The life cycle of the brain. People are “born demented” and with no literacy, with no understanding, with just eye contact. They progress through a slow process of high voltage sleep, but slow cognitive processing speed. Children are reactive as their brain wakes up from birth. They get even more reactive with the burst of steroids that occurs at age 12 or puberty. Puberty doesn’t end but you do adjust to it. The speed of your brain accelerates between the ages of 0-12, and will stabilize at an optimal speed at age 20.
From 0 to 20 it goes from 500ms, near comatose, to 300ms where you can efficiently process information. If you were 200 ms faster – having a processing speed of 100 ms -you speed up a lot. The irregularities increase as your brain speeds up. It challenges whether you can be stable while your being quick, whether you can be powerful while being quick, and whether you can actually sleep at night and shut off.
Basically, human beings process light at 1/20 of a second. We process sound at 1/10 of a second, pre-thought at 2/10 per second, quick thought at 3/10 per second, demented at 4/10 per second, and coma or fetal state at 5/10 per second.
From the consciousness of the fetus to the developmental delays of autism to the neuropsychiatric lifecycle of a teenager to the cognitive decline of aging from 40 on, brain processing speeds tell us a wide variety of cognitive capacities and states. This information becomes a useful probe.
Patients with lumbar disc problems have neuropsychiatric disorders. They need a whole new neuropsychopharmacological and medical strategies. For a lumbar disc patient, he or she can have medical comorbidities such as diabetes, a sleep disorder, a mood disorder, or bipolar disorder. That is not something that can be “protocalized” all across the board. All one can say is evaluate patients for multiple comorbidities and do a neuropsychiatric intervention. A protocol for patients with advanced coronary artery disease with and without angina is cardiologist and CABG.
Regarding patients with spinal stenosis, we know that doctors aren’t always doing osteoporosis scans. However, we do have many people living with severe spinal stenosis that have healthy brain function. Many people, though, can’t live with spinal stenosis because they have insomnia and mood disorders. Again, you are back to a neuropsychiatric workup. The mitral and aortic valve problems do not excite me as much. To me, better medical management is generally needed including better blood pressure control. Cholecystectomy does not excite me as much. However, there is no question that diet is important. Also, I still believe that Actigall had some use to it. Menorrhagia recommended for hysterectomies does excite me. Patients that are peri-menopausal have a neuropsychiatric component.
Basically, I am claiming that medicine costs us a fortune because we have untreated psychiatric disorders, untreated addiction, untreated obesity, and untreated cognitive decline. People are misinterpreting their symptoms and doctors are not realizing that their patients have partial dementias. They are not even doing a mini mental status exam let alone a Wechsler memory scale to see whether a 60 year old person is really giving you the correct response. I can’t tell you how many people are such poor historians that they are getting operations and procedures. Their poor historianship is part of the dementia process. Uncontrolled epilepsy increases men’s avoidance of surgery. Again, it is a neuropsychiatric protocol.
I have a new protocol that I apply to these conditions with various deviations as follows. I always believe that the neuropsychiatric component is heavily missed. The medical comorbidities are heavily missed. Also, the cognitive interpretation of symptoms is skewed and distorted by patients in pain, with medical disease, or with cognitive decline.
In addition, the modalities that are missed in medical care are the use of botanicals, natural supplements, and bioidentical hormones in the early stages of chronic disease management. Another area always missed is creative use of different medicines. For example, in some of these cases the patient who has disc disease is not using enough anticonvulsants. In a patient who does not have a seizure, neuropathy components are treatable. The same is true for spinal stenosis. The most common thing missed with angina is frequently an anxiety component and a depression component. That’s the sad part study on Zoloft and others. With valve disease, usually ACE inhibitors are not being used aggressively enough. The diuretics are usually used enough. In the cholecystectomy we are not using Actigall and diet. In hysterectomies, we are definitely not using enough antidepressants and anti-anxiety botanicals. In epilepsy, patients are not taken the meds in high enough doses. With sinusitis, we are not treating with antibiotics long enough, we are not doing CT scans of sinuses, and we are not doing simple things like steam.
Eric R. Braverman, M.D.
Dr. Braverman is a Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brandeis University and NYU Medical School, did brain research at Harvard Medical School, and trained at an affiliate of Yale Medical School. He is acknowledged worldwide as an expert in brain-based diagnosis and treatment, and he lectures to and trains doctors in anti-aging medicine.