Based on the recommendation of a blog reader, I recently read The Mood Cure, by Julia Ross. It is a book about overcoming depression and other mood disorders resulting from neurotransmitter imbalances by taking amino acid supplements. An example would be, 5-HTP [hydroxy-tryptophan], the amino acid which is converted to serotonin. Another is L-Tyrosine which converts to dopamine.
Reading the book and learning about the miraculous recoveries of patients at Ross’ clinic left me feeling excited about the potential for helping me recover from my own neurotransmitter imbalance [PD], but at the same time, apprehensive. If these supplements lead to such miraculous recoveries, why isn’t every neurologist on the planet recommending them? And I’ve read too many stories about supposed miracle cures that weren’t miracle cures for me.
In any event, I decided to try 5-HTP and L-Tyrosine. I followed the instructions in the book and not only did I not experience any positive effects in 10 minutes or even several days, I actually felt worse [tired, irritable], to the point where I started feeling panicky. So I went off them. Within a day I was feeling better and the panicky feeling went away, so I was pretty sure it was the supplements. To be certain, I decided to try them again a couple of weeks later and almost immediately I felt unwell, so I stopped taking them right away.
I don’t know why I experienced such an adverse reaction. I checked several websites, including one that recommended both supplements for treating the symptoms of PD, but found nothing. There is one possible explanation. According to Russell Blaylock, author of Excitotoxins, head injuries can damage and compromise the blood-brain barrier. The BBB acts as both filter and firewall, preventing harmful substances or excess quantities of friendly substances from entering brain cells. I have had at least three major head injuries, so it’s possible that my BBB isn’t intact and therefore, my neurons were overwhelmed. This also might explain why I have reactions to many other substances, especially sugar. Whatever the reason, the bottom line is, exercise caution if you’re considering taking amino acid supplements.
Otherwise, have an awesomely optimistic day!