nothing left.

They 're both now clean and sober and they 're both now off their meds and the girl who suffers such horrifying agoraphobia and panic disorder actually stood up in front of some 250 people in St Catherines earlier this year and talked about her story. That 's a long way from cowering in your bedroom in your bedroom. She 's just gone to Ireland. She 's made arrangements with customs in Ireland to make sure she can get the supplements. She 's gone over there, she 's got a job, and she is on her way to having a normal life. Her psychiatrist said congratulations this is the first major decision I 've seen you make that wasn't manic driven.

Now this isn't a magic bullet .because it doesn't correct the underlying genetic situation. If a person with bipolar or bipolar schizoaffective disorder or depression or anxiety (in the case of depression anxiety its not always genetic but it often is) these people go off their medication or the supplement either way they get the same end result They wind up crashing. And the supplements its very very important to realize we do have one woman who got her life back so she got her first full time job of her life, things were going well Her husband was finally relaxing and she started working double shifts. And she started forgetting to take her supplement. She forgot it often enough that she started getting the first symptoms of bipolar coming back but the first symptoms coming back were a feel good hypomania.

She thought hey I am superwoman. I can do anything. I don't need these pills anymore. And she wound up crashing. She 's working her way back now so its really really important for people to understand that biochemically you still got bibolar, you still got depression if its biochemically based. I left for Toronto last summer and I forgot to take my supplement with me. My mother was running out so I wasn't about to take any of hers because she 's schizophrenic and by the time I got back to Ottawa the quacking in the chest had started again and my ? went down like this (USES SLOW DEEP VOICE TO ILLUSTRATE POINT).

I won't do it again. I double checked before I left this morning. It 's only two days but I really really I lived that life for many years. I didn't want to go back

Now if you look at the adult situation, its just as grim. 19% of the adult US population have a mental disorder and its growing every year and its 3% on top of that have both mental and addictive disorders. Basically a fifth of the population adults and children. That 's horrifying. There is a mass psychic cry of agony going on through the world these days. And everybody just tries to get by day by day. Don't get me wrong. I 'm not knocking the psychotherapeutic industry because they 've kept a whole lot of people alive for a long time.

To look at the cost, in 1996 the direct treatment of mental disorders, substance abuse and Alzheimer 's reached $99 billion. Direct costs for mental disorders alone was $69 billion. In 1990,indirect costs $79 million But look at 2000. $200 million and those dollars have nothing to do with the families that are torn apart because the children or husband or wife have mental illness. And now they can't live with it anymore. It doesn't account for the woman who called me up in tears, she is several months pregnant and she has been sleeping with a fire extinguisher beside her bed because her husband violently bipolar and she was afraid that when he was manic he would try to kill her in her sleep and that was the only thing that she could think of to try to prevent herself and the unborn baby. The human cost of that $200 million is staggering.

It costs in ways that people don't think of. If you suffer depression in your whole life, you think you are somebody who is pretty worthless, you 're going to marry someone who agrees with you. It 's not a great recipe for a happy marriage. It 's a great recipe for divorce and the kids pay for it. The costs of these go on and on and on.

Here we have a chart that shows a happy little place that the majority of the population in theory lives in. Where people with bipolar, manic depression, they bounce back and forth from the depression to one degree or other of mania. Sometimes it 's a feel good hypomania and they feel great but its rough on everybody else. We 've got people who 've gone through $60,000 in a month during a manic episode. And for those who go even further they go past the mania to into a severe mania which is just sick feels horrible and you can't get down.

People who suffer from panic disorder such as myself or as I used to comes out of nowhere. You 'll be driving down the road and all of a sudden boom just feel like the world 's ending, hearts pounding feel like you can't breathe. You wake up in the middle of the night with this conundrum of feeling – dread, it seems there is a great sword hanging above you that 's going to drop at any second and you know its going to drop. You feel betrayed by your body because you know its just a panic attack but for any of you who have ever had a panic attack you know there is just no thing as just a panic attack.

The interesting thing is that the opposite of panic disorder is the criminal mind (?). And that 's where people have (?)

We 've got a man who suffered from Tourette 's Syndrome who told us after he recovered. If someone had told me that my kids were run over by a steamroller it wouldn't matter. Absolutely nothing ? I would trash people places and things without ever thinking that it had any influence on anybody else. I didn't even feel my own emotions. I was totally dead inside. Some months after he had recovered, his 10 year old daughter called the research assistant who had been working with him. It wasn't myself and asked her is my daddy still going to be able to get this. Because for the first time in her memory, her father was relating to her. He 'd come home and he was lucky, he was a functioning Tourette 's. He was able to work mind you when you 've got Tourette 's Syndrome its pretty hard to hide that – a hard eye blink and a ticking head or the vocal outburst but he used to be able to make a living. But he had never been there as a father for his children.

Well why are we seeing such a staggering increase in all of these conditions? Autism has gone up a thousand percent. I think it was over a 7 year period according to the ? quarterly. There are a couple of clues. According to the world earth summit we 're running about 85% depletion in soils in North America. The British department (?) of Agriculture also did a chemical assay of 20 raw fruits and vegetables and compared to the chemical assay that had been done 50 years previously. Unfortunately there were only 5 elements because that is all they had assayed 50 years previously but they found their deficiencies ranged upwards to 81%.

Johns Hopkins University also did a fascinating study. They took 55 frequent attender patients from the gastroenterology clinic. People with chronic gastric problems at random from 650 odd. They found that 92% of them suffered from clinical depression and a substantial minority of them suffered from anxiety disorder. What we 've been finding as we 're following people with the various conditions that we 're researching, is that a very high percentage of them suffer from irritable bowel disease, multiple food sensitivities, constipation, diarrhea, hypertension which is high blood pressure, asthma, and migraine headaches. And we 're finding in a high percentage of people we 're working with , we 're now formally tracking it, it appears that when the body drops below certain critical thresholds of any one of the precursors, the building blocks of the neurotransmitters and the ? enzymes, the body goes into other metabolic pathways. Sometimes people are triggered into it by a severe psychological or physiological stressor and once those people normalize then they can taper down and their fine. Other people have a genetic inability to do it efficiently and all it takes is being triggered into it and it is a long way back.

One of the reasons we 're seeing sort of corollary damage is that they used to run an organic teaching farm integrating pest management biological mechanical controls. And when you add herbicides for ? as nitrogen to the soil you cause the soil bacteria that is responsible for breaking the soil down into structures that the plants can absorb you either . . so first of all your not adding anything accept nitrogen phosphorus and potassium to the soil because that 's where you get the big bang for your buck. And second what is left in the soil, the soil ? are no longer able to take it out. And of course nobody is really worried about it too much cause corn doesn't suffer from ADHD. ?It doesn't kick up much of a fuss.

Well, David Hardy and Tony Stephan said how is it that we found this – a power engineer and a retired hog feed supplement specialist. Well, come on, We 're not Albert Schweitzer or Albert Einstein. How come nobody else found out. So they went on the internet to something called pubmed which is not a resort for doctors but it is a resource for medical abstracts.

They did a bit of a literature search and found out that for 20 years things had been pointing in the same direction. Trace elements this is in 1984 from Johns Hopkins. Trace elements play an active role in various metabolic processes of the body. Current evidence suggests that a disturbance in the concentration of trace elements can produce various psychiatric symptomology. Zinc. There are over 600 metabolite enzymes in the human body that are mediated by zinc alone let alone all the rest of the precursors.

Zinc plays an important role in the axonal and synaptic transmission. Hyperactive children may be deficient in zinc and vitamin B6. Alcoholism, schizophrenia, Wilson 's and picks disease are brain disorders dynamically related to zinc processes. ??? Again looking at zinc and people with depression, zinc deficiency impairs neuro and immune activity of the mammalian organism. Again with zinc looking at 48 immuno-suppressed subjects, looking at serum levels 32 normal volunteers serum zinc levels were significantly lower in major depressed subjects than in normal controls. There was significant negative correlations between serum zinc and severity of depression. The lower the level of zinc, the worse the depression.

Looking at schizophrenia, cerebral spinal fluid 1979 American Journal of Psychiatry the authors measure copper levels in CSF in 8 schizophrenic subjects and 6 controls. The schizophrenic subjects had significantly lower cerebral spinal fluid copper values than controls. Tough to rub your tongue around those ones.

Looking again at schizophrenia, 23 hair trace elements were determined with a method of inductively coupled phosmacontrameter (?). In 85 cases of schizophrenics and 65 cases of normal controls. Now my best friend is a PhD in physics and I had to find out what is an inductively coupled phosmacontrameter and it turns out it is a method for taking organic samples stripping off the metallic ions so you can measure the percentage of metals in the sample.

As a whole, 17 trace elements were decreased in schizophrenics than in normal controls and the differences were significant. Less than point zero one percent margin of error. Anything from point zero five percent or less is considered significant for medical research. So, point zero one is highly significant. Again looking at affective disorders, 21 Nigerians, 11 males and 10 females and 10 males (NOTE NOT AN ERROR IN TRANSCRIBING) with symptomatic affective disorders ???? and 40 normal controls. The plasma and erythrocyte copper and erythrocyte phosphorus, calcium and iron and zinc were significantly lower in the patients compared with the controls. The reason they did plasma and erythrocyte samples is plasma is notoriously poor for many elements that determines how much is in the body. We had one case where the doctor didn't want his patient going onto the open case study program because she had very elevated calcium levels in her plasma. When we checked more closely, we discovered the reason she had severely elevated plasma calcium levels was that she was in the midst of severe osteoporosis and the body was busy shunting all the calcium out of her skeleton into her bloodstream.

As her central nervous down to normal. So it is important that you go looking but it is important that you go looking in the right places. Here with hyperactivity – every teacher 's favourite – the magnesium, zinc, copper, iron and calcium levels of the plasma, erythrocytes and urine and hair in 50 children age 4 to 13 years with hyperactivity were examined by AA Best oops. Well it showed that the role of these elements would require further elucidation. Can't go backwards on this.

Here we have autistic children. Autism is a tough one. The kids are lost in inside their own little world. Sometimes not very happy and other times just not accessible to the parent. Often they are not fearful. They don't like to be touched. They don't like to be held. They 'll pull away. They won't make eye contact. It 's heartbreaking to be the parent of an autistic child. And parents put immense work into trying to help their autistic children. They 'll spend hour after hour a day on special programs just to try and get some improvement. But autistic population has significantly lower levels of magnesium, calcium, copper, manganese and chromium and higher levels of lithium as compared to sex and age matched controls.

We have started working with autism. The early data looks encouraging but it 's too soon. It 's four children ages 5 to 8 ˝. The minimum reduction in symptoms we 've seen is 20% but how far its gonna go we don't yet know and the sample is too small to draw any firm (?) conclusions at this point but the data 's gone off to the universities and it will be taken further from there.

Well, people have been taking vitamins for a long time. There 's a zillion supplements on the market so how come people don't get better? And doctors have been trying things for a long time. They 've given zinc. They give chromium, lithium, etc, etc, lecithin, essential fatty acids. All kinds of things they 've tried giving to people and a percentage of people always show some improvement. But they didn't get better. It just didn't make sense. They figured they were in the forest but they couldn't find the tree. The answer is if you look at this dam, presumably . .it 's doing what its supposed to be doing holding water behind it. Obviously, if you punch a bunch of holes in the dam the water runs out. But what isn't so immediately obvious when its not visual is when you fill the deepest hole, the dam doesn't fill up. It only just fills up to the next hole – called the principal of the first limiting nutrient

A couple of years ago, Dr. Kaplan started contacting American universities and except for recently Harvard, they all said no. You 're dealing with multiple variables. That 's not the scientific method. The scientific method is that you change one variable at a time and you track the change and that 's what they 've been doing for the better part of 20 years. They 've known for 20 years that people with migraine headaches have low tissue magnesium levels compared to control groups. They had the principal right but the execution wrong. The true scientific method is you fill up all the holes to the top and then you look for volunteers to have all the zinc taken out of their diet and take a recreational trip into madness for six months.

That would be a little difficult to get volunteers but that would be the true scientific method. That appears to be why we didn't get to where we were in 1996 a long time ago. There are some other issues as well because for example calcium, calcium carbonate which is Tums is roughly 2% absorbable for a person with a normal bowel system. For people with inhibited uptake which appears to be most people suffering from CNS disorders it might only be a half a percent absorbable. Whereas the calcium amino acid chelate complex that we use in this formula is 40% absorbable and that had to go all the way too (?) because they knew that people with migraine headaches were low in magnesium so they stuffed it full of magnesium well milk of magnesia what 's that do it gives you diarrhea so it flushes right through you. You reach the point of diminishing returns really quickly. So they have to find how to make it so its bioavailable.. You also have to figure out the ratios.

My sister was allowed to be on the study before it went to the open case program and she got a bottle every month with a serial number on it and she had to do a symptom summary chart every month and they would change the ratios to prove the theory about what happens when you change the ratios. For example the copper zinc ratios. You would never change them severely because you didn't want to put people back in hospital but it was enough that some months she be really spinning her wheels. There was one month where she just couldn't close cupboard doors in the kitchen. She 'd come back in the kitchen and all the cupboard doors were open because she always forgot to close them.

So the absorbability and the ratios are important issues. Well after they had quite a few people normalize, they started looking for medical professionals who 'd be interested. And they went to quite a few psychiatrists and it was predictably because this is a pretty major paradigm shift, they didn't want to have anything to do with them. But Dr. Bryan Kolb whose the neuroscientist who proved that brain cells regenerate a few years ago and whose written up in Scientific American and in fact when I first saw the data on this and I saw his name as one of the lead researchers, that caused me to stop and pay attention. Especially since I had spent 11 years in environmental remediation dealing with people with life threatening fibromyalgia and chemical sensitivities. And I knew that a lot of these problems were intractable and they weren't getting better with vitamin therapies or anything else. Well Dr. Bryan Kolb, probably partly because he didn't have a whole lot to lose. When you 've got that sort of reputation, you can afford to take some chances. He looked at these two kids and he did a literature search and he said I don't know what 's going on but I can't find any cases of two children with bipolar schizoaffective disorder with rapid cycle one going into spontaneous remission. It just doesn't happen.

So something going on here. I don't know what but something so he took 12 children and one adult with ADHD which is sort of like the fruit fly of the mental health industry. People don't usually die from it although family and parents may want to. He tracked them for two weeks on Ritalin of dexedrine. He then tracked them for two weeks on nothing. And he then tracked them for 5 weeks on what 's now known as the Synergy Program. Typically, for the first week to 10 days there 's no change in ADHD and there can be 2 to 3 months in some cases before there is any change. And we don't have the same very very high percentage success rate today with ADHD that we do have with bipolar. But nevertheless, he found that the average response on the five week program was significantly higher effectiveness than the Ritalin or the dexedrine.

I don't think I have the copy of his abstract but anybody whose interested in having their doctors involved I will send that information to the doctors. In it he stated that his statistical uncertainty was point zero zero zero one. Anything from point zero five less is significant for medical research. That was highly significant. In other words that was not coincidence and that is when he started calling people like Dr. Kaplan.. He started putting things together, And then they took the data to the Alberta Heritage Medical Fund to request the funding to do the initial studies. They did come up with the money. The first study was presented, that 's the one that Dr. Kaplan was talking about. Was presented Oct 4 to the Canadian Psychiatric Association 's annual general meeting. There is also funded by the Alberta Heritage Medical Fund a major double blind study into fibromyalgia which includes the mental confusion, the irritable bowel disease, the anxiety disorder, the clinical depression. There 's a whole host of conditions that run with fibromyalgia so in effect they 're getting a half a dozen studies for the price of one. For that one.

And there 's also a hundred body double blind study in bipolar. That 's slated for release at the beginning of 2002 however because bipolar responds so rapidly it is highly unlikely that the ethics committee won't be required to break the code and release the study far far sooner than that because the majority the vast majority of bipolars are down to little or no medication within 3 to at most 4 months and often less. One of the things that they 're finding is as people were normalizing the meds were brought down step by step by step is that the doctors were keeping a little bit of risperdal or a little bit of haldol or a little bit of lithium for safety. Psychologically, it 's tough to take of that last medication but if you look at the pattern and anybody that 's on the study they have to do a two week baseline, then they have to do a weekly chart which is filled in daily and needs to be called in to people such as myself and taken to the doctor weekly, because the typical pattern is a drop of symptoms followed by an increase of symptoms because as the body starts to normalize they start to become overmedicated develop more adverse drug reactions. You reduce the medications symptoms drop down again. Well if it 's been doing that for anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks, logically when you see the same pattern, when you get down to the last 125 mg of epival the same thing also applies ?in almost all cases it does.

So now we 're finding that the actual reduction of symptoms is higher in most cases is higher when the rest of that medication comes off. As I say, we are not anti-medication and the reason this can't go on the market yet is right now there is no control mechanism. By definition, it 's not a prescription medication because there 's no toxicity issue, no side effects. However, if we give it what we can legally do and call it a tonic and put a DIN number and stick it on drug store shelves one of two things would likely happen.

People would say I don't need my psychotherapeutic medications, start popping these pills and wind up in hospital or worse. Or just as bad, they start taking this and not have their meds reduced step by step as is necessary and wind up in the hospital so until there is a formal process through Health Canada to do that it won't be on the open market. It 'll only be available for people on the open case study program. Now it is absolutely critical that the doctor reduce those meds as the symptoms increase otherwise they 've got to get off the study.

Now obviously of course the corollary of that is that if someone is currently changing from one medication to another then they can't go on the study until those medications are stabilized because otherwise they 'd have no way of telling what 's going on. Is it the change in meds, are they over medicating . . . . ...

Dr. Bryan Kolb also pointed out that if they were going to take this forward they needed to have a way of formalizing the data in the field. Because they needed to take it to the Alberta Heritage Medical Fund and they needed to have enough data to make a compelling case. So he showed them how to do the earlier of the symptom ? forms. They 're simpler now than they used to be. This is Liana Vanderlinden who actually requested to have her name included because she was the first person who was formally charted. She suffered from multiple sclerosis. She 'd been diagnosed with 16 brain lesions by MRI scan and suffered from clinical depression. She was on manerax 450 mg of manerix . They tried two different types of tranquilizers and 15 different anti-depressants in the past and never were able to have her well.

This is her symptoms when she started. She was on 450 mg of manerax, feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or helplessness very much. Sleeping more or less than usual and her case it was more. Eating more or less than usual in her case more very much. Hard to concentrate or decide very much. Loss of interest in hobbies or activities very much. Avoiding other people very much. It 's tough to socialize when you feel horrid. Overwhelming feelings of sadness very much. Loss of energy feeling very tired very much. Thoughts of death and suicide very much. She wasn't bipolar so she never got the excessively high really ... Unreasonable optimism no but poor judgment yes. Hyperactivity or racing thoughts very much. Talkitiveness, rapid speech or incoherence no because she wasn't bipolar. Irritability very much. Extremely short attention span very much. Rapid shifts to rage and sadness very much.

Speaking from experience when you 're suffering from depression when you 've got a day that 's not too bad all of a sudden for no reason it 's like somebody pricked a balloon you just go flat Whew, it 's so hard to keep going. I was fortunate I was able to keep going. I did get married, I raised kids and I actually raised them not too too badly. It had a big part in my divorce. Had a big part in the person that I married. I didn't make anybody happy out of my depression.

This on February 19 of 97. On February 26 there was no change which is typical. On March 5, all of the very muches are gone and all of the thoughts of death or suicide are gone or not at all. March 12 she still got ? down she 's still got ? in the still 450 mg of mannerax All of a sudden boom. Look at all the symptoms in the worst column . .. Adverse drug reactions reduce the mannerax to 300 mg March 26 dropping all off to the left (presumably a chart he was showing). April 12 down to 75 mg again more of them “not at all” (symptoms on chart) all the rest of them are “just little”. April 16 she is on no mannerax and she is symptom free.

The interesting thing was and its way way too early for us to draw any conclusions but we are tracking it but Autumn who was the first woman to recover had MS as well. Lianna had MS. Lianna had cyclic MS so it was possible that it was coincidence because she went symptom free but what 's exciting was that when she went on a course of antibiotics she had a bump of symptoms and that 's exactly the same pattern we see in the other central nervous system conditions that we 're dealing with. When you take antibiotics they are a broad spectrum biocide and they kill off the symbiotic bacteria that help your gut absorb. We warn people that if they are on the study program and they get sick and they have to take antibiotics they need to increase the level of the supplement. They need to immediately start a course of broad spectrum acidopholus with every meal to help replenish those bacteria as they are being killed off. And they have to be aware of the fact that the psychotherapeutics may need to be increased because when the gut becomes less absorbent, things start to go wrong.

So except for that one time she was on antibiotics, she has been symptom free since. A sample is too small but we do now have five or six people with MS who are on the study program because they have other conditions. In fact one of them is on it because she has MS and she has nothing to lose. She 's not remissive she 's going down the hill pretty rapidly. So, hopefully we will get the data. This is showing her symptom summary form on the dates they were recorded and the spike for that first drug reaction. Now, they 'd seen bipolar coming down pretty consistently and the depressives most of them were coming down so what about schizophrenia.

Doctor Kolb said no not a chance. Bipolar, depression anxiety that 's pretty exciting but there 's not a hope that you 're going to have schizophrenia coming around. It 's not even worth trying. Well, maybe it and maybe it isn't. Schizophrenia is a tough condition. We don't have anything like the success rate with schizophrenia that we do with bipolar and it takes a lot longer. We do have some who 've gone symptom free. More often they 're able to reduce their medications and have considerably fewer symptoms. But its not the magic sort of effect that we see with bipolar. Although some people are schizophrenic and have been diagnosed with schizophrenic and they 're probably actually bipolar schizoaffective disorder. Because we 've seen some people whose symptoms have dropped very very rapidly within 3 or 4 months and that 's not typical of schizophrenia. So its possible they 're untypical response but more likely they are bipolar schizoaffective disorder.

I should mention that if there is anybody here with fibromyalgia or any other condition that makes it difficult to sit by all means get up and wander around I certainly won't be offended.

So Gloria ? was the first schizophrenic to be tried. Her life wasn't great. Hallucinations and delusions very much.. She saw bugs on the wall. She heard voices every day, And the voices with schizophrenia are not voices like good job you know. Great guy go do it. It doesn't happen that way. They are saying horrific things. Constantly putting people down and telling people things they would never ever consider doing. ? Very much extremely disorganized thoughts very much, inappropriate emotional response very much Abandonment of personal hygiene very much. Social withdrawal very much. Intense depression pretty much. Inability to concentrate very much. Avoiding activities and hobbies pretty much. Thoughts of death and suicide very much. She had two major suicide attempts that required a great many stitches to sew her up. Extreme religiousness pretty much and this is different from being a person of faith. This is a morbid preoccupation taken far beyond anything that could ever be considered to be normal faith issues. It 's a sick preoccupation taken with really bizarre side effects usually. Drug or alcohol abuse no fortunately for her. Forgetfullness very much. Unusual sensitivity to stimuli pretty much. Staring pretty much. Rigid stubbornness pretty much. Now I lived with that. Hyperactivity or inactivity very much. 99% of her time for 5 years she spent in bed. Her husband would get her up to go to the bathroom and eat and she 'd be back to bed again.

Unfortunately I don't have the dates as they got cut off as they got put into the computer somehow. She responded extremely well which is not typical of schizophrenia. Again . . mostly not at alls. . . ...At this point she 's down 25% of her medication and her original (?) medication. Well she stayed at 25% of her medication and she was doing very well at 25% of her medication But it wasn't that cheap and she figured that she was well she 'd stop taking it. And the symptoms bounced right back so they came back and said can we get back on this. And I said yes if you 're willing to go to the University of Calgary and be monitored by the psychiatrists there step by step. Which is why you see a slower response rate the second time because they brought her down more slowly.

Now unfortunately Gloria as many people do she gained a huge amount of weight with all the medications she was on for so many years and she also developed a hernia. She decided to have the hernia operation done because she was up and about. Her neighbours discovered they actually still had a woman living next door cause they hadn't seen her for years. And she went to have the hernia operation done and unfortunately when people are very heavy there are some increased risks and she developed a blood clot and died. Her family asked that her name and case be used as a memorial to her. We 're grateful to them for this.

This is a case of schizophrenia showing a more typical response time starting Feb 3 and being down to minimal symptoms by Sept 1. This is personality disorder. Personality disorder is a ? sounding name for a horrific condition where people have to self mutilate. They have a compulsion and what people who have recovered have told is that when they don't do that they have no feeling whatsoever. We just have no input and so when we cut ourselves, we gouge ourselves with forks and that adrenalin rush allows us to feel normal. Well this woman was taken into ?? 's home and responded quite rapidly. They didn't have her . I think she was on Paxil if I remember correctly but she did not respond to medication. Its ' very very difficult to treat people they call themselves cutters. She did have a major spike when she came down with a bacterial infection and went on antibiotics but when she came through it things dropped down. She still occasionally gets the ? thoughts but she hasn't had to cut for a long time.

We also have a school teacher in Ottawa who suffered from personality disorder and severe seasonal affective disorder. Every fall he would start to become psychotic and he 'd be psychotic through the winter. He was severely suicidal. In fact he was spending much of his time on the suicide chat lines and how to get help to suicides and he 's a school teacher. He finally got on to it last summer, he normalized and he said well I feel great now but this fall is going to be the clincher because if I go through October without becoming psychotic than I 'll know I 'm on to something. Not only did he go through October without being psychotic he 's been through the winter and spring without being psychotic. He 's working full time, he has a girl friend and he 's just bought his first house. And he said that if anybody is a cutter and they need to talk to somebody personality disorder self mutilating and they need to talk to somebody whose been through it to give them their e-mail or their ? address and he will talk to them cause he says people have to know that it 's a horrible way to live.

I 'm not going to go through all these case studies but this is typical of a quick responding bipolar. The quickest we ever saw was a teenage girl She went normal in 18 days after medication reduction after medication reduction because she got better worse better worse better worse. But she was the niece of a senior Alberta Government official. If you 've got to have somebody turn around like lightening that 's the one you want. And in fact the Alberta health ministry is taking a serious look at making this now in the near future covered for anybody on disability or any of the things that would be covered by the provincial drug plan.

This is a little more typical response in bipolar. A little longer than some. This is depression showing what happens. Often as people are normalizing particularly with depression and anxiety disorders It 's a bit of a roller coaster. The symptoms get better and the meds come off and the symptoms get better and the meds come off. But after they 're off all the meds, these medications are stored in the fatty tissue in the body and as a result as somebody loses weight or their exercising the medications are flushed into the blood stream. Every gram of fat that 's burned off has it 's ? of psychotherapeutic medications. So we get people who 've been off their medications for 6 months and they go off bicycle riding and they come back and say what 's going on I 'm having a haldol day. Well it 's an adverse drug reaction from their own fatty tissue. Unfortunately, there 's nothing much you can do about it except know that each time that happens that particular load of psychotheraputics is gone for good.

And this is what we 're showing here. Also with anxiety depression there tends to be little aftershocks. Never like they were previously but they tend to get less and less and less as time goes on. Also, as time goes on ? people become less sensitive to stresses and being ill. The last time I came down with a cold I had no symptoms at all whereas when I came down with the flu shortly after I got symptom free I wasn't a happy puppy. And again that 's fairly typical.

This is a fairly typical time frame for depression for most people with depression we see it taking anywhere from 3 to 6 months. Tourette ' Syndrome. We don't have a huge number of cases but in the majority of cases that we 've seen we see a significant reduction in symptoms. If Tourette 's goes on with anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder ADHD if there 's a whole host of conditions already together sometimes it takes a lot longer. We had one 13 year old boy who was a ward of the childrens aid took 4 months and he was showing some change but nothing huge so we tried to put him back on medication which hadn't been working before and we lost ground so rapidly that we put him back on to this again and finally after 5 months he was starting to show significant improvement. So sometimes when there are multiple conditions there is a slower response.

We also have a woman who has serious fibromyalgia ADHD obsessive compulsive disorder and clinical depression. And in her case she is showing a steady improvement but nothing like the improvement you would expect to see or in the same time frame.

This us a case of ADHD showing what happens when you run out of supplements. END OF SIDE FEW MINUTES MISSED


. ...Remember we were talking it can help people often there 's a family history for mental illness. David Hardy was the biochemist who got all this started Never any history whatsoever in his family but more and more we are starting to see families where there is no history whatsoever and all of a sudden they are showing up in this generation of kids. Most of the family were taking the supplements just for general health because they figured well you know hehe. They 're working for these other things so maybe we 'll just take smaller amounts just just to be safe.

The 17 year old son had no interest whasoever in taking pills. At that point it wasn't pills either. It was a whole pile of liquids and powders and patients and ? together and carried around. All of a sudden out of nowhere the 17 year old ..had a psychotic break. Bam. Pretty horrifying. So they started helping him .. Up the supplement It was a long time coming back. The first but he was a teenager and teenagers tend to respond more quickly but it was the first of April and he 's really sick and finally the end of July he had let go and he hasn't had a problem since. God willing he won't but you can bet that he 's taking a maintenance dose. It wasn't a happy time.

People think that he was being bitten by snakes and cut by saws and screaming rolling around on the bed and his father would say Landon where 's the ? . ..

We 'll do one more which is my sisters. My sister suffered from panic disorder and bipolar. I suffered from mild bipolar but I discovered when I was ...working crazy hours under very high stress that if I left that optimism bubbling I 'd be bouncing off the walls. I literally bouncing chuckling chortling to myself . ..But it was always followed immediately after by the depression. I just went and booked time off work. . . . . .

Last summer I was walking with my dog and a beautiful starry night I was walking through the gardens and I automatically turned to my ? just to make sure I wasn't ...I realized I 'm not starting to go mad. I didn't even think I was going mad. I just new that when this happened that if I didn't squash it that I suffered depression pretty ...

I realized that I 'm not manic I 'm happy .I 'm walking along here on a beautiful starry night with my dog and I feel totally content. ...Well my sister 's bipolar neither of us can use mediations because we have undesirable reactions like the inability to urinate. Which is not very tranquilizing. When you go to the hospital they laugh at you. But when she was manic she 'd be going and going and going two three hours sleep a night. When she wasn't manic, she would suffer from the panic attacks When she became depressive she would just crumble in on herself. It was almost like her face was collapsing in. And we didn't know what was wrong. . .we suffered from these feelings but we didn't realize that because we had never been really diagnosed. They just gave us these medications because we were complaining. She 'd wake up in the night and come racing up the stairs yelling:

Oh my god, oh my god oh my god oh my god what 's the matter. I don't know (all said in a falsetto) And that went on for years. She dropped down. She started on May 10 and by June 30 almost all of her symptoms were gone. Both of us go to bed and we go to sleep at night. Now her great pleasure is to go to bed go to sleep pull the cover up to her chin and go to sleep. To her that 's utter luxury. To me the luxury is waking up the next morning and knowing that I 'm going to go to sleep again the next night. Cause I go to bed and my brain keeps going and going and going and going. It 's like if there was a plug in my brain I could run the city on it. I was hyper productive man I could hardly wait to start finally fall asleep and wake up the next morning dragging my but and trying to run my company.

. . . . . .For both of us there 's a strong genetic component given our family history. For both of us the ? date after in my case just about a year and her case a little over a year. If we stop taking them symptoms come back. We 're both able to take significantly lower levels now. I was down to a third of a dose but when I was under stress things started to come back so I went back to a little under a half. And she 's at about 2/3 dose and she 's OK. That 's typical for many many people to be able to reduce it. But for bipolar, the first return of symptoms tends to be a feel good hypomania and unless they 've got a really good support system they are better to simply stay at the full level.

I 'm going to quickly flip past these and go to the fibromyalgia. You can go on to the website and there 's a number of case studies on the website as well. Fibromyalgia tough condition to live with. It 's not just the pain it 's the mental confusion, the depression and the anxiety the migraine headaches the irritable bowel disease. There 's a whole host of conditions that are tough to live with. And doctors hate to diagnose people with fibromyalgia because either they give them tricyclic antidepressants such as amitryptilyn to try and help them sleep because most of them have sleep problems as well. There 's really nothing much they can do for them.

This was a 46 year old psychologist – clinical psychologist – who developed her fibromyalgia after the birth of her child. A very high percentage of people with fibromyalgia they can point to a psychological or physiological stressor that triggered and often with these conditions post partum depression or the stresses of child birth can trigger ?

She suffered numbness around her mouth and her hands. She was severely fatigued and had disturbed sleep patterns. She was checked for multiple sclerosis with normal test results. No specific abnormalities have been found in any of the laboratory tests during her initial and subsequent evaluations. At the same clinic and if you 've ever been symptom free she tried all the things that are tried for people with fibromyalgia. And Liam Martin is the one who is running the double blind study now. After 13 months starting in April of '97 and ending in May of '98 her fibromylagia intrusive questionnaire has gone from 66.91 down to 6.35 and that 's counting how much effect fibromylagia is having on her life. The ? intrusive questionnaire has gone from 74 down to 13. The self efficacy questionnaire which is a persons own perception of how good functioning went from 580 up to 1110. Her total number of tender points went from 12 down to 6 and the myalgic score which is the severity of the tender points went from 48 to 6.

Now when you are publishing in a medical journal there is a deadline to get the study in so they they published it presented it after 13 months. She did continue on and after 15 months the last of the pain points are gone. With fibromyalgia typically the none pain aspects have been the quickest to respond. Usually within two to four and at most four months if it is straight fibromyalgia. If there 's a whole host of different conditions going on well then it can take longer. And the pain points .. 6 to 15 months to respond. But we don't have a 100% success rate with fibromylagia. Today we 're probably running about 80%. Then again it 's a condition for which there is no known treatment for the ? so even the 80% so long as you happen to be on the right side of the fence is very significant.

In the paper that you took off the table, is Dr. Rich Ferre 's study. One of Dr. Ferre 's studies. He is chief of psychiatric services at Utah Primary Children 's Hospital. And one thing that comes up over and over and over is safety. It has been assessed by numerous university and hospital pharmacists for safety. And as Dr. Ferre says it is food put gravy on it and eat it. A normal person could take if for the next 20 years and all that would happen is that they would have expensive urine. Normally there are no contraindications from doctors having been working with their patients on this. Either unusual things that we have mentioned such as ? med changes. Also if a person uses marijuana is not willing to stop it is absolutely ... out of the study because we have never had a person return to normalcy when they are using. We also find that alcohol is real bad medicine for people with these symptoms or these central nervous conditions as they 're responding. People can tolerate a drink or two but anything more than that uh things go down hill in a hurry.

The other three issues that people need to control and in fact should control in dealing with central nervous system conditions are sugar, caffeine and aspartame. Because all three of them will bind to elements and take them out of the body. And even when you chelate them for example if you are drinking coffee with the supplement a percentage of it will be bound and taken out of the system before its able to . . . . ..

So he 's been quite fascinated with this. He 's a rheumatologist and he 's the one who is running the double blind study. This is just the abstract cover sheet from Dr. Rich Ferre 's initial tests. He 's now working with quite a few different children at the clinic at the Primary Children 's Hospital. On this abstract .. So what I 'm gonna do is open the floor to questions . . . ..

Questions about reimbursement from drug plans and government and cost and how to appeal refusal by governments. Because of talk most of the questions not picked up on the tape.

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