Cause of schizophrenia ignored for 24 years...Undigested excess protein disturbs brain's normal function

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Cause of schizophrenia ignored for 24 years...Undigested excess protein disturbs brain's normal function

While traveling in Europe in May of 1972, I found an article in the International Herald Tribune (published in cooperation with the New York Times) which interested me greatly. I saved it all these years and would like to share its contents with our readers.

It was written by Stuart Auerbach and appeared on May 6th, 1972, however it has a dateline of March 5, Dallas (WP). The author states that a "highly respected researcher carried the search for the cause of schizophrenia a major step forward yesterday. He said that the disease was caused by a tiny corkscrew-shaped protein in the emotional center of the brain." The scientist who made the discovery, Dr. Jacques Gottlieb, presented his findings to the American Psychiatric Association meeting in Dallas. He apparently found that the enzyme that is supposed to regulate {digest?} that protein is missing from the brain of schizophrenics while it is present in normal brains. He went on to compare schizophrenia to diabetes where the absence of insulin prevents the conversion of sugar into energy. Dr. Gottlieb works at the Lafayette Clinic and at Wayne State University in Detroit. He thought that it would take some five years to turn his laboratory findings into treatment methods.

On the other hand, he felt that his 40-year search for the cause of schizophrenia was almost over. He presented the results of his research to a special symposium on new research where it aroused considerable interest among psychiatrists. Others had attributed schizophrenia to biological causes but were not clear on how it works.

Dr. Gottlieb noticed differences in the blood of schizophrenics and non schizophrenics and then he found that an unstable protein called alpha-two globulin (or S-protein) has a different effect on schizophrenic patient than on normal people. Together with Dr. Charles E. Frohman, a biochemist, he discovered that in schizophrenics the protein had a corkscrew shape. Normally it is either folded like an accordion or coiled like a spring.

It is this difference in shape that controls the effect, said Gottlieb. The corkscrew-shaped S-protein in schizophrenics increases the intake by the hypothalamus -- the key regulating area of the brain -- of a chemical called tryptophan. Tryptophan is important for the development of serotonin, the transmitter of messages between cells in the brain. Dr. Gottlieb and Dr. Frohman studied the kinds of compounds produced by the flooding of the hypothalamus cells with tryptophan. One of these was dimethyl tryptamine (DMT) which causes psychoses and hallucinations, both symptoms of schizophrenia. The two scientists felt that DMT is being produced in excess in certain parts of the brains of these patients and may be causing the disturbances. Other researchers have found larger amounts of DMT in the blood and urine of acute patients than in non-schizophrenics.

Dr. Gottlieb found that in normal people a stable enzyme is found in the limbic system (emotional center) of the brain which is missing from the schizophrenics brain. He called this enzyme "anti-S-protein." He is now researching the amount of anti-S-protein that can be given to produce a healthy balance.

I can't help but ask, if schizophrenia is caused by poorly digested, unnatural protein fractions (the corkscrew-shaped proteins), and if it is comparable to diabetes, where the sugar is not properly utilized due to the absence of adequate insulin, why not withhold protein from patients who are unable to digest it to its normal end-product? Do we not withhold sugar from diabetics? It must be noted here that all state hospitals where mentally disturbed people are treated are required to serve three protein meals a day! My next thought is that since virtually all schizophrenics develop the disease in their teens or later in life, they are apparently not born with it. It could then be assumed that schizophrenia or the lack of the anti-S-protein enzyme is caused by a change in the patient's metabolism. Since we also know that, by definition, toxins are enzyme inhibitors, can we not further assume that certain toxins block the anti-S-protein enzyme?

I am sure that our readers follow my train of thought: if the problem can be solved by cutting proteins out of the diet and clearing (detoxifying) the body of enzyme blockers, the Gerson Therapy is the obvious answer to overcoming schizophrenia. We have seen that, in fact, it has cured the few schizophrenia patients we have had on the Gerson Therapy! Unfortunately, the problem has recently been compounded by the long-term use of lithium and other psychoactive drugs. These drugs increase the toxic load on the body, and treating schizophrenics with the Gerson Therapy today, though still successful, now takes longer, and positive results are harder to achieve.

The Gerson Institute.

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By Charlotte Gerson

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