It is the start of conference season! I have attended 3 really interesting and useful conferences since the end of January, and have both learned as well as had reinforced information that is relevant and critical for the assessment and treatment of patients in an integrative, holistic Psychiatric practice. It is important to know about many different issues in order to determine both the underlying cause of mental health problems, as well as treat each person’s needs individually and effectively. Brain, Body and Behavior (and Moods) are all closely interconnected and influence each other in many and complex ways.
The first conference was on Integrative Pediatrics, and was sponsored by Tori Hudson, ND. The topics included both biomedical and herbal treatments of ADHD and Autism, transgender youth, the use of Omega 3 fatty acids, MRSA, Iron Deficiency Anemia, Cannabis Use, Teen Girls/self esteem, Celiac and non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, Pre-Conception Nutrition and health, and Endocrine Issues.
Last week I attended the Integrative Healthcare Symposium in NYC. This is one of the bigger Integrative conference of the year. The topics of the Microbiome-that 3-4 pound of bacteria, yeast, viruses, fungi, and other “critters” in the gut- and Epigenetics – the influence the environment, experiences and lifestyle choices makes on the expression of our genes- and inflammation continue to be major topics of interest and research. The Microbiome influences the brain, including our moods and behavior, as well as being both a cause and reacts to inflammation in the body. It is heavily affected by what is eaten as well as the lifestyle and choices such as type of birth, whether a child is breastfed or not, the use of antibiotics and toxins. David Perlmutter, MD, Mark Hyman, MD, Jeffrey Bland, PhD, Leo Galland,MD, Gerald Mullen, MD and other well known healthcare professionals in the integrative and functional medicine field presented. Two major highlights were presentations about Alzheimers, one of which (Dr. Tanzi of the Massachusetts General Hospital) talked about Alzheimer’s as due to a combination of amyloid plaques, (which may form in an attempt to wall off yeast, molds and other infections), neurofibrillary tangles (which form in response to the plaques, and inflammation. Mir inflammation does not occur, Alzheimer’s dementia does not develop! There is research going on to address each of these 3 factors. The pre-symptomatic phase (meaning the Amyloid plaques are developing but no dementia is present yet) of Alzheimer’s Disease begin 15 – 20 years before memory loss. Women, especially those who are post-menopausal- are most at risk as are people with head injuries. Learning new things and keeping active are protective. Dale Bredesen, MD presented on an integrative program that addresses many and far-reaching aspects of physical and mental health for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disorders that has resulted in a large proportion of his patients to have recovered most, if not all, of their brain functioning! It focuses on treating the inflammation throughout the body, mainly using diet, nutrition and lifestyle. If these modalities can reverse dementia, using them before dementia begins could potentially prevent it from ever developing, even if one has some of the genes related to dementia.
I am currently at the Environmental Health Symposium. This one is also an eye-opener! The toxins we put in our bodies and that our bodies are exposed to on a daily basis unknowingly are vast and can result in devastating consequences. We all need to know about this stuff to keep ourselves, our children and the planet as safe as possible. This information is not taught in medical school, and affects all aspects of health,min lauding mental health. I will write a separate post about this issue and give some specific ideas your can use to reduce your toxic burden.
Speaker panel at the public Environmental Health Program in San Diego focusing on GMOs, pesticides and the need to eat organic. The panel included Prof. Seralini, Stephanie Seneff PhD, Jeffrey Smith, Tom Malterre, Zen Honeycutt, Michele Perro MD. This gathering was held in conjunction with the Environmental Health Symposium that I have been attending this weekend. The second photo are websites for more information. This issue is critical for health and closely associated with the epidemic increase in huge numbers of diseases.