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:

Compounding – an individualised approach to healthcare

Chris Testa B.Bus, B.Pharm

Pharmaceutical compounding has been an important part of medical care since the earliest recorded history.  It is impossible to determine when humans first began to mix and concoct preparations for therapeutic effect.  However, it is known that a range of ancient civilizations compounded medical preparations from animal, vegetable and mineral sources.  For example, societies of ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and Arabian cultures all developed sophisticated levels of medical knowledge, integrating various aspects of medicinal compounding.

Over time, the practise of compounding continued despite the disintegration of the ancient civilizations and emergence of the dark ages.  Great practitioners of the ancient world left written works containing information on drugs, medicines and compounding which formed the basis of therapeutics well into the 17th Century.

During the 18th Century in Britain, recognition of a need for structured, professional training and regulation saw the development of existing professional associations into the more structured Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain along with a framework of Legislation under which pharmacy and pharmaceutical compounding could be practised.  This included the standard of proficiency, educational standards, and the registration of pharmacists.  These standards have continued to develop and expand to the present time.

During the 1940's and 1950's, the world saw the advent of large scale manufacturing or mass production of medicines.  This never seen before large scale access to a broad range of medicines pushed compounding to the background.  However, over the last 25 years a number of factors have renewed the interest in, and demand for, compounding.

  • Patients and their medical practitioners are insisting on a more personalised or individualised approach to healthcare.  The mass production model does not offer the flexibility to meet all patient needs in a growing number of cases.
  • Patients and their medical practitioners are also becoming aware of medication use in other parts of the world that are not produced or available in Australia.
  • The internet is driving access to information and uniting likeminded individuals hungry for knowledge, sharing their experiences and demanding more personalised care and attention.  
  • Medication shortages and discontinuation have been increasing in recent years, perhaps due to unavailability of imported raw materials, the small size of the Australian market, just-in-time manufacturing or miscalculation of actual drug usage rates.
  • Medical practitioners may have patients who would benefit from new formulations or new drug applications.  Preparation of such one-off medicine applications is not feasible for large scale manufactures.
  • Rapid advances in technology have also provided compounders access to laboratory equipment once only available to large manufacturers.  Compounders now also have easy access to sophisticated databases, information, technical support and professional training from organisations such as PCCA (Professional Compounding Chemists of Australia) and Medisca.

This increased interest in compounding has resulted in the Pharmacy Board of Australia recently rewriting and expanding their compounding guidelines to ensure product quality, safety and efficacy.  In addition, many state regulators are in the process of reviewing their legislation that relates to compounding as well as their ongoing monitoring and inspection of compounding facilities and their staff.

Just as compounding receded to the background with the advent of pharmaceutical mass production last century, educational focus on the art and skills of compounded also diminished.  Only recently have some Schools of Pharmacy started to consider enhancing their educational offer in this area.

Fortunately for Australia, professional organisations such as PCCA and the more recent entrant, Medisca, provide a range of training packages for pharmacists and technicians.  These courses range from basic to advanced, from general compounding to complex specialty areas within compounding.  Additionally, they provide exceptional technical support, advice and a broad range of high quality ingredients and equipment.

It is now up to the various Universities to update the curriculum of their pharmacy courses and incorporate additional medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmaceutics, pharmacy calculations, and many other activities directly relevant to compounding.

Recognised continuing education courses with laboratory experience needs to be developed for pharmacists in practise who did not receive adequate compounding training or wish to enhance their skills.  Many pharmacists wish to incorporate compounding into their practise but lack the basic or advanced skills to do so.

In the next Newsletter, I would like to discuss in more detail the Legislative framework under which we operate in terms of working with a compounder, as well as quality in compounding.  It is important that you understand what steps are required to ensure consistent quality in compounding and how your compounding pharmacist is operating.


General | Health | Nutritional Therapy

Dr. Walsh's Commentary on Johns Hopkins Study Excessive Folate Levels in Pregnant Women


Undermethylated mothers appear more likely to bear children with spinal bifida, autism, and certain other conditions than most other mothers.  Research clearly shows that folate supplements for the mother can lessen the incidence of these disorders.  Folates have critical roles in cell division and epigenetic gene regulation for the growing fetus.  To protect the baby, most prenatal vitamins contain robust amounts of folates.  

A complication is that many undermethylated women suffer from clinical depression associated with low serotonin neurotransmission, and folates tend to worsen this condition by an epigenetic mechanism.  For these women, we recommend supplements of methionine or SAMe that act as serotonin reuptake inhibitors be taken together with the folates.

Days 16-24 of gestation represent a critical period of in-utero development, and many mothers are unaware of pregnancy at that time.  Ideally, folates and other supplements should be started a few months before potential or expected pregnancies.

It's clear that methylation status and folate availability are critical factors during in-utero development of a fetus.  The ideal would be for mothers to achieve "normal" or proper levels of methyl and folate availability before and during pregnancy.  Although folate supplements can reduce the incidence of spinal bifida and certain other birth defects, we believe that excessive folate dosages or an overmethylation condition would likely result in altered epigenetic DNA regulation and a different set of birth defects.  We recommend that mothers anticipating having a child be tested for folate and methylation status by an experienced physician to normalize biochemistry before pregnancy.  In my clinical experience I've learned that genetic or acquired nutrient overloads usually cause more mischief than deficiencies. - William J. Walsh, PhD, FACN

This article appeared in the Walsh Research Institute June 2016 e-newsletter.





Sometimes people go Gluten free when they have irritable bowel issues. If however, when symptoms do not resolve, having some formal testing helps. Integrative Medicine Doctors generally test for Coeliac Haplotype. Having a Haplotypes of DQ2 or DQ8 increases the risk not only to gluten but other autoimmune issues.

Sometimes, ruling out wheat and other Gluten products, and the issues of abdominal irritable bowels such as bloating and recurrent gut pain persists, the cause of these symptoms may be due to poorly absorbed sugars collectively known as FODMAPs. 

Wheat happens to be high in certain FODMAPs.  Peter Gibson of The Alfred Hospital and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia says that we can learn and figure out which foods affect our gut and can adjust our diet according to symptoms. 

FODMAPS stands for:


The process through which gut bacteria degrade undigested carbohydrate to

 produce gases (hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide)


1.  Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) found in; wheat, rye, onions and garlic

2.  Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) found in ; legumes/pulses


Lactose found in; milk, soft cheese, yoghurts


Fructose (in excess of glucose) found in honey,

 apples, high fructose corn syrups


 Sugar polyols (eg. sorbitol, mannitol) found in some fruit and vegetables and

 used as artificial sweeteners



Vitamin B crucial to children’s mental health


A new study led by the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research has uncovered a significant link between vitamin B levels and the mental health and wellbeing of children and adolescents. The research, published in the international journal Preventive Medicine, indicated that children with a diet low in B-vitamins were more likely to experience mental health and behavioural problems than those with a healthier diet rich in B-vitamins.

Researcher Carly Herbison said the study is the first to report on a direct link between the prevalence of externalising behaviour problems in adolescents at 17 years and a reduced intake of B1, B2, B5, B6 and folate. "B-vitamins are essential for the production of neurotransmitters, like serotonin, which modulates behaviour in humans and can contribute to feelings of well-being and happiness," she said.

"Previous studies have shown that externalising mental health and behaviour problems developed during adolescence are related to a higher risk of offending and substance abuse later in life," said Ms Herbison. "What this study looked at was the relationship between diet, specifically B-vitamin intake and the presence of these externalising behaviours." 

Report senior author Professor Wendy Oddy, who heads the Institute's nutritional research, said the study reinforces how a healthy diet can play a key role in improving mental health outcomes for young people. "There is a great message in this in how diet may help prevent mental health problems. Improving what our children eat and ensuring they are getting essential B-vitamins from foods such as nuts, seeds, whole-grains, legumes and fruit and vegetables can have a really positive impact on their mental health and wellbeing," Professor Oddy said. 

The research was funded by the Cardiovascular Disease and Depression Strategic Research Program, a partnership between the Heart Foundation and beyondblue: the national depression and anxiety initiative. 

The study used detailed nutritional and mental health data collected from participants in the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort, Raine Study. The Telethon Institute study has recommended further research into the link between B-Vitamins and adolescent mental health and wellbeing. 

Herbison, C.E. et al.:  Low intake of B-vitamins is associated with poor adolescent mental health and behaviour, Prev.Med 55(6), December 2012, 634–638