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Wednesday, October 1, 2008



About two years ago I attended a lecture given by a National Institutes of Health physician who spouted his research on Bipolar Disease in children. I asked the question whether he was aware of individuals performing studies on the role of nutrition as one of the potential influencing causes and as possible method of treatment of bipolar disease. After listening to his lecture for over one and a quarter hours, I was not surprised when he answered that, although he was aware that perhaps others were involved in these pursuits, his research involved another approach. Of course, his approach involved the use of prescription medications.

During his talk he described some differences between bipolar disease and other manifestations of childhood aberrant behavior, such as hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder (ADD) which is now being referred to as Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It seems that with the passage of time physicians keep changing the names of these diseases to accommodate both changes in reclassification and to be more politically correct. Evidence for the latter is when the term "minimal brain dysfunction" (MBD) was being used. When individuals decided that no one wanted to be labeled as "minimally brain dysfunctioned," we quickly changed the name to a less emotionally charge term.

Also during his talk, this NIH researcher stated that one of the symptoms which separates the bipolar child from the ADD child was that the bipolar child exhibited mood changes. To me this was a typical way of fitting the definition to a set of criteria. By definition, the bipolar child exhibits mood changes because the researcher says it does.

Over the years, I have observed children who were labeled Hyperactive, ADD (now ADHD), Autistic, and Bipolar. Years ago I believed that each one of these so-defined conditions were external manifestations of impaired brain chemistry (for-want-of-a-better-term). What, perhaps, distinguished the different outward clinical manifestations were: 1) what particular part or region of the brain was affected, 2) the exact chemical nature (either some brain chemical deficiency or some toxic element) of the process, and 3) the degree of involvement, either more than one part or region involved simultaneously or more than one chemical deficiency or toxic element).

One child might exhibit dyslexia because the particular region of the brain involved in spatially relating letters in a word or sentence is impaired. Another child may exhibit antisocial behavior in school because that particular region of the brain modulating such activity is impaired. What really complicates the entire interpretation is the situation of dyslexia may in itself cause the child to question his abilities, he may feel inadequate, and this entire situation may be a causative factor in his getting upset and lash out as antisocial behavior, regardless of any impaired brain chemistry which may or not exist.

Stated differently, any behavior results from a combination of activities from the brain (as a physical organ) and from the mind (as a functioning non-physical thinking entity). Impaired brain chemistry can cause the physical computer brain not to function normally. Additionally, the non-physical mind - the programmed and programming software - gets into the act. Do we call Dell who manufactured the computer box or call Microsoft who provided the software?

When viewed in this way, it becomes imperative to fix the brain problem early before more bad programming situations become increasingly difficult to correct. For unlike a Microsoft software problem, the human mind is self reprogramming, the software is constantly changing and updating.


Hyperactivity or hyperkineses, as the name implies (hyper from the Greek, meaning over and above; active from the Latin to act; and kinesis from the Greek, meaning motion), is a condition of abnormal or excessive activity, such as that manifested in the manic, or up, phase of manic-depressive states. As a descriptive term, it may be a symptom of some disease states such as hyperthyroidism (over-active thyroid gland); some medications and drugs, such as those commonly known as "uppers" (amphetamines); and other chemicals such as caffeine.

Earlier the term "hyperactivity" referred to a specific syndrome characterized by excessive motor (muscular and motion) activity, and the inability to sit still and/or keep the attention focused on one subject for very long. Recently, we have been using terms, such as "Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder" (ADHD).

Whatever the case may be, the terms hyperactivity and ADHD, whether used alone or with the word "syndrome" usually refer to a condition ascribed to children. However, it is our contention that the conditions also apply to individuals of all ages.

What distinguishes the hyperactive individual from the normally active? Unfortunately, there is no simple definition. In contrast to normally active children, hyperactive individuals exhibit purposeless activity. They usually cannot sit still. They cannot sit through a meal, watch an entire television program, listen to the end of a story, pay attention in school, complete a chore or assignment. They are always fidgeting, wiggling in their chairs, or moving about. They appear to be in perpetual motion.

Unlike an extremely active normal child, the activity of the hyperactive individual usually does not result in any meaningful accomplishments. Since they cannot sit still in school, they do not pay attention. Their attention span is poor. They fail in school or bring home poor grades. It is usually at this time that parents become really concerned when their child’s hyperactivity is translated to poor performance and grades in school.

The diagnosis can be either made most easily or be difficult to ascertain. Hyper kinetic children my exhibit the above-described performance. Additionally, they may be clumsy, cry, complain, seem depressed and unhappy, appear sullen at times or angry. They usually are disciplinary problems because they may act hostile and be into almost anything and everything. They never stop. They tend to drive their parents, teachers, and babysitters "up the wall." Mothers complain of constantly being exhausted and that they seem to get anything done because their Hyper kinetic children require constant attention.

Fathers, on the other hand, rarely see the problem, although the more perceptive may. Fathers usually get involved later when the child’s hyperactive behavior is translated into poor grades.

The, all of a sudden, things become different. The teachers are blamed and controversy arises from the lack of understanding of what is really happening.

Causative factors:A complex condition, such as hyperactivity, usually has many causative or aggravating factors, many of which may not be operative at the same time. Among the many related causes one should consider:

* Diet (sugar, food additives, flavors and dyes, caffeine-containing drinks and foods, milk, etc.);
* Food allergy and sensitivity;
* Environmental chemical sensitivities;
* Increased phosphate intake from usually from foods;
* Magnesium deficiency;
* Vitamin deficiencies, especially the B vitamins;
* Heavy metal toxicity (lead, cadmium): symptoms of impaired behavior and learning from even low level lead poisoning include: distract ability, daydreaming, impulsiveness, lack of persistence, constantly dependent and clinging, easily frustrated, failure to follow simple directions, failure to follow sequence of direction, less competent in areas of verbal performance and auditory processing, impaired ability to sustain attention, performance significantly poorer on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for children;
* Lack of full spectrum light;
* Lack of appropriate discipline.

It is my contention that all the conditions stated thus far: ADHD, Hyperactivity, Autism, Bipolar Disease, Dyslexia, Tourette’s Syndrome are all manifestations of Impaired Brain Chemistry. Additionally, I also believe that the major causes relate to food and chemical allergy and sensitivity. This will be the subject of tomorrow’s Blog.

nicola michael ©. Tauraso, M.D.)
Director, Tauraso Medical Clinic
Web site: www.drtauraso.com
Blog site: http://www.drtauraso.com/blog/index.htm
Email: drtauraso@drtauraso.com

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Magnificient Advice! Now a day we can see Bipolar Disease is a big issue for people as well as doctors.No doubt The Researchers are doing a excellent job but people should take this symptoms very seriously otherwise it may create a big problem for him/her. Bipolar disorder is often treated with mood stabilizer medications, and sometimes other psychiatric drugs. Psychotherapy also has a role, often when there has been some recovery of stability. In serious cases in which there is a risk of harm to oneself or others involuntary commitment may be used, these cases generally involve severe manic episodes with dangerous behavior or depressive episodes with suicidal ideation. People with schizophrenia are likely to have additional (comorbid) conditions, including major depression and anxiety disorders. I hope the researchers will give the great contribution to remove these types of disease. Thanks a lot!

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