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This level:  
Mental Illness





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        From the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s, Insulin coma therapy was common in psychiatric treatment of schizophrenia and depression.   It was discovered in Germany, and spread to the US with emigration of psychiatrists before World War II.  A moderate amount of insulin was given, enough to restrict glucose supply to the brain, causing shock, coma, and convulsions.  Electroconvulsive therapy mostly replaced it in the 50s through 80s.  Interestingly, the therapy apparently still persists in Germany, although less insulin is now given, coma is avoided, and it is called "modified insulin therapy".  There are fairly recent reports of remarkable success using this method in treatment of schizophrenia (Nervenarzt. 1994 Nov;65(11):769-73) and depression (Psychiatr. Prax. 1995 Mar;22(2):64-7).  Not being aware of IPT results in Mexico and Canada, psychiatrists have apparently missed out on the benefits of adding medication and nutrients during a mild controlled pulse of hypoglycemia/hyperinsulinemia.

        Dr. Perez Garcia y Bellon 2 used IPT to treat some cases of mental illness.  There is a case of schizophrenia in the 1992 patent.  The patient returned to normal, apparently permanently, after only 4 IPT treatments.

        So what is going on to produce these results?  The Drs. Perez Garcia, like the insulin shock doctors, had their theories, but continued to do the treatments mainly because they worked.  Today, with the revolution of neuroscience, and with the roles of insulin in the brain being hot topics, we may begin to truly understand the underlying mechanisms.  Insulin has been shown to stimulate neuron growth and myelination, and it improves cognitive function.  There are an unusual number of insulin receptors in the hippocampus.  Maybe the detoxification and blood chemistry balancing effects of IPT help.  And apparently insulin helps regulate the balance of neurotransmitters.  

        As a past member of the Society for Neuroscience, I am sure that the amazing army of neuroscience researchers can figure it out.  My job here is to notify them of this phenomenon of IPT, and to suggest some places to start to understand it.

        Then there is the hidden infection hypothesis of evolutionary microbiologists like Paul Ewald.  There is growing evidence that obsessive compulsive disorder may be caused by Streptococcus infection or immune reaction to it.  Schizophrenia may be caused by Borna virus, or a relative.  And depression is highly suspect as an infection-caused disease because it is so prevalent and has such evolutionary disadvantages.  So IPT may be treating mental illness so rapidly and effectively by stimulating the immune system, and might even be improved by adding antibiotics and antivirals to the therapy, in a multi-pathogen IPT (MP-IPT) protocol.

        To me, the truly amazing thing is that Drs. Perez Garcia 1 and 2, through luck, intuition, observation, and experimentation, may have hit on an optimal protocol for using insulin and glucose to achieve benefits in the brain and throughout the body.



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