With the growing focus on the human microbiome there has been a profound shift in our understanding of the role of the gut in health and disease.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is widely distributed throughout the central nervous system (CNS) and is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. Reduced GABA levels, or impaired GABA function, in the brain has been linked to psychiatric and neurological disorders including anxiety, depression, insomnia and epilepsy.
Greg Mapp is one of the founders of Mirikai, the revolutionary drug detoxification facility situated on the Gold Coast. The centre is now government funded and has grown into one of the largest of such centres in Australia.
In part one of the two part series Greg takes us through the history of the clinic and how medical care of illicit drug detox commonly involves integrative therapies and judicial supplementation to manage symptoms experienced by patients.
A cup of tea is often associated with a sense of calm. L-theanine, a unique free amino acid naturally present in tea (Camellia sinensis), is likely the compound contributing most significantly to this.
What role does the microbiome, toxicity and inflammation have in the interplay between gut and mind? The body of evidence is growing that a healthy gastrointestinal system is a core clinical consideration in the treatment of mood disorders.
Depression and anxiety disorders are exploding in prevalence. It is believed that at least 3 million Australians, at any given time, suffer from these conditions. And, while we do have standard medication for many psychiatric and psychological conditions, research shows that anywhere between 60-90% of people prescribed antidepressants fail to get a benefit that is superior to placebo. What these statistics suggest is that we are not addressing the underlying causes.
Depression is a common condition, affecting more than one million Australians each year. When it takes hold, it can be a debilitating illness that robs people of their ability to experience joy, meaning or motivation. Instead, sadness and anxiety can take over. Rather than there being a specific cause, depression seems to be associated with a combination of life events, personal factors and changes in brain chemistry, particularly serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine.
In part 2 of our interview with Dr Jerome Sarris, we explore some truly exciting nutraceutical and herbal therapy developments that may contribute a substantial piece of the anxiety treatment puzzle.