Melbourne conference to examine better health through bio-chemistry

The latest research into the treatment of mental and behavioural disorders and autistic spectrum disorders will be discussed by experts in the field at the upcoming Walsh Research Institute Conference in Melbourne (Sunday 18th March, 2018).

The One Day Public Conference will be presented by Bio Balance Health at the Rendezvous Hotel in Melbourne, with six keynote speakers bringing expertise in the areas of mental health and behavioural disorders, biochemical imbalances, scientific research, autistic spectrum disorders, paediatrics, nutrition and molecular genetics.

The conference will be led by Dr. William J. Walsh, PHD, an internationally recognised expert on biochemical imbalances who has devoted nearly 40 years to researching the biochemistry behind behaviour, learning and memory, mental health and various disease conditions.

His early work included a 12 year collaboration with the renowned, late, Carl C. Pfeiffer, MD, PhD of Princeton, NJ (USA).

Dr. Walsh, the president of the non-profit Walsh Research Institute near Chicago, USA, has developed science-based, advanced nutrient therapies that have helped thousands of patients challenged by behavioural disorders, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, ADHD, Autism and Alzheimer’s disease.

The author of more than 200 scientific articles and reports, Dr. Walsh has presented his experimental research at the American Psychiatric Association, The U.S Senate and National Institute of Mental Health and has been a speaker at 30 international conferences.

Dr. Walsh will discuss “Nutrient Therapy and Mental Illness - Present Capability and a Look at the Future.”

He will be joined by conference speakers Dr. Elizabeth Mumper, MD, FAAP; Dr. Nancy O’Hara, MD; Dr. Judith Bowman, MD; Dr. Stephanie Fryar-Williams, MB BS BSc (Biochem/Pharmacol) FRANZCP and Dr. Denise Furness, PHD (Hons) RNutr REPs. 

Dr. Elizabeth Mumper is President and CEO of Advocates of Children and Advocates for Families, devoted to the care of children with autism and other neurodevelopmental problems, and Founder of the Rimland Center in Virginia.

Dr. Mumper graduated magna cum laude from Bridgewater College and attended the Medical College of Virginia, did residency training at the University of Massachusetts and University of Virginia where she served as Chief Resident of Paediatrics at UVA.

She has published several research papers related to autism in the peer reviewed medical literature, and has chapters on allergy, immunology and behavioural developmental paediatrics published in “Paediatrics” a board review series book for medical students.

Dr. Mumper’s topic for discussion will include “Adventures in Brain Health: Research update from 2017.”

  • New publications about environmental factors affecting pregnancy and risk for autism and other chronic childhood conditions
  • Brain glymphatics: paradigm change about communication between the immune system and the brain
  • Cell danger response and the suramin trial at UCSD: promising avenues for intervention at the root cause of autism
  • ACE’s: Adverse Childhood Experiences and how we can promote resiliency in those affected

Dr. Judith Bowman, MD of Mensah Medical, joins Dr. Walsh as a trainer at the 2018 Walsh Research Institute training program for medical doctors – Mastering Brain Chemistry.

Answering the need for specialists with a background in both traditional as well as natural medicine, Dr. Bowman co-founded Mensah Medical with Dr. Albert Mensah, near Chicago in 2008, after serving as primary physicians at the original Pfeiffer Treatment Centre (now closed).

As one of the world’s leading biomedical practices specialising in biochemical individuality and imbalances, Mensah Medical has helped patients from all over the world and is recognised internationally for their metabolic treatment approaches for patients with autism, anxiety, depression, post-partum depression, behavioural and learning disorders, OCD, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Autism Spectrum Disorders represent 40 percent of Dr. Bowman’s patient population.

A faculty member of the Walsh Research Institute Medical Practitioner Training Program, Dr. Bowman utilises the foundational Walsh/Pfeiffer methodologies in a comprehensive fashion to heal the mind, body and soul of not only autistic patients, but their families as well.

Dr. Bowman will discuss “Biochemical approach to treat the symptoms of behavioural and cognitive disorders and autism spectrum disorder”.

A board certified paediatrician, Dr. Nancy O’Hara, MD, formerly taught children with autism. 

She graduated with highest honours from Bryn Mawr College and as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She earned a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh.

After residency, chief residency and general paediatric fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. O’Hara entered general private practice in 1993, and in 1998 began her consultative, integrative practice solely for children with special needs. Since 1999 she has dedicated her practice to the integrative and holistic care of children with neurodevelopment disorders, ADHD, PANDAS/PANS, OCD, Lyme and Autistic Spectrum Disorder. 

She is a leader in the training of clinicians, both in the US and abroad.

Dr. Nancy O’Hara will present POTS & PANS: A Review of Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Syndromes and Associated Dysautonomia.

“Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders associated with Streptococcal Infections, or PANDAS, is a common autoimmune disorder with far-reaching movement, behavioural, and cognitive consequences. While OCD and tics are still common, other issues like anxiety, bedtime fears, inability to control urination, aggression, and deficits in learning, attention, and social interaction are among the many manifestations that result from PANDAS/PANS and impair the daily functioning and cognitive progress for many children. Not only Strep, but Lyme, Viruses, Mycoplasma and other triggers can lead to Autoimmune Encephalitis. Autoimmune Encephalitis and PANDAS/PANS can also lead to significant dysautonomia, including POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome). Heightened clinical suspicion and more appropriate and comprehensive treatment for both disorders with antibiotics and immune-modulating therapy will transform these devastating illnesses into treatable disorders.”

Dr. Stephanie Fryar-Williams is a Child, Adolescent and Adult Neuro-psychiatrist who undertook the Mental Health Biomarker Project – stage 2 (2010-2017). 

She did this as an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide and Director of Youth-In-Mind Research Institute, South Australia via Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woodville South Australia.

Her research investigates ways that will assist clinicians to predict and confirm the diagnosis of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.

This involves the discovery of biomarkers that reveal psychosis as the combination of interlinked biochemical and auditory and visual processing disorders.

Dr. Fryar-Williams will discuss “Research that investigates the ways that will assist clinicians to predict and confirm the diagnosis of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.”

Dr. Fryar-Williams will share her presentation with Martha Mack, B.B.Sc., Grad. Dip. Coun., MAPS, MANSA, BCN.

Martha is Director of Listen and Learn Centre, Balwyn, Victoria; an Honorary Fellow of the Melbourne University Graduate School of Education and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychological Sciences of Monash University.

Martha will describe the “Assessment process for auditory sensory processing disorders that commonly accompany abnormal biochemistry results.”

Dr. Denise Furness is a molecular geneticist, registered nutritionist and fitness instructor.

She conducted her PhD at CSIRO Human Nutrition and postdoctoral fellowship with the University of Adelaide investigating folate nutrigenomics, methylation and DNA damage in relation  to pregnancy outcomes.

She has won various awards for her research and published her work in peer reviewed medical and nutrition journals.

In 2012 Denise shifted from an academic research position to a consulting role, founding “Your Genes and Nutrition” helping patients and practitioners understand the role of nutrigenomics and genetic testing in relation to various health outcomes.

In particular, her focus is on the diagnosis and treatment of underlying triggers such as inflammation, oxidative stress, environmental pollutants and methylation.

Denise regularly presents at conferences and conducts educational seminars and workshops discussing the links between our genes and our environment and how these impact on our health throughout all the stages of the life cycle.

Dr. Furness will present “Nutrigenomics and genetic testing in relation to mental health conditions.”

The One Day Public Conference will run from 9.30am to 5pm (lunch break 12.30pm -2pm) and will include a Q and A panel of Australian doctors following the morning and afternoon guest speakers.

  • Professionals - $110 AUD including certificate
  • Public - $75 AUD 
  • Patients - $10 AUD ($10 concession fee only for Patients who have booked a one hour assessment at the 2018 Outreach) 

Register Online HERE, phone bookings 0475910513 or Email bookings: biobalance@optusnet.com.au

Epigenetics 101

by William J. Walsh, Ph.D.
Walsh Research Institute
May 2013

Epigenetics is the system that determines gene regulation in humans. We have more than 20,000 genes and the only function of each gene is to make a specific protein. If the protein promotes a chemical reaction, it is called an enzyme. Every cell in the body contains an identical copy of DNA, but every tissue requires a unique combination of proteins and enzymes for optimal health. This selective production of proteins is achieved in early fetal development by a remarkable process called “bookmarking.”  For DNA, the marks involve the presence or absence of methyl groups at certain locations along the double helix. In general, methylation tends to inhibit or prevent gene expression, and the absence of a methyl mark tends to promote expression. Once established in the womb, the marks are firmly in place and usually persist throughout life. Environmental insults can produce deviant marks in the womb or later in life, and this is the cause of many physical and mental disorders.

In addition to direct methylation of DNA, gene expression of proteins may be controlled by chemicals that attach to histone proteins that provide the support structure for DNA. Histones are made up of eight linear proteins that are twisted together like a ball of yarn. DNA gently wraps around the histone balls due to electrostatic attraction: DNA is a weak acid and histones are slightly basic. In the case of histones, gene expression is often controlled by a competition between methyl and acetyl groups at histone “tails” that protrude from the ball configuration. If methyl wins the war, gene expression is inhibited. If acetyl dominates, expression of the protein is promoted.

Expression of a gene can occur only if certain large molecules can access the gene and its promoter region. Molecules called RNA polymerase are constantly swimming in the cell’s fluids looking for an exposed gene to express. Together with large molecules called transcription factors, RNA polymerase can produce a copy of the gene (called messenger RNA) that can escape through tiny pores in the cell’s nucleus and travel to the cell’s protein-production area (the reticulum). Methylation increases the basic charge of a histone whereas acetyl groups make histones less basic. By this mechanism, acetyl groups reduce the attraction between DNA and its histone, causing the DNA to uncoil from the histone and be available for expression. Methylation has the opposite effect causing the DNA and histone to compress and inhibit expression.

Most epigenetics research has been directed toward cancer and heart disease, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that many mental disorders are epigenetic in nature. The list includes autism, bipolar disorder, paranoid schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, post-traumatic stress, OCD, and antisocial-personality disorder. In most cases, an epigenetic disorder appears quite suddenly after a lifetime of relative wellness. Since these disorders involve deviant marks that survive cell divisions, the condition doesn’t “go away” and can persist for the remainder of life. Examples are regressive autism, Wilson’s Disease, and the sudden mental breakdowns often observed in bipolar and schizophrenia disorders.

It appears these conditions usually are caused by sudden or cumulative environmental insults in persons with a tendency for high oxidative stress. The environmental triggers may involve physical injury, illness, toxic metals, powerful medications, or emotional trauma. A gradually worsening environment may be responsible for recent epidemics of autism, breast cancer, and many other disorders.

The good news is that the gene regulation abnormalities from deviant marks appear to be reversible, suggesting a potential cure for epigenetic disorders. I can imagine a future in which newborns are scanned for deviant bookmarks, followed by treatment to normalize these chemical tags. This could eliminate the predispositions for cancer, heart disease and mental disorders that have plagued society for centuries. 

Although the technology for reversing deviant bookmarks is still unavailable, effective therapies for treatment of many epigenetic disorders are known today. For example, many paranoid schizophrenics exhibit excessive dopamine activity that can be normalized by Vitamin B-3 that uncoils DNA to increase gene expression of DAT proteins. In another example, methionine and SAMe act as serotonin reuptake inhibitors by compacting chromatin to reduce production of SERT transport proteins. We don’t yet know how to reverse deviant marks, but epigenetic science is guiding the development of therapies that uncoil or compact DNA to counter abnormal gene expression. It appears that nutrients and other natural substances are especially promising for dealing with epigenetic disorders. I believe the need for psychiatric medications will gradually fade away as science advances.

About the author:  Dr. William J. Walsh is president or the nonprofit Walsh Research Institute in Illinois and directs physician-training programs in Australia, Ireland, Norway and other countries. Dr. Walsh has authored more than 200 scientific articles and reports and has five patents. He has presented his experimental research at the American Psychiatric Association, the U.S. Senate, the National Institute of Mental Health, and has been a speaker at more than 30 international conferences. He has developed biochemical treatments for patients with behavioral disorders, ADHD, autism, depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease that are used by doctors throughout the world.

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Autism | Bipolar Disorder | Schizophrenia