NeuroRecover: New and Effective Therapy for Damaged Brains
John E. Humiston, M.D. (Emerald Neuro–Recover, Carmel, Indiana)
26 October 2020
We are all aware that the percentage of the population suffering emotional issues and taking psychotropic medications has grown immensely during the last many years. In addition, the use of opiates, cannabis and other illicit drugs has also grown substantially in that same time. While people so often have undiagnosed underlying pathologies (such as Candida overgrowth, hypothyroidism or adrenal fatigue) which cause the symptoms (anxiety, depression, insomnia, fatigue) that drive them to medication or drug use, the brain ends up being chemically altered by these substances and even by the stress of the symptoms themselves, if they are longstanding and serious enough.
Little could be done in the past for the damaged brain. We offered counseling and always hoped the brain would just heal itself once the offending substance or stressful situation was relieved. However, the brain is made of tissue just like any other organ, and is subject to chemical insult and excess wear, just as the other organs are.
The brain has been likened to a spider web, due to its inherent ability to adapt to allow for neurologic balance and control. The likeness is that if one area of the web is pulled upon, there are slight compensatory deflections throughout the entire web. If the pull is long enough and hard enough, the deflections persist and become the new norm for the brain tissue. We call this condition dependence or burnout, depending on the causes.
What causes this tissue damage? Aside from drugs, alcohol and tobacco, other causes are ADD/ADHD, autism, work burnout, prolonged stress, severe insomnia, PTSD and concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI). These non–drug causes (aside from TBI) are actually situations that induce excess wear and premature failure primarily of dopamine, endocannabinoid, nicotinic acetylcholine and even GABA systems. Why? Because in these conditions the individual is having to struggle so much to either think clearly, suppress anxiety or get adequate brain rest that the pathways involved in those functions actually wear out because the daily demand exceeds the tissue‘s design.
The great news and the purpose of this article is to present the science behind the use of intravenous NAD and amino acid combinations to assist the brain in the repair of these tissues damaged by drugs, stress and/or physical trauma. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) combined with specific amino acids (L–threonine, glycine, L phenylalanine, D,L–phenylalanine and L–alanyl/L–glutamine) is observed to significantly assist natural brain healing, both to a degree and with a speed that is not seen with just abstinence from substances and healing time alone.
It essentially works like this: Psychiatric medications, drugs, tobacco, marijuana and alcohol (and similarly, prolonged brain stress) work in various ways to cause overstimulation of neurotransmitter receptors, in order to get the desired effects.
s are directly damaged by this unnatural stimulation, and also the brain‘s necessary adaptive quality responds by decreasing receptor number and receptivity (called downregulation). This is what causes dependence and tolerance. Because these substances and the intensity of their use is not something the brain is designed to withstand (at least not for long), the receptor adaptation and damage often remains, even after the offending substance is no longer used. Some receptor systems (like dopamine)
d to spring back pretty well, if the use has not been too long and heavy. Other systems, particularly the inhibitory GABA and endocannabinoid systems, do not tend to spring back and can be majorly damaged still even years after substance use has subsided.
Treatment is aimed at first addressing the common underlying and unaddressed diagnoses that are usually involved in people seeking substances in the first place, so that organic causes of anxiety, depression, insomnia and fatigue are treated and are no longer causing chemical imbalance in the body. The brain itself is then treated to a daily infusion lasting about eight hours of first IV vitamins and minerals (Myer‘s), then IV glutathione or alpha lipoic acid, then IV NAD and amino acids in specific combinations that have been found to target healing in specific neurotransmitter systems. Psychosocial aspects of the patient‘s situation are also evaluated and addressed with effective counseling
The brain is very adaptive and seeks to make do with the pathways available to it, even if they‘re barely holding together with “duct tape and twine.” However, when presented with an unnatural abundance of natural healing materials, the brain allows these damaged pathways to go offline and go into repair mode, with the infused materials prompting cellular repair and the actual restoration of the receptor sites. This is observed as patients being able to come off medications very quickly, even after years of dependence, and having a much shorter and less intense withdrawal than they otherwise would. Further and even better, after the first 3–6 days of treatment, they notice that higher functions are returning, such as sense of humor, social awareness, clarity of thought, memory, enthusiasm and mental energy/stamina. This improvement in higher functions also allows the patient to be more receptive to advice and counseling on how to move forward with life. And because the brain changes are not brought about by a drug or biological agent acting on the receptors but by actual repair, the changes are permanent (as long as offending substances are avoided).
Regarding work burnout, ADD/ADHD and the other states that cause premature wear, the response tends to be quicker than when substances have been involved, because there has not been as much direct chemical insult.
The individual treatment approach is chosen according to the patient‘s substance use or brain wear history, and current and past symptoms. As few as 8–10 treatment days are
required for substances such as cannabis, alcohol or methamphetamine, and up to 18 days are required for benzodiazepines (Ativan, Xanax, Klonopin, Valium) and cases involving multiple substances. This treatment has shown consistent success with all mind–altering substances (although it may not be effective in the case of damage from electroconvulsive therapy).