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Thoughts on the prostaglandin deficiency theory of schizophrenia?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 18, 2012 at 6:54 PM

In 1977 David Horrobin proposed his theory that schizophrenia was a result of prostoglandin deficiency based on a few observations;

(1) all effective antischizophrenic drugs stimulate prolactin secretion and prolactin is a potent stimulator of prostaglandin synthesis; (2) schizophrenics are resistant to pain and inflammation and are free of rheumatoid arthritis and there is increasing evidence that prostaglandins play important roles in pain, inflammation, and rheumatoid arthritis; (3) high doses of drugs recently shown to be prostaglandin antagonists cause schizophrenia-like syndromes

This and other evidence supporting this theory is interesting. I doubt prostaglandin deficiency is the only factor in schizophrenia, but it may be a factor. I'm unsure at this point.

I'd be interested to hear other people's opinions and evaluations of this theory.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 28, 2012
at 05:20 AM

Thanks for the link, this looks like a really good paper.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 26, 2012
at 09:34 AM

I found something for you - not sure how helpful it is, but it is very solid. http://content.karger.com/produktedb/produkte.asp?DOI=110430 I read one of the Jurgen Gallinal's articles - quite impressive and it makes some sense. Not sure how else to contact you so I am posting it here.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 21, 2012
at 08:30 AM

One more observation, that might be interesting to you. When Dr. Sapolsky said that some sch. genes are beneficial for some offspring - it rings a bell, because mild sch. cases manifest sociopathic/psychopathic behavior patterns and get on top of the social pyramid.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 21, 2012
at 08:28 AM

One more - if you ever want to see clusters of sch. patients - look for workers in heavy industrial districts with "dirty" polluting manufacturing - such as Manchester in England. Diet can alleviate the symptoms, but the root cause is genetic, so it cannot be completely cured.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 21, 2012
at 08:14 AM

One more observation, that might be interesting to you. When Dr. Sapolsky said that some sch. genes are beneficial for some offspring - it rings the bell, because mild sch. cases manifest sociopathic/psychopathic behavior patterns and get on top of the social pyramid.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 21, 2012
at 08:02 AM

Thanks, VB. I think that is good advice, especially for me.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 21, 2012
at 07:56 AM

I am 100% sure that you have more scientific knowledge about this disease than me, so I am in no position to even to discuss it with you - you are by far more knowledgeable, no doubt. I am not even a doctor. But I am also 100% sure that I know more schizophrenia cases than you. You are interested in the mechanics, I am interested more in the evolutionary causes. Actually, I am not that interested - it is a painful subject to me that is too close to home. So I will leave you with this - in your search, please go for the ROOT cause, not just the mechanics. Ask "why" 1,000 times. Good luck!

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 21, 2012
at 07:33 AM

Some studies have found an association between PLA2 gene variations and schizophrenia. PLA2 codes for an enzyme involved with regulating arachidonic acid, the substrate for prostaglandin synthesis. I absolutely agree that schizophrenia involves multiple heritable genes, but what is the ultimate biological effect of these genes? Perhaps the answer involves prostaglandins.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 21, 2012
at 05:53 AM

the link does not open up for some reason. http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/articles/causesofschizophrenia.htm

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 21, 2012
at 05:52 AM

... environmental toxins.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 21, 2012
at 05:51 AM

My problem with prostaglandin theory is - can prostaglandin deficiency genes be inherited and passed on to further generations? Also, here is a link I found - a little primitive, I know, but still... If you want to hear my version: sch. is caused by a number of mutations in genes that are very very highly heritable. In some offspring they mix up with other genes and manifest themselves. In some offspring they remain silent, thus allowing the person to become a carrier. The initial mutations had something to do with ...

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 21, 2012
at 05:47 AM

You did watch it... I love his lectures!

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 21, 2012
at 04:23 AM

You are welcome - I love Robert Sapolsky!

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 21, 2012
at 12:36 AM

Its a shame that everyone, no matter the society, defines mental illness as breaking social norms. What if the social norms where wrong? Whats objective about a social norm? Challenging social norms is kinda genius sometimes. Id prefer to define mental illness as an outside-attributed, inner mind focused perception/thought process that is all consuming, in terms of being unable to correctly process outside events, for functional survival. In that sense it has nothing to do with social norms, because the same would apply to the correctness of their response to a cliff face, or a charging rhino.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 21, 2012
at 12:02 AM

It is an interesting story, just listened to it...

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 20, 2012
at 10:19 PM

VB, thanks for sharing your ideas and experiences. And I watched that video you sent, it was very interesting. I'm still unsure why you disagree with the prostaglandin theory. As of now I don't think the genetic component or the dopamine hypothesis are incongruent with it.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 20, 2012
at 09:30 PM

Jamie, interestingly in the video VB posted a professor tells a story about meeting a schizophrenic Maasai woman who, among other things, heard voices. The professor said he asked why this was strange, since the Maasai are known to hear the voices or their elders, for example. They said that she heard voices at the wrong times. It's an interesting story.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:32 PM

The two techniques,now taken up by western psychiatrists, BTW, IMO, "mindfulness" and DBT are invaluable tools for anyone who has gotten lost in inner space, including schizophrenics, and bipolars.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:28 PM

In the new age they have this thing called "grounding", in the east they call it "mindfulness", its basically coming back to planet earth, and leaving your mind out of it for awhile. Without basic techniques like this, and good technical training in inner exploration, its very easy to get lost, and there are warning in the new age, and in the east about this, aplenty. AND -Its actually proving a very effective method for managing mental illness, and being taken up as a treatment in the west, by psychologists. I guess they are catching up...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:23 PM

If you doubt that mystics often lose functionality look up "dangers of kundulani meditation", or read about barbara hand clows early experiences with channelling. Basically alot of these people "pass through", or fall into, what doctors would classify as full on disfunctional mental illness, either bipolar or schizophrenia. That western people tend to think of mystics, shamans and suchlike as rock solid people, is just plain inaccurate. Ask a clued up indian or spiritualist. Thats the end result, for _some_ who try to get there, not the journey, or end result for all.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:16 PM

"That 60% of people hear voices is complete hearsay. Literally" - well its what people said when questioned in a study, that they often heard people saying there name, when nobody was there is the common example...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:15 PM

The degree of functional impairment that people get from exposure to their inner nature will vary with the contents of that inner nature, and the basic attribution error that is common for both spiritualists and "insane" people, will lend both to some degree to be destabalised. One only needs to talk to any clued up indian person about "kundalini meditation" to know the line between the mystic and the mentally unbalanced is in fact thin, and depends on the strength of inner character of the person, not there mere focus on the inner, or attribution errors about its nature...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:08 PM

drive some insane. That our society is not accepting of these behaviours, unlike primitive ones, and not in tune with metaphor and symbolism, masks our essential inner nature. If you show too much of this, youve either got to be rock solid and become a guru, or you get locked up.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:06 PM

The mystic, clairvoyant or schizophrenic will perceive it as coming outside themselves. Attribution is the primary difference (along with increased perception of the subtle aspects of inner mind). That mystics and clarivoyants are generally more functional only illustrates that their inner mind is in somwhat more order. Its also worth noting that mystics, channelers and clairvoyants often have periods before "stability" where they loose total track of reality, and get very confused, much like bipolars and schizophrenics. Its very common in fact, and meditational practices are well known to

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:03 PM

Whether or not a person is aware of there tendancy to imagine, conceptualise in metaphor, hear or see things that are not really there, have conversations in inner dialogue, or perceive in metaphor driving emotional forces, does not change whether those things still exist in the subconcious nature of the person. The primary difference between a "sane" person and an "insane" person, is that same blurry line we get with mystic experiences - attribution...in a "sane" person, the person will attribute the heard voice, seen image, metaphor, inner dialogue whatever as being inside themselves..

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 12:59 PM

If you choose to veiw it that way fine. Thats not how I see it. Clairvoyants meet seven of the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia. In psychology we are taught to basically ignore cultures that are accepting of talking to people who are not there, like anscestors. Mystic experiences IMO are very parallel to psychotic experiences for example they follow the same broad metaphorical patterns - wars between good and evil, experiencing death. If you read up "mystic experience" in wiki, youll find much in there similar to classic delusions and hallucinations...

5e92edc5a180787a60a252a8232006e9

(345)

on June 20, 2012
at 02:46 AM

That 60% of people hear voices is complete hearsay. Literally. It's not a continuum. Very few people actually have psychotic experiences and even then, the majority are still functional -- those psychotic experiences are limited to times of stress in life and generally do not recur. You're exaggerating the prevalence of mystical experiences and likening the longing for and acceptance of such experiences with the actual occurrence of the pathology of schizophrenia; the two are different first and foremost at the level of being pathological. Being mystical is not pathological.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 02:25 AM

Its also worth noting, on the topic of mental illness, that the chemical imbalance theory of mental illness, including depression, that is widely regarded as true.. (this includes my low choline/glutamine idea), has no solid evidence for it whatsoever.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:47 AM

Again the problem of recognising this reality is a stoic, rational society, that shuns metaphor & particularly emotion. We like to think we are in control, instead of being ruled by hidden emotional forces. This is virtually the whole basis of western civlisation regarding ourselves as "civilised". The idea that our veiw of being masters of our emotions is wrong, confronts us deeply, emotionally on the highest level.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:44 AM

The disease model does not approach an understanding of the obvious continuity of these experiences in "normal" people. Jung and the like had a concept of subconcious, and psychic conflict, which seem much more able to explain the entirity of the phenomena, from the mystic experience, 2 everyday people hearing someone say there name, to "mental illness", than any disease model.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:38 AM

How or why that is brought out, is potentially complex. But any account of mental illness that does not take into account how these things occur in normal experience (proven fact- 60% of people hear voices), is not a complete theory. Why are dreams and schizophrenia and bi polar filled with emotionally pertinant metaphor? Why do 60% of people with mental illness report insight? Something that is pure dysfunction is not supposed to provide high rates of insight or benefit. Why are these experiences so similar to accounts of the mystic state, the inspiration for all religions?

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:31 AM

Well these two theories are just theories, and they are probably oversimplified. Its worth noting that in primitive societies "schizophrenia" is highly culturally regarded. And veiwing schizophrenia as a disease does not account for the prevelance of hearing voices in normal populations, nor the prevelance of talking to ancestors in primitive societies. I continue to beleive that mental illness is an extreme manifestation of normal experience, the metaphorical subconcious that exists within all of us.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 19, 2012
at 05:22 PM

Indeed, Emily Dean's blog is awesome. Her writing about this subject is actually what got me interested in researching schizophrenia.

5e92edc5a180787a60a252a8232006e9

(345)

on June 19, 2012
at 02:30 PM

They're already conducting clinical trials with mice. A couple of more of these and I believe the infection model of schizophrenia will take hold. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18845557?dopt=Abstract

5e92edc5a180787a60a252a8232006e9

(345)

on June 19, 2012
at 02:21 PM

All people are afflicted with schizophrenia. I don't know who spread the story that the hunter-gatherers are immune from the disease. It is possible that there will be more environmental stresses that will kickstart the retrovirus in a Neolithic environment, however. But schizophrenia goes back to time immerorial. Most American Indian tribes had shamans and others who behaved like schizophrenics.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 19, 2012
at 10:04 AM

I disagree with this author. It is 100% in my observation.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 19, 2012
at 09:03 AM

Something else that I have observed - maybe it will be interesting for you. Schizophrenia and related mental illnesses are somehow related to alcohol consumption from the father's side. I believe that alcohol consumption somehow alters the genes. At least this is what my guess is from observing those mental cases. I cannot be any more clear, sorry - it is all anecdotal evidence, although I have tons of observations and years of experience.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 19, 2012
at 08:59 AM

Jamie, you have not watched the link I have posted (a lecture by Robert Sapolsky). He tells a story that proves the occurrence of mental illness in hunter-gatherers and animals. So much for the diet/lifestyle/emotion hypothesis. No, mental illnesses are not the norm and I believe they are chemical imbalances. The condition of the patient can be improved with diet and lifestyle, but the genes cannot be eradicated. There is no cure.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 19, 2012
at 07:40 AM

The reason why there is no citation is that the exact causes of schizophrenia are still not well understood by regular science. The is a theory that a number (5 to 10, or more) of different genes, as well as many different environmental influences, are responsible for an individual developing schizophrenia. However, schizophrenia is just the tip of the iceberg where the murky genes are at the bottom.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 19, 2012
at 07:06 AM

The HERV theory is interesting. Thanks for the link. I definitely need to read up on it a bit more, but I'm wondering if it necessarily pushes the prostaglandin theory out the window. I can think of some connecting explanations, but I'll need to become a bit more informed about the retrovirus theory.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 19, 2012
at 06:50 AM

Jamie, thanks for your comment. I've become fascinated with in this topic and am reading what I can about it. I appreciate your perspective.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 19, 2012
at 04:50 AM

The reason why there is no citation is that the exact causes of schizophrenia are still not well understood by regular science. The is a theory that a number (5 to 10, or more) of different genes, as well as many different environmental influences, are responsible for an individual developing schizophrenia. However, schizophrenia is just a top an iceberg were are murky genes are at the bottom.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 19, 2012
at 04:46 AM

There will be no citation. I know it first-hand. I have been observing schizophrenics for about 30 years in many generations (up to 6 generations). I know it is and I even know the mechanics of it. And if you watch Dr. Sapolsky's lecture, he mentions the heredity as well.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 19, 2012
at 02:15 AM

It's very heritable, but not 100%. Twin studies on schizophrenics have demonstrated the important role environment plays in the development of the disease.

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on June 18, 2012
at 10:10 PM

Still waiting for that citation supporting the "100% heritable" claim...

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on June 18, 2012
at 10:09 PM

Do you have an actual citation for your claim or were you just talking out of your ass? I suspect it's the latter.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 18, 2012
at 09:36 PM

Googling brings the most popular results, not the most accurate ones... but you already knew that, right?

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on June 18, 2012
at 09:30 PM

I just Googled "100% heritable" and got a whopping 3 results, none of which were about schizophrenia.

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on June 18, 2012
at 08:38 PM

100% heritable? Seriously?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 18, 2012
at 08:22 PM

They don't have to be mutually exclusive, but... Horrobin's hypothesis is trying to answer the question "how", instead of "why". Once you know "why", you will get to "how".

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 18, 2012
at 07:49 PM

In the letter I linked to David Horrobin wrote that his hypothesis "is not necessarily inconsistent with current transmitter theories of schizophrenia since prostaglandins modify transmitter secretion and action".

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on June 18, 2012
at 07:19 PM

Why is this mutually exclusive?

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5 Answers

2
Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 19, 2012
at 06:07 AM

I wonder if mental illness is not diet related, or a neurotransmitter deficiancy myself.

Studies have suggested (sorry didnt read these studies myself), bipolars are high in glutamate, and low in acetylcholine, and schizophrenics are high in acetylcholine, and low in glutamate. Both those neurotransmitter systems relate to memory and conciousness.

Glutamate lowering drugs are disassociatives, like ketamine and PCP. Choline lowering drugs are delirients like datura. Bipolars treated with choline respond as effeciently as they do with anti-psychotics (did read these studies) 30% of people are low in choline (choline is in eggs and meat). There have been several studies on bipolar and choline, and the link seems completely plausible, when you consider what choline lowering drugs do, and that people in society are generally low in choline.

There are no studies that I know of that attempt to rectify the balance in schizophrenics with glutamine supplementation, but thats something that really should be tried.

I personally have no idea about your prostaglandin deficiency theory, and sorry to use this as a chance to share the theory Ive considered, but thought u might be interested.

The other unpopular theory worth considering with mental illness is that of psychic conflict, that emotional pressures in the persons mind, or particularly world, or world veiw cause the person to experience things in metaphor, in an attempt to re-organise the mind (roughly).

This is the model that Jung proposed, and there have been a few cases of schizophrenics being successfully cured using this model (trying to understand what the delusions and hallicinations mean, being in a supportive, safe and comforting enviroment).

I think there is some merit in this concept, as there is clearly metaphorical content in mentally ill peoples ideas and experiences, much like that in dreams. Youd need to be blind not to see that these delusions and hallicinations arent random. They fall into clear symbolic patterns. And there is also a high degree of emotional disatifaction and trauma in mentally ill peoples lives.

I tend to beleive that a combination of these two factors (diet/lifetysle, and emotions) could resolve/cure mental illness - ie a tailored eating pattern, excercise, and corrections to the conditions which the person lives in, and context for their emotions.

At the very least, these are two links - dietary neurotransmitters levels and underlying emotions behind mental illness that are underexplored and considered.

Why is it that rather than assume a person has issues they need context for, we assume something is radically broken? Children 'hallucinate'. 60% of people hear voices, usually there own name. Traditional people have long talked to their anscestors. These experiences are perfectly within normal experiences, they are just under-recognised in our materialistic, scientific, and emotionally stoic society. (and the stoicism of our society probably doesnt help "mentally ill" people at all IMO)

Anyway, in my mind, the current accepted theories of mental illness, are so unfounded, so unevidenced, so counter intuitive, so poor at giving treatment, and quite inhumane either way, that I personally veiw them as pure primitive superstition, that is the result of a society in strong denial.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:08 PM

drive some insane. That our society is not accepting of these behaviours, unlike primitive ones, and not in tune with metaphor and symbolism, masks our essential inner nature. If you show too much of this, youve either got to be rock solid and become a guru, or you get locked up.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 21, 2012
at 12:02 AM

It is an interesting story, just listened to it...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:06 PM

The mystic, clairvoyant or schizophrenic will perceive it as coming outside themselves. Attribution is the primary difference (along with increased perception of the subtle aspects of inner mind). That mystics and clarivoyants are generally more functional only illustrates that their inner mind is in somwhat more order. Its also worth noting that mystics, channelers and clairvoyants often have periods before "stability" where they loose total track of reality, and get very confused, much like bipolars and schizophrenics. Its very common in fact, and meditational practices are well known to

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:47 AM

Again the problem of recognising this reality is a stoic, rational society, that shuns metaphor & particularly emotion. We like to think we are in control, instead of being ruled by hidden emotional forces. This is virtually the whole basis of western civlisation regarding ourselves as "civilised". The idea that our veiw of being masters of our emotions is wrong, confronts us deeply, emotionally on the highest level.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:44 AM

The disease model does not approach an understanding of the obvious continuity of these experiences in "normal" people. Jung and the like had a concept of subconcious, and psychic conflict, which seem much more able to explain the entirity of the phenomena, from the mystic experience, 2 everyday people hearing someone say there name, to "mental illness", than any disease model.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:16 PM

"That 60% of people hear voices is complete hearsay. Literally" - well its what people said when questioned in a study, that they often heard people saying there name, when nobody was there is the common example...

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 20, 2012
at 09:30 PM

Jamie, interestingly in the video VB posted a professor tells a story about meeting a schizophrenic Maasai woman who, among other things, heard voices. The professor said he asked why this was strange, since the Maasai are known to hear the voices or their elders, for example. They said that she heard voices at the wrong times. It's an interesting story.

5e92edc5a180787a60a252a8232006e9

(345)

on June 20, 2012
at 02:46 AM

That 60% of people hear voices is complete hearsay. Literally. It's not a continuum. Very few people actually have psychotic experiences and even then, the majority are still functional -- those psychotic experiences are limited to times of stress in life and generally do not recur. You're exaggerating the prevalence of mystical experiences and likening the longing for and acceptance of such experiences with the actual occurrence of the pathology of schizophrenia; the two are different first and foremost at the level of being pathological. Being mystical is not pathological.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:15 PM

The degree of functional impairment that people get from exposure to their inner nature will vary with the contents of that inner nature, and the basic attribution error that is common for both spiritualists and "insane" people, will lend both to some degree to be destabalised. One only needs to talk to any clued up indian person about "kundalini meditation" to know the line between the mystic and the mentally unbalanced is in fact thin, and depends on the strength of inner character of the person, not there mere focus on the inner, or attribution errors about its nature...

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 19, 2012
at 08:59 AM

Jamie, you have not watched the link I have posted (a lecture by Robert Sapolsky). He tells a story that proves the occurrence of mental illness in hunter-gatherers and animals. So much for the diet/lifestyle/emotion hypothesis. No, mental illnesses are not the norm and I believe they are chemical imbalances. The condition of the patient can be improved with diet and lifestyle, but the genes cannot be eradicated. There is no cure.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:31 AM

Well these two theories are just theories, and they are probably oversimplified. Its worth noting that in primitive societies "schizophrenia" is highly culturally regarded. And veiwing schizophrenia as a disease does not account for the prevelance of hearing voices in normal populations, nor the prevelance of talking to ancestors in primitive societies. I continue to beleive that mental illness is an extreme manifestation of normal experience, the metaphorical subconcious that exists within all of us.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 02:25 AM

Its also worth noting, on the topic of mental illness, that the chemical imbalance theory of mental illness, including depression, that is widely regarded as true.. (this includes my low choline/glutamine idea), has no solid evidence for it whatsoever.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 19, 2012
at 06:50 AM

Jamie, thanks for your comment. I've become fascinated with in this topic and am reading what I can about it. I appreciate your perspective.

5e92edc5a180787a60a252a8232006e9

(345)

on June 19, 2012
at 02:21 PM

All people are afflicted with schizophrenia. I don't know who spread the story that the hunter-gatherers are immune from the disease. It is possible that there will be more environmental stresses that will kickstart the retrovirus in a Neolithic environment, however. But schizophrenia goes back to time immerorial. Most American Indian tribes had shamans and others who behaved like schizophrenics.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:23 PM

If you doubt that mystics often lose functionality look up "dangers of kundulani meditation", or read about barbara hand clows early experiences with channelling. Basically alot of these people "pass through", or fall into, what doctors would classify as full on disfunctional mental illness, either bipolar or schizophrenia. That western people tend to think of mystics, shamans and suchlike as rock solid people, is just plain inaccurate. Ask a clued up indian or spiritualist. Thats the end result, for _some_ who try to get there, not the journey, or end result for all.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:38 AM

How or why that is brought out, is potentially complex. But any account of mental illness that does not take into account how these things occur in normal experience (proven fact- 60% of people hear voices), is not a complete theory. Why are dreams and schizophrenia and bi polar filled with emotionally pertinant metaphor? Why do 60% of people with mental illness report insight? Something that is pure dysfunction is not supposed to provide high rates of insight or benefit. Why are these experiences so similar to accounts of the mystic state, the inspiration for all religions?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 21, 2012
at 05:47 AM

You did watch it... I love his lectures!

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:03 PM

Whether or not a person is aware of there tendancy to imagine, conceptualise in metaphor, hear or see things that are not really there, have conversations in inner dialogue, or perceive in metaphor driving emotional forces, does not change whether those things still exist in the subconcious nature of the person. The primary difference between a "sane" person and an "insane" person, is that same blurry line we get with mystic experiences - attribution...in a "sane" person, the person will attribute the heard voice, seen image, metaphor, inner dialogue whatever as being inside themselves..

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:28 PM

In the new age they have this thing called "grounding", in the east they call it "mindfulness", its basically coming back to planet earth, and leaving your mind out of it for awhile. Without basic techniques like this, and good technical training in inner exploration, its very easy to get lost, and there are warning in the new age, and in the east about this, aplenty. AND -Its actually proving a very effective method for managing mental illness, and being taken up as a treatment in the west, by psychologists. I guess they are catching up...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 12:59 PM

If you choose to veiw it that way fine. Thats not how I see it. Clairvoyants meet seven of the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia. In psychology we are taught to basically ignore cultures that are accepting of talking to people who are not there, like anscestors. Mystic experiences IMO are very parallel to psychotic experiences for example they follow the same broad metaphorical patterns - wars between good and evil, experiencing death. If you read up "mystic experience" in wiki, youll find much in there similar to classic delusions and hallucinations...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 20, 2012
at 01:32 PM

The two techniques,now taken up by western psychiatrists, BTW, IMO, "mindfulness" and DBT are invaluable tools for anyone who has gotten lost in inner space, including schizophrenics, and bipolars.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on June 21, 2012
at 12:36 AM

Its a shame that everyone, no matter the society, defines mental illness as breaking social norms. What if the social norms where wrong? Whats objective about a social norm? Challenging social norms is kinda genius sometimes. Id prefer to define mental illness as an outside-attributed, inner mind focused perception/thought process that is all consuming, in terms of being unable to correctly process outside events, for functional survival. In that sense it has nothing to do with social norms, because the same would apply to the correctness of their response to a cliff face, or a charging rhino.

1
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on June 19, 2012
at 02:42 PM

I can't answer your question directly, but you may find some great info at Dr. Emily Dean's blog:

Evolutionary Psychiatry

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 19, 2012
at 05:22 PM

Indeed, Emily Dean's blog is awesome. Her writing about this subject is actually what got me interested in researching schizophrenia.

1
5e92edc5a180787a60a252a8232006e9

(345)

on June 19, 2012
at 05:21 AM

That's a 1977 article, eons ago in terms of medical research. Schizophrenia research has since advanced far beyond RA and prostoglandin. The latest flavor of the month pins the blame on pathogens.

Actually, this time, the flavor of the month seems to have some staying power: The latest thinking is that schizophrenia may be linked to MS and bipolar disorder, and that the culprit is HERV-W, a retrovirus which entered our DNA 60 million years ago, when human being were lemur-like mammals. Infections trigger HERV-W to awaken shortly before or after birth: properly activated, the new born now has a death sentence and a destiny with either schizophrenia, MS or BD.

Some of you may laugh but the retrovirus theory explains the frequence of schizophrenics being born in colder months. Well, guess what, the same thing happens in MS and BD. Whether you contract schizophrenia, MS or bipolar disorder may depend on the state of your immune system, which is weakend in colder months. Again, no brainer since those with autoimmune problems know that the gut and the brain seem to be tightly linked when it comes to moods, even psychosis.

Read more about it here. It's a detective story. And someone who cracks the schizophrenia puzzle will be a health detective, not someone at the treatment end clueless and unaware of the role of infections in kickstarting just about every disease there is. PHD seems to be right -- infections cause not only chronic and degenerative diseases but other, even mental, illnesses as well.

http://discovermagazine.com/2010/jun/03-the-insanity-virus

5e92edc5a180787a60a252a8232006e9

(345)

on June 19, 2012
at 02:30 PM

They're already conducting clinical trials with mice. A couple of more of these and I believe the infection model of schizophrenia will take hold. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18845557?dopt=Abstract

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 19, 2012
at 07:06 AM

The HERV theory is interesting. Thanks for the link. I definitely need to read up on it a bit more, but I'm wondering if it necessarily pushes the prostaglandin theory out the window. I can think of some connecting explanations, but I'll need to become a bit more informed about the retrovirus theory.

1
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 18, 2012
at 07:14 PM

I have to disagree with this theory.

  1. Please watch. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEnklxGAmak

  2. Schizophrenia is 100% heritable and it has a very weird genetic pattern. It is a recessive gene that follows an atypical pattern of heredity.

EDITED: by 100% heritable I mean that the gene/genes responsible are inherited by 100% of all offspring. It does not mean that the child develops schizophrenia, but all children carry the genes and pass them on. Those genes will manifest themselves in future generations following a particular pattern. No quotes - personal observations.

  1. I believe in dopamine-receptor theory. Why? I know too many schizophrenics, unfortunately, and observed them in a very close environment. It is not true that schizophrenics are resistant to pain. Some of them - yes, some of them - definitely no.

http://mancpsychsoc.blogspot.com/2011/10/schizophrenia-is-arguably-80-heritable.html

I disagree with the author. Definitely 100% heritable.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 21, 2012
at 04:23 AM

You are welcome - I love Robert Sapolsky!

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on June 18, 2012
at 08:38 PM

100% heritable? Seriously?

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on June 18, 2012
at 07:19 PM

Why is this mutually exclusive?

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 18, 2012
at 07:49 PM

In the letter I linked to David Horrobin wrote that his hypothesis "is not necessarily inconsistent with current transmitter theories of schizophrenia since prostaglandins modify transmitter secretion and action".

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 18, 2012
at 08:22 PM

They don't have to be mutually exclusive, but... Horrobin's hypothesis is trying to answer the question "how", instead of "why". Once you know "why", you will get to "how".

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on June 18, 2012
at 10:10 PM

Still waiting for that citation supporting the "100% heritable" claim...

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on June 18, 2012
at 09:30 PM

I just Googled "100% heritable" and got a whopping 3 results, none of which were about schizophrenia.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 19, 2012
at 04:46 AM

There will be no citation. I know it first-hand. I have been observing schizophrenics for about 30 years in many generations (up to 6 generations). I know it is and I even know the mechanics of it. And if you watch Dr. Sapolsky's lecture, he mentions the heredity as well.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 19, 2012
at 02:15 AM

It's very heritable, but not 100%. Twin studies on schizophrenics have demonstrated the important role environment plays in the development of the disease.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 19, 2012
at 07:40 AM

The reason why there is no citation is that the exact causes of schizophrenia are still not well understood by regular science. The is a theory that a number (5 to 10, or more) of different genes, as well as many different environmental influences, are responsible for an individual developing schizophrenia. However, schizophrenia is just the tip of the iceberg where the murky genes are at the bottom.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 19, 2012
at 10:04 AM

I disagree with this author. It is 100% in my observation.

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on June 18, 2012
at 10:09 PM

Do you have an actual citation for your claim or were you just talking out of your ass? I suspect it's the latter.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 18, 2012
at 09:36 PM

Googling brings the most popular results, not the most accurate ones... but you already knew that, right?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 19, 2012
at 09:03 AM

Something else that I have observed - maybe it will be interesting for you. Schizophrenia and related mental illnesses are somehow related to alcohol consumption from the father's side. I believe that alcohol consumption somehow alters the genes. At least this is what my guess is from observing those mental cases. I cannot be any more clear, sorry - it is all anecdotal evidence, although I have tons of observations and years of experience.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 19, 2012
at 04:50 AM

The reason why there is no citation is that the exact causes of schizophrenia are still not well understood by regular science. The is a theory that a number (5 to 10, or more) of different genes, as well as many different environmental influences, are responsible for an individual developing schizophrenia. However, schizophrenia is just a top an iceberg were are murky genes are at the bottom.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 21, 2012
at 07:56 AM

I am 100% sure that you have more scientific knowledge about this disease than me, so I am in no position to even to discuss it with you - you are by far more knowledgeable, no doubt. I am not even a doctor. But I am also 100% sure that I know more schizophrenia cases than you. You are interested in the mechanics, I am interested more in the evolutionary causes. Actually, I am not that interested - it is a painful subject to me that is too close to home. So I will leave you with this - in your search, please go for the ROOT cause, not just the mechanics. Ask "why" 1,000 times. Good luck!

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 21, 2012
at 08:14 AM

One more observation, that might be interesting to you. When Dr. Sapolsky said that some sch. genes are beneficial for some offspring - it rings the bell, because mild sch. cases manifest sociopathic/psychopathic behavior patterns and get on top of the social pyramid.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 21, 2012
at 08:30 AM

One more observation, that might be interesting to you. When Dr. Sapolsky said that some sch. genes are beneficial for some offspring - it rings a bell, because mild sch. cases manifest sociopathic/psychopathic behavior patterns and get on top of the social pyramid.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 21, 2012
at 05:51 AM

My problem with prostaglandin theory is - can prostaglandin deficiency genes be inherited and passed on to further generations? Also, here is a link I found - a little primitive, I know, but still... If you want to hear my version: sch. is caused by a number of mutations in genes that are very very highly heritable. In some offspring they mix up with other genes and manifest themselves. In some offspring they remain silent, thus allowing the person to become a carrier. The initial mutations had something to do with ...

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 20, 2012
at 10:19 PM

VB, thanks for sharing your ideas and experiences. And I watched that video you sent, it was very interesting. I'm still unsure why you disagree with the prostaglandin theory. As of now I don't think the genetic component or the dopamine hypothesis are incongruent with it.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 21, 2012
at 08:02 AM

Thanks, VB. I think that is good advice, especially for me.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 21, 2012
at 05:52 AM

... environmental toxins.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on June 21, 2012
at 07:33 AM

Some studies have found an association between PLA2 gene variations and schizophrenia. PLA2 codes for an enzyme involved with regulating arachidonic acid, the substrate for prostaglandin synthesis. I absolutely agree that schizophrenia involves multiple heritable genes, but what is the ultimate biological effect of these genes? Perhaps the answer involves prostaglandins.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 21, 2012
at 08:28 AM

One more - if you ever want to see clusters of sch. patients - look for workers in heavy industrial districts with "dirty" polluting manufacturing - such as Manchester in England. Diet can alleviate the symptoms, but the root cause is genetic, so it cannot be completely cured.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 21, 2012
at 05:53 AM

the link does not open up for some reason. http://www.alternativementalhealth.com/articles/causesofschizophrenia.htm

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on June 18, 2012
at 08:18 PM

This is really fascinating. My mother is a diagnosed schizophrenic. She is essentially a vegan (fruits and vegetables) + small amounts of Greek yogurt and salmon. She is a long distance runner and, despite her anorexia, a phenomenal tennis player as well. She does not have arthritis or and I am convinced she is going to outlive us all. She obviously does not consume much AA, but I have no clue about whether exogenous AA affects endogenous levels. Interesting theory, but it seems a little too simplistic.

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