How do you get adequate neurotransmitter availability in mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or mood/behavior disorders?
So many people are taking psychotropic medications that attempt to solve the problem of neurotransmitter deficiency. The way to replenish deficient neurotransmitter systems responsibly without altering brain cell receptor or uptake pathways can be accomplished as follows.
By providing Indirect Neurotransmitter Support
You can support neurotransmitter systems globally by ensuring that all nutritional pathways involved in neurotransmitter production are healthy and intact.
The following nutritional syndromes indirectly influence neurotransmitter production and/or regulation: adrenal and thyroid imbalance, heavy metal toxicity, homocysteinemia (B12, folic, betaine deficiency), lack of nutrient intake (especially protein nuriture), brain allergies (allergies to foods or environmental chemicals), sugar imbalances, copper deficiency (catecholamine production cofactor), iron deficiencies, etc.
Neurotransmitter deficiency syndromes are common in mood disorders and psychosis.
In Schizophrenia we see a Unique Neurotransmitter Deficiency component
In schizophrenia a unique problem of catecholamine depletion is created secondary to the dominant hallucinatory production of oxidized neurotransmitter metabolites! This is explained in full in my Review on Schizophrenia and on my articles on Optimal Dosing and Orthomolecular Treatment Response.
Depression is a classic example of a neurotransmitter deficiency syndrome. Based on current research, mixed neurotransmitter theory states that depression (including bipolar depression) is caused by reduced numbers of the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and/or dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine (the later 3 are the catecholamines). This is a neurotransmitter deficiency problem. Serotonin and the catecholamines are master neurotransmitters. Conventional drug treatments attempt to increase synaptic availability of one or both neurotransmitter pathways with SSRI’s, NRI’s, or SNRI’s. However, these drugs depend on having enough neurotransmitter to do the job (Delgado PL, Moreno, FA. Role of norepinephrine in depression. J Clin Psychiatry. 2000;61 Suppl 1:5-12). In clinical practice we see many drugs that either quit working or do not work at all and in such cases, the MD either, changes the medication, increase its dosage, or adds another drug. Conventional medication does not act to increase the total number of neurotransmitters and, in an attempt to increase synaptic levels - by keeping neurotransmitters in the cleft - there is further neurotransmitter depletion. As these drugs increase the synaptic concentration of neurotransmitters, there is an opposing natural breakdown of neurotransmitters mediated by MAO and COMT homeostatic regulation. The end result is a further depletion of already low neurotransmitter levels!
Treating depression is based on assessments and nutrient interventions that strengthen nerve cell function and structural integrity. I have composed a review on the ideal assessment and treatment approach for mood and behavior disorders which is exemplified in the targeted clinical approach set out by the Naturopathic Medical Research Clinic.