I caught up with a good friend at a recent get-together, I had not seen him since the pandemic shutdowns. It seems doctors had told him he had Alzheimer’s disease. Sadly, he is not the first person I’ve known with such an onset beginning in their 50s and 60s.
The disease is fatal in many different ways. I’d like to recommend a book I recently finished, “Brain Energy”, by Christopher M. Palmer.
This book was recommended to me by a podcast about Optimal Work. Mental illness is the 11th leading cause of death.
The book of Dr. Palmer has two parts. The longest part of the book covers in-depth science. The second part focuses on the practical application of the science. Palmer said that initially, his publisher only wanted to read the second half of the book. However, it was vital that he provide scientific evidence for his claim that metabolism is the link between mental illness and genetics.
He doesn’t claim that current approaches are ineffective. The book is more a cry for assistance, an expression of regret about all the people he wasn’t able to help during his years of being a psychiatrist.
He compares traffic flow with the metabolism of a city. From the Empire State Building, you can see the cars and trucks moving. Some people are faster on streets and highways. There is also the possibility of accidents, detours, and stoplights.
He writes, “…illnesses and symptoms are like traffic jams. Either traffic isn’t flowing optimally or is stopped altogether. One Highway might represent the pancreas. An access road might represent a specific brain region that controls attention and focus.… The areas of the city with regular traffic problems represent ‘symptoms’ or ‘illnesses’ — places where traffic isn’t ‘working’ properly.”
He continued, “In humans, these three things — development, function, and maintenance of the cells — all depend on metabolism… If the problem is serious enough, symptoms will appear. ”
The brain will function normally and normal body functions will return.
Depressed people often lack energy. Palmer explains that people who are depressed may lack the energy to accomplish anything. They may also eat more to compensate. Being overweight can make people feel depressed.
Dr. Palmer argues that metabolic failures lie behind many of the various manifestations of mental illness or deterioration. He cites many studies and believes focusing on correcting the imbalance in the metabolism can help many people improve their mental health. He sees restoring brain energy as key and thinks the current model, which assumes many problems are permanent states, is flawed.
By using his example, removing metabolic traffic jams can help restore brain power for many people.
He gives examples from his practice. he does not claim that all medical practices are ineffective but believes they are effective because many have the side effect of restoring brain metabolism energy.
He believes brain energy is the missing piece. As we learn more about its relationship with mental health and how it can replace traditional approaches in some cases, we will be better equipped to supplement or replace traditional approaches.
He tries to answer why there are differences between genetically identical individuals in their susceptibility to mental illness and addiction.
The Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Mark Hyman has endorsed the book as a “must-read” for anyone dealing with mental illness. This book is a guide that can help people who suffer from depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder.