There is a report that the amino acid glutamine caused psychiatric symptoms, including depression, temporarily in patients. This was reported in a recent American psychiatric textbook. Pauling discussed a similar situation with the amino acid phenylalanine in the disease PKU.
In certain types of avitaminosis there are mental symptoms. One example is a deficiency of niacin, which is required in glycolysis. Glycolysis is critical to brain energy metabolism. This subject was reviewed by Dr. Abram Hoffer.
Another example is the shortage of vitamin B12, which results in pernicious anemia. This in turn results in a shortage of oxygen in the brain, which causes slow glycolysis. Mental symptoms are seen.
But what is the common thread, if any? The answer may be that an amino acid overload can slow down brain glucose metabolism. Thus it would appear that normal brain glucose metabolism is vital to mental health.
Stevens, a brilliant American neuropathologist, has reported corpora amylacea in the brain of schizophrenics. These bodies were once studied by Virchow. Corpora amylacea are intracytoplasmic (within the cytoplasm) bodies which “distend the processes of fibrous astrocytes” according to Austin & Sakai (experts on neuropathology).
These bodies are “found in increased numbers in association with many diffuse degenerative and focal disorders of the nervous system” according to Austin & Sakai.
Corpora amylacea are similar to starch. Virchow added iodine to them and they turned light blue. Starches are polysaccharides.
Animal glycogen stains dark brown with iodine. Some workers have reported corpora amylacea to stain purple-brown.
According to Austin & Sakai, “the polyglucosan deposits in CA appear to reflect distinctive disorder of carbohydrate metabolism”.
Vogt & Vogt
Neuropathology data supports a physical explanation of schizophrenia. Cecile & Oskar Vogt of Germany wrote a brilliant paper entitled “Importance of Neuroanatomy in the Field of Neuropathology”. They reported “histologic lesions” in schizophrenia and in Huntington’s chorea. In schizophrenia they reported “wasting cells”. The cytoplasm was vacuolated.
The Vogts demonstrated “anatomic peculiarities” in schizophrenia and other psychoses. The cells were “damaged” in the striatum, a high dopamine subcortical area.
The Russian scientists Mishchenko & Bonartsev (1974) demonstrated a toxic factor in the blood serum of schizophrenics. They used an assay of chicken red cells. The factor raised the lactae/pyruvate ratio and had hemolytic activity. Lideman (1966) reported hemolytic activity. The toxic factor theory is widely recognized in Russia, but has been controversial in the US.
My own view is that the toxic factor theory is correct. Dr. Hoffer of Canada, an orthomolecular psychiatrist, accepts it. Further information will be presented in future articles. I feel that schizophrenia is a diabetes of the brain.