Metabolic syndrome and stress

10 December 2003


Dear David

Thankyou very much for your E Mail,.It is astounding to what extent the Biomedical Model will hoodwink Doctors into creating Band Aid Approaches to the curent epidemic of Cancer, CVD, Obesity and Diabetes. To explore life style and Nutriyion is ananthema to most Doctors and Specialists. An Aging Population with degenerative disease caused by our Western Civilisation wil cause huge drains on Governments` resources

I would like to ask you to consider this topic on stress .One in four or five people are suffering from Stress or Depression. To what extent does Stress contribute to our epidemic of degenerative diseases and the Metabolic Syndrome

I would like to quote from a paper



R. Joseph, Ph.D .
Brain Research Laboratory

The abstract is as follows


The effects of early environmental influences on neural plasticity, the limbic system, and social and emotional development are examined, an illustrative case the "Unabomber" is presented. Deprived or abnormal rearing conditions induce severe disturbance in all aspects of social and emotional functioning, and effect the growth and survival of dendrites, axons, synapses, interneurons, neurons, and glia. The amygdala, cingulate, and septal nuclei develop at different rates which correlate with the emergence of wariness, fear, selective attachments, play behavior, and the oral and phallic stages of development. These immature limbic nuclei are "experience-expectant," and may be differentially injured depending on the age at which they suffer deprivation. The medial amygdala and later the cingulate and septal nuclei are the most vulnerable during the first three years of life. If denied sufficient stimulation these nuclei may atrophy, develop seizure-like activity or maintain or form abnormal synaptic interconnections, resulting in social withdrawal, pathological shyness, explosive and inappropriate emotionality, and an inability to form normal emotional attachments.

What interests me is this statement

However, as the amygdala and hippocampus may be injured by deprivation or abnormal rearing experiences, not just emotionality, but all aspects of short-term and long-term memory functioning may be disrupted as well; 6-8,29,36,37,57,58,62,74,90-96 including the ability to remember those who are emotionally significant. 7,8,29,36,37 If subject to repeated instances of neglect and abuse, these conditions can induce a traumatic amnesia so profound that even friends and loved ones are forgotten. 8,29,36,37

In fact, just as temporary separation from the mother can induce significant alterations in NE and damage the amygdala, brief (albeit repeated) as well as long term instances of deprivation, stress, and abuse, can produce hippocampal atrophy in humans and animals. 8,13-15,29,36,37,90,91 Hippocampal pyramidal dendrites are pruned away by the millions. 36,37,90,91 Moreover, the stress induced depletion of NE coupled with excessive secretion of corticosteroids and enkephalins can hyperactivate hippocampal pyramidal neurons and eliminate hippocampal theta and long term potentiation 36,37,90,91 --prolonged neural excitation associated with learning and memory.

Of course, if the hippocampus is injured and cannot learn and remember, it cannot assist in the formation of attachments to objects, locations, or familiar faces. Consider, for example, the famous case of H.M, who underwent the surgical removal of both hippocampi. 92 Brenda Milner has worked with H.M, for over 25 years, yet she is an utter stranger

He says

NOREPINEPHRINE, DEPRIVATION & LIMBIC SYSTEM NEURAL PLASTICITY Norepinephrine (NE) exerts a stimulating effect on neural growth, significantly influences neuronal maturation and promotes neural plasticity and synaptic development during the early stages of pre- and post-natal development. 29,84-89 Moreover, among its many activities, NE serves a neuronal protective function, and when depleted, such as in response to chronic stress neurons are exposed to the debilitating effects of enkephalins and corticosteroids 29,36,37,90-92 --stress hormones released as part of the "fight or flight" stress response.

With our stressed Society are we not seeing these precise events contributing not only to the metabolic syndrome through the over production of Corticosteroids but also Cardiovascular disease and cancer ?