KMUD 170317 Endocrinology, Parkinson's 1

Discussion in 'Audio Interview Transcripts' started by SQu, May 19, 2017.

  1. SQu

    SQu Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    So I just did this, would appreciate it someone would check, I couldn't identify one or two words.

    Transcribed by SQu
    KMUD 17-13-17 endocrinology part 1 Parkinson’s


    Greets Ray Peat at 2:52

    More intro

    History of medical research from Chinese to19th Century germ theory


    AM: Please give us an overview of the basis of understanding disease, past and present.

    RP: I see it as a deviation from the Chinese and the Greek who had a pretty unified picture of what an organism is. Aristotle actually was pretty much an organicist in his understanding of the organism and it was really around the time of Descartes, middle of, the early part of the 17th Century, when things really got formalized on the wrong track. Descartes described the organism as a machine, completely separate from consciousness, consciousness was guiding the machine possibly from some contact point in the brain. But underground, mostly people who were persecuted by the monarchies and such, they continued to think along the organic unified understanding of what an animal or a person is, but following Descartes, the organism was seen as made up of parts just like a steam engine, or a clock, each part could be defined and understood and mechanically interlocked with the other parts, and the consciousness of the soul was seen as something completely separate from this machine and could somehow sometimes interfere with its operation but mostly it was out of our control, simply running according to causal determinism. And when the idea of infection, something from the environment causing a disease, it happens that the use of a microscope had developed to the point that people had seen the compartments in plants and they called the compartments cells, and when the plant dried up and left the cellulose framework, empty little chambers which they called cells, well, a more underground approach looked at particles like red blood cells, and called the units corpuscles, little bodies, rather than empty compartments, and this idea of breaking the organism down into cells, and seeing those as parts of a machine, made up of material without consciousness or spirit, this became the background for seeing a disease as a particular mechanical interference with the operation of the machine –

    SJM: And this is where the term reductionism came from, right, or reductionist medicine?

    RP: Yeah. And the disease, one line of thinking was that it was a particular little particle of evil material, a germ cell, analogous to the cells that make up the machine, so it was a material particle interfering with our material particles that became identified as a disease, a very concrete specific interference with the machine. And as people looked more closely at tumors, they saw that really it was a matter of organization, rather than a matter of some particular concrete change or substance. But this idea of organization took about 150 years to finally catch on, right up until the beginning of this century people were still stuck on Descartes’s picture of a mechanical organism being interrupted by something right down on the cellular level or even smaller, molecular level, so that cancer was defined as an evil cell, a mutant cell containing bad genetic material, defective DNA, and so all you had to do in the case of a germ-caused disease, all you had to do was kill the germ and you were cured, in the case of the cancer interpreted as a mutant cell, all you had to do was eliminate every single individual mutant cell and the disease would be cured.

    SJM: That’s still how they treat cancer now, isn’t it?

    RP: Sure. Almost everyone is still stuck in this 17th Century idea of what an organism is and what a disease is. And Parkinson’s disease, even though in the 19th Century, people recognized that all the symptoms of the disease, stiffness, generally the older the person is, the more Parkinson’s traits they have, stiffness, wobbling, tremor, and slowness of movement, all of the extreme old age symptoms are simply coming on stronger and earlier when they call it Parkinson’s disease. But in, by the latter part of the 19th Century, people had noticed that people suffering from this so-called disease, if they took a long train ride to get to the doctor their symptoms might disappear, or if they came on a carriage or rode a horse, their symptoms were greatly alleviated by just moving around through space, and so some people proposed a vibration therapy. About forty years ago someone noticed that swimming alleviated the symptoms, so simply a different kind of stimulation could reverse the symptoms, and it turns out that in animals you can create a disease by poisoning them, and by giving them an enriched environment, you can reverse the actual anatomical chemical changes of their nervous system.

    AM: So, in the poisoned animals if you place them in an enriched environment they no longer display the –

    RP: Yeah, similar to what they noticed in people who took a long train ride.

    Break to acknowledge sponsors.

    AM discusses Parkinson’s disease for a few minutes and then asks Ray to talk about the motor circuit and his view on it.

    RP: My orientation is very similar to Pavlov’s who saw the motor system as subordinate to the sensory system. He saw the cortex of the brain as primarily an extension of the sense organs and that this formed the environment for the motor reflexes. And the idea of a reflex is another thing that originated with Descartes and is simply wrong. The cells aren’t mechanically connected in reflex patterns. One of the first people in the West to analyze this carefully was the French existentialist so-called philosopher Merleau-Ponty, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, who analyzed the meaning of reflexes, and he clearly shows that there are no reflexes in the Cartesian sense. If you attend a neurology course you’ll probably find people still arguing that there are simple innate mechanical reflexes in the Descartes sense. And for example, the linguistics system of Noam Chomsky is based entirely on this primitive false idea of the brain function based on mechanical reflexes and it simply doesn’t work. Merleau-Ponty is probably the person who most clearly explains the problems with it, but in the Pavlovian picture, especially developed through the 1950s and 60s, by his student, PK Anokhin, the sensory system is fluid and continuously being revised as the organism explores its environment, and so the sense of exploring and being stimulated like nunas/lunars (??), the idea of travelling through time and space, is in charge, overriding defects in the motor system. That’s the relevant picture I think for seeing disease, especially Parkinson’s disease, in a non-mechanical way. The protein you mentioned, dardarin? The interesting thing about it is that it shows up as a defect in Crohn’s disease in the intestine as well as in Parkinson’s disease. And Parkinson’s typically starts with constipation. And in 19th Century medicine, people remembered the intestine as well as the brain in treating disease. It was very common to diagnose death as the result of inflammation of the bowel, which pathologists typically overlook as just a side issue, but the intestine was recognized as very important, and the brain at the other end of the organism, sort of the two dimensions.

    SJM: And now doctors are taught that if you have a bowel movement three times a day or once every three days, it’s all normal.

    RP: Yeah, and when you trace out the chemical links between what’s going wrong in the intestine and in the rest of the motor system, the behavioural system and so on, you can see links, but they’re always contextually working, there’s no simple pathogenic chemical in the intestine; but the bacteria living in the intestine, the food you eat, and the way your intestine responds to it –

    AM: And the stress you’re exposed to –

    RP: Yeah, these act in the activating part of the brain … around 1950, a part of the brain called the reticular activating system was identified, and this includes the region where the substantia nigra, and the basal ganglia, are, and this is where sensory input is dished out to activate the upper parts of the brain, and when that’s happening, it tends to go with an inhibitory effect on the body, so the stronger your mentality is, dreaming, for example, the more relaxed your body tends to be. And in Parkinson’s the system really tends to be over activated, unable to relax properly, and so a characteristic thing is that during sleep and dreams, the person who is developing Parkinson’s disease doesn’t relax properly, the body, if they have a dream they might scream and thrash around and hit people, so there’s a failure of consciousness to override and relax the body.

    AM asks whether he is getting at the point that environmental enrichment can counter the negative effects of Parkinson’s.

    RP: Yeah. PK Anokhin, of all of the people in the Pavlovian tradition, see a global event or process in the brain, that they called the acceptor of action. It’s our intention and expectation in the world. And this is what is integrating not only the motor system and dominating the so-called reflexes, but this process which is like a model of everything we know and intend to do in the world, this is supported in an organism, not just in the brain but it’s a process involving sensory nerves from the whole body, and this process in the brain, it’s sort of, during daytime at least it’s based on our inner ear balance system, the vestibular system, and this, it’s a unified picture of the world and the organism, and this process itself, of being conscious, is involved in the activation of other living endocrine glands throughout the body, but in the nerves themselves, as they are supporting this model of the world or acceptor of action, in the process of metabolizing to be conscious, they are making changes internally, that involves for example synthesizing, turning energy substances, sugar for example, into cholesterol, and turning cholesterol into pregnenolone, right, in the nerves for example of the substantia nigra, this process is going on, energy, sugar, cholesterol, pregnenolone, progesterone, and the endocrine process which is then stabilizing the structure and the consciousness so that the flavor of your consciousness when it’s successful is modified by the balance you have between your progesterone, DHEA and other steroids, and the energy processes.

    SJM: So can you explain the personality in people that develop Parkinson’s, they’re not getting …

    RP: Yeah, they’re experiencing learned helplessness I think. The way they live they have incorporated duties, obligations and such, that they can manage very well, but they’re not overcoming the stress adequately.

    SJM: Because they’re not exploring new things? The same old treadmill that they’re on?

    RP: Yeah. They’re stuck in ways so they aren’t getting enough stimulation to –

    AM says one thing associated with Parkinson’s patients is being emotionless. SJM asks if new sensory input will raise the dopamine and protective hormones from the substantia nigra/the brain.

    RP: Yeah the dopamine theory, it’s really part – you have to look at it in the history. At the beginning of the 20th Century, with the mechanistic view, they were seeing the brain as a mechanical thing which was having defects causing the tremor and they actually started cutting out parts of the brain to remove the tremor. The man who invented the word cybernetics, Norbert Wiener, he proposed – the best surgery up to that time, instead of cutting out parts of the cortex, which they’d been doing in the 1930s, they were focusing on the brainstem, and he designed the radar searching self-control systems, that would focus on an airplane and aim the gun, this feedback system, he saw the brain having tremors, his radar gun aiming system, if it was poorly aligned, would have a tremor, a searching movement back and forth, so he saw the tremor as a feedback searching process, and so he suggested what he would do to his radar apparatus was to knock out part of the sensitivity. So he suggested a surgery to cut out part of the searching feedback apparatus, and it actually worked better than the grosser surgeries. And that’s been done right down to the 70s and 80s, they were still simply ablating or destroying part of the brain. Then they got a little more refined, and started stimulating it, but sometimes that didn’t work, like Michael Fox, he said that he wasn’t going to have any more surgical treatments because instead of stopping the tremor of his left side, it started a tremor in the right side.

    AM talks about dopamine and says it’s not a stimulant.

    RP: It’s integrated with the inhibiting systems, so –

    SJM: More of a relaxant.

    RP: Yeah. In itself it is an activator, but it runs into nerves that feed back with an inhibition.

    AM talks about long term effects of l-dopa being bradykinesia, involuntary movements, like in a fine resting tremor, leaving patients worse off.

    RP: I think the problem is that the whole theory of what l-dopa and dopamine are doing is mechanistic and mistaken.

    SJM talks about patchy approach to treatment.

    RP: The other drug that is approved for use in Parkinson’s is amantadine or memantine more recently. And in the 19th Century they were already using belladonna and hyoscyamine anti-cholinergics to treat the tremors and they were pretty effective and didn’t have the bad side effects of increasing rigidity and so on that l-dopa does. And it turns out that these – amantadine and memantine – have the anti-cholinergic anti-excitatory effects but they are also anti-excitatory in the glutamate-ergic system. The glutamate and cholinergic systems are both very powerful excitatory and the glutamate system ends up producing nitric oxide and the amantadine and anti-cholinergics, memantine, are not only stopping the excitation that is part of the tremor, but they end up lowering the exposure to nitric oxide, and nitric oxide is a chronic stress induced factor in suppressing mitochondrial respiration and energy production and accelerating aging of the brain. So using these approved drugs, it actually is giving insight into what’s going on, into a much more global organismic process rather than just restoring lost so called dopamine regulatory system. It’s restoring energy processes, reducing the effects of stress in the system in a big way.

    AM invites calls.

    Caller 1: Are there simple things, stepping stones one can use to overcome learned helplessness for a hypothyroid person who feels overwhelmed?

    RP: Behavioral things like going to new places, meeting new people, doing very different things that you’ve never done before, but thought you might enjoy doing, at the same time as you try to correct your energy processes that are suppressed, having more enjoyable more varied meals for example and making sure that your thyroid function is good.

    AM: New experiences, exciting things, creative outlets like painting, poetry?

    RP: Doing something unexpected, out of the routine, some people actually quit their jobs and learn a new profession, or a new trade.

    AM: Anti-inflammatory things and supporting mitochondria, nootropics?

    RP: Getting good rest is part of this work, stopping unnecessary excitatory stimulation. Good stimulation should be fun rather than stressful. Everything that is anti-inflammatory can be relaxing as well as stimulating. Caffeine is extremely protective against all of the defects in Parkinson’s disease and it activates by protecting the mitochondria. Gamma hydroxybutyrate which is in some plants like –

    AM: Passionflower?

    RP: The tropical fruit, what’s it called –

    SJM: He was thinking you meant GABA.

    RP: Oh well it’s an activator, gamma hydroxybutyrate, yeah passionfruit, the word I was looking for.

    SJM: Granadilla, is another word for it.

    RP: It’s something we make along with GABA which helps to eliminate stressful over-excitation, the synuclein, which is one of the things that goes wrong and is damaged in Parkinson’s disease, it happens to have the same effects as rotenone, the toxic thing that has been seen to cause something exactly like Parkinson’s disease by blocking the Complex 1 of the mitochondrion.

    SJM: So, all of the herbs that act on GABA would be useful?

    RP: Yes. And even cannabis because of its sedative effects it can be protective against the toxic types of over-stimulation.

    SJM: And what about alcohol?

    RP: Yeah, I think that it’s anti-oxidant, can be anti-inflammatory and can be in the right circumstance it can be anti-Parkinson’s.

    AM: And studies showing nicotine is protective in big studies that have been done?

    RP: Yeah I think that the population effect where they see that smokers have somewhat protection against Parkinson’s, I think part of that effect is that is it relieves constipation, it activates the intestine, and that in itself has an anti-inflammatory anti-toxic effect.

    SJM: Best delivery method for nicotine? A tea?

    RP: I think either absorbing it through the skin in the form of an ointment, or ingesting very small amounts of the leaf, the tobacco leaf.

    AM: Vaping trend, showing disturbing health effects, early days but side effects could be worse than smoking. The negative effects of smoking are mostly the carcinogens and the tar, correct? But nicotine can have some therapeutic effects?

    RP: Yeah, and keeping the intestine healthy because of the, when endotoxin in itself reaches the nervous system, it locally as well as systemically activates processes that lead to the same blockage of mitochondrial respiration that rotenone does, or that ionizing radiation does, in a chronic sense. Having CAT scans of the head I think, is probably part of the reason that Parkinson’s prevalence has increased so greatly over the past 20, 30 years.

    AM mentions polyunsaturated fats.

    RP: Aspirin is another thing, mentioning the polyunsaturated fats, one of the prostaglandins produced in substantia nigra is very toxic to the brain and simply having a regular use of aspirin will protect against that prostaglandin made from the polyunsaturated fats. And the breakdown of the polyunsaturated fats, acrolein, is a very toxic material that we produce internally from the polyunsaturates. And that is one of the things that turns synuclein into a toxic fibrous material sort of like the prions in mad cow disease.

    AM: Might the Lewy bodies that are diagnostic of Parkinson’s have a protective role?

    RP: I think the body might be parking, to get out of the way, some of these synuclein fibrils and packing them up in little compartments that are relatively safe. Some of the toxic fibrils of synuclein are known to be passed from one cell to another causing damage to the cell that receives it.

    SJM: The rapid movement in dream state that you were talking about earlier, is that not also a symptom of low thyroid because their muscles can’t relax or is the brain that can’t relax?

    RP: It’s the same thing. Nothing in the body can relax fully when your thyroid function is low. That’s one of the funny things that came out of the idea of the cell as a compartment enclosed in a membrane that, if you think of it as a corpuscle that has to be in a state ready to work when it’s rested, the state where it’s ready to perform its job, is a high-energy state and that’s the well-rested state, full of energy, ready to go. If you don’t have enough of the thyroid, and the glucose, and the oxygen (missing a word I could not hear) to produce the energy you stay in a semi-contracted excited state, so what happens in Parkinson’s is this reaches a chronically, deadly, cell-killing condition. In chronic hypothyroidism, it’s simply a nuisance that your sleep isn’t as restful as it should be, you can’t get into the deep, relaxing, restorative sleep, because you don’t have enough energy, so the cells are not ready to work, they haven’t accumulated the energy and structure needed to do a proper job and so they keep churning through the energy producing process without relaxing and storing up the energy as glycogen, ATP, creatine phosphate and so on.

    AM talks about the next show where they’ll carry on talking about Parkinson’s disease. Thank you and goodbye.
  2. Giraffe

    Giraffe Member

    Jun 20, 2015
  3. OP

    SQu Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    Thanks, fixed
  4. cdg

    cdg Member

    Dec 3, 2015
    Here is a pdf
  5. burtlancast

    burtlancast Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Many thanks to SQu for this great work.
    Here's my corrected version.

    This interview is the first time i hear Ray say something good about cannabis.

    Attached Files:

  6. OP

    SQu Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    Thanks! I would never have got nunas!
  7. moss

    moss Member

    Sep 1, 2013
    Thanks for this.
    @SQu you have inspired me to do one too. Part 3 is completed (had audio problems with Part 2) :roll:
    and awaiting verification and will post in due course.
  8. burtlancast

    burtlancast Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Endocrinology Part 3, KMUD, 2017