Sunday, August 14, 2011


Looking at the history of the young woman with rheumatoid arthritis, it must be obvious that there is something wrong with the treatment offered by the conventional medical approach. It is, of course, true that it is directed at controlling and subjugating a terrible inflammatory action directed at the joints, thus producing the diagnostic name of rheumatoid arthritis. But the drugs are aimed at damping down the inflammation where it is producing the damage in joints. In the post, it was pointed out that an inflammatory action is initiated by reflex action from the “command center” in the brain and the physical examination described the simple way in which this was shown to be involved in this patient. The conventional approach is not even attempting to locate or treat the initiating mechanism. In fact, it abhors the idea that the brain is involved in any physical organic disease because it is thought to suggest that the physical condition of the patient is “psychosomatic”. This is a diagnostic category that seeks to blame faulty psychology for the production of physical symptoms. The idea that a patient with widespread laboratory evidence of inflammation and deformity of the affected joints as a “psychosomatic” condition would be absurd.
The problem is that the part of the brain that initiates these important adaptive reflexes is not generally thought of as a computer that relies on efficient oxidation for these reflexes to function normally. Neither is there a concept that these adaptive reflexes become exaggerated when the cellular oxidative metabolism in the brain becomes compromised. As I pointed out, no inflammation means that the reflex mechanism is not functioning at all and I called it Yin. At the other extreme there is an excess of signaling that produces an inappropriate and vicious unwanted inflammation that I called Yang. Everything in the brain/body communication system is in a state of balance---- not too little and not too much. As the ancient Chinese pointed out, the state of balance is midway between a deficiency and an excess. Their explanation of what they called Tao was living in harmony with the natural state of the universe.
The core issue is cellular energy that depends on oxidative metabolism and I have already pointed out that the brain is the most actively metabolic tissue in the entire body and is therefore likely to be affected first where there is this compromise.
To sum this up, it means that our ability to produce ATP (the energy currency referred to in the previous post) must meet its use in driving active mental or physical function. That is why I suggest that this explains the old question of why genius is close to madness and why Mozart may have succumbed to this. We know that his music composition and active participation in many things in the last years of his life was great enough to be beyond our usual and customary understanding. His death has been a mystery ever since it occurred. My suggested hypothesis is that his synthesis of energy was insufficient to meet the functional physical and mental demands he imposed on himself. It may also explain why this young woman with arthritis developed her disease while she was an active athlete in the swim team. Perhaps her partial paralysis in synthesis of cellular brain energy resulted in exaggeration of the reflex action that initiated inflammation. I also pointed out that the target organ remains a mystery that might be solved by a better understanding of genetic risk. It is known that there are different ways in which the brain/body can initiate inflammation through a vast series of molecular messengers. We cannot invent drugs to inhibit each of these mechanisms. I hypothesize that improving oxidative function is the best and relatively simple method. Also, we know from the infancy history in this patient that there was a metabolic abnormality at birth that could even be related to the pregnancy, or to genetic risk. That was never studied at that time and was regarded as a passing phase of no consequence. Uric acid, found in her urine at that time, is as I indicated, from purine metabolism. But purine metabolism, without going into the complex details, is related to the processing of glucose as the major fuel that drives brain metabolism.
My long experience in learning the details and the approach offered by Complementary Alternative Medicine has emphasized for me the wisdom of Hippocrates, when he said “let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”.


  1. How did the young woman end up? Did her RA go away?

  2. I lost sight of her and entered her case merely as an example of an unconventional history. Most patients like this gradually improve without mdedicines.