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Has anyone heard about a DHEA/tic connection?


guy123
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something about a possible link. It mentioned cortisol and DHEA, the fact that women produce more DHEA than men, and that men are more likely to have TS/tics.

 

It was near the bottom of this page:

 

http://au.geocities.com/jones_kacm/chem.htm

 

Cortisol and DHEA

 

Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone”. It maintains blood pressure and cardiovascular function, reduces the immune system’s inflammatory response, balances the effect of insulin in breaking down sugar for energy, and regulates the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. When the body is stressed, the level of cortisol in the body increases. (e.g. athletes, pregnant women, depressed people, alcoholics, malnourished people and those with panic disorders have higher than normal levels of cortisol.)

 

It is believed by many that cortisol has a negative effect on Tourette syndrome; that is, it makes tics worse. So it may be cortisol that makes tics worse under stress.

Discoveries (Biol. Psychiatry 1996 – as cited by J. M. Howard 1997) have shown that Touretters have significantly higher levels of corticotropin-releasing factor, the precursor to cortisol, than normal.

 

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is an “anti-cortisol” hormone according to Howard. DHEA has been known to have calming effects and is packaged by some companies as a “wonder anti-aging drug!” It is believed that low levels of DHEA will add to the negative effect of high cortisol levels.

 

The strange behaviour of antipsychotics and neuroleptics when used to treat Tourette syndrome can be partially explained by DHEA/cortisol reactions. It is believed that these drugs cause the release of prolactin, the precursor to DHEA. This increased DHEA counters the high cortisol levels. The drugs, unfortunately, overwhelm the natural production of DHEA and “burn out” the adrenal glands. This then means the levels of cortisol rise again, usually to a higher level than where they started.

This means the brain is not getting enough DHEA. Howard suggests that tics are actually small seizures designed to stimulate DHEA production. How this works:

"...the increased melatonin found in untreated epileptics builds up and is released so that nerves are shut down. Individuals susceptible to epilepsy must have entire sections of the brain shut down so much that they "rebound" and call up a large response of DHEA. It is this rebound response that is the large area of stimulated nerves that cause the seizures. Once the brain has stimulated sufficient DHEA, then the seizure stops."

So TSers may find that (directly affected by DHEA levels) this rebound in small sections of the brain (instead of large sections as in epilepsy) causes not an overall muscle contraction seisure; they cause a small nerve impulse to be sent; which gets multiplied by the Dopamine receptor abnormalities described above. So the brain's attempt to create DHEA, in order to relieve stress, may cause tics that way.

 

This (in my mind) is actually the most plausible explanation for how tics start.

 

Stress + need for more DHEA = mini seisure = small electrical impulse + excess dopamine receptors

= TICS

 

DHEA levels are known to start low in childhood and increase during adolescence to peak at about age 25. It is also common knowledge that Tourette syndrome often decreases in severity or disappears following the same pattern. DHEA then may be the reason for this decrease.

 

Also, in an article on epilepsy, Howard states:

"I suggest migraines result from low MLT and increased DHEA. Women produce more DHEA from birth than men. This extra DHEA should have most effect on migraines prior to the onset of interfering sex hormones, before puberty. It has been found that "when the onset [of migraines]is below the age of puberty there is a striking predominance of women over men in a ratio of 3:1," (Headache 1994; 34: S8). It is part of my theory that the hormone, testosterone, causes DHEA to be used for "testosterone target tissues." This use of DHEA by these tissues should reduce the availability of DHEA, i.e., increased testosterone should decrease migraines. "

This is of interest to us as the ratio of Women over Men in Tourette syndrome is the exact opposite; 1:3. If testosterone does cause DHEA to be used for "testosterone target tissues" (parts of the body that make men men) and reduces overall DHEA then not only will women have 3 times more DHEA to aggravate migraines, they will have 3 times more DHEA to stop tics!

 

 

Also, that site has some good info. I typed up a long email to the author but it bounced. I tried a few other variations of his email address and they all bounced. If anyone knows the owner of this site, please FWD his contact info to me.

 

Thanks.

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guy123,

I can't give a thought out reply right now, I have to look back on some of my posts, but I know i have read what you posted before, I probably have it saved somewhere too. But what is ringing a bell for me is the Name of James Howard, and I think someone here posted something about DHEA here, and for some reason I was suspicious of the author because when I googled the name, I came across a few places where he sites low cortisol and DHEA for a number of ailments. And I could not find a credible title for him, in other words, what are this person's credentials. So perhaps some of this is sound, but I am wondering about the info in the other links at the bottom.

 

I'm kind of groggy right now, when I find the post where we discussed this, I'll attach it to this thread. Don't get me wrong, this could be sound info, but I think I was feeling, if there was any validity to it, why isn't it known about till now? This info is not exactly recent. Well, don't totally go by me, I think I was just being cautious, because DHEA is not something to take haphazardly, one must be careful.

 

I'll let you know more later.

 

Faith

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Okay, here is the thread I was thinking of. I believe it may be the same info, and following is a discussion we had about it.

 

http://www.latitudes.org/forums/index.php?...3&hl=myrose

 

 

Again, this could actually be sound information, but I would still follow with caution. I do find it interesting too that you said your e-mails bounced. Have you tried looking up the authors' names and seeing if there is somewhere else to contact?

 

Faith

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Just wanted to through this out there.

 

Adrenal health is the key to what my son's dr. thinks is responsable for his stress levels. His last test results show he was pantothenate (B5) was low. Now, under stress she said B5 was the first to go, so that is why he is to be taking 500mg pantothenic acid. I believe if one looks at adrenal support one of the first two ingredients is pantothenic acid. With that said, if poor adrenal health and the secreting of the hormones (cortisol and DHEA) would be at an unhealthy level.

 

This could be the reason some kids show so much nervousness, poor memory, difficulty concentrating and decision making.

 

Faith, have you had your son on B5?

 

Guy123, I believe the adrenals would be the best way for the body to produce its own DHEA. Have you read anything about Holy Basil helping to support a healthy adrenal system? I believe their are some other herbs, but I can't remember all of them.

 

I don't know about you all, but I truly believe stress is the biggest trigger for my son, and I have to work on his adrenal function.

 

CP

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Guy, I have had that article by Jones in the useful sticky at the top of the forum for some time now becasue it gives a simple and understandable explanation of the chemistry of TS. I think the reason you cant contact him is that it is a very old article and he may have different email contact info now

 

stress has always been a major tic trigger for my son and so adrenal healthy function is paramount!

 

The B5 aka pantothenic acid was near miraculous when we first used it as my son had a very severe tooth grinding tic that was damaging his teeth

Once we started VitB5 it stopped completely and has never returned.

Royal Jelly (from bees) is very high in B5 (an all the Bs)

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Hi Chemar,

 

I have read B5 may reduce allergic reactions, would you say the teeth grinding was induced by an allergy?

 

I don't know much about Acetycholine, but I think it is a neurotransmitter found in the tissue and is to help the nervous system. B5 helps inhance acetycholine.

 

Faith with every thing my son's tests show as far as impared breakdown of protien, carbs, and his potassium/sodium is off, B5 helps all of these get back on track.

 

Dr. felt B5 should be his first B-vit introduced. I only asked you because our sons seem to have the same body type, small, skinny, ect. I don't know if this all has anything to do with how slow he has been in growing. After I read about the adrenal gland not functioning right, could that be why he has not produced the hormones to get him into puberty at the time most boys do? I just don't know.

 

It really seems that B5 is a very important B-vit. I just wonder if its connection to adrenal and stress would just be a long term healing for our kid.

 

If any of you all who have kids that suffer form nasal congestion, B5 is said to help. My son said it did, but he is 15 and I feel like he just tells me what I want to hear. Let us know if anyone trys it and it works. I think an honest answer may come from a little one. Not to say my son is not honest, it's just if I don't talk football with him he kind of just... well... "Yeah mom what ever you say." If I told him his hair was green, "Yeah mom." If I told him the whole Steelers football team had green hair, well... you would think I had a Yale law student for a son. :)

 

CP

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I dont think the grinding was allergy induced CP tho who knows?? it could have been. My son's only known allergies are to dustmite, penicillin and chemicals (MCS)

 

at the time it appeared to be a tic....he found it got worse with metal utensils so started using plastic ones and it would stop completely when he was asleep. I read about B5 helping "classic" bruxism symptoms and decided to try it and voila! immediate stop. It also stopped other jaw tics he was having. He was already getting some B5 in his multi but I gave extra separately.

 

as an aside, once we realized he was not reacting well to B complex I switched him to Royal Jelly(not the gelatin brand of dessert but the substance made by queen bees) and he did wonderfully. Royal Jelly is a great source of nutrients for anyone not allergic to bee products

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Hi! I'm new here, but just wanted to add a little something. I've actually read that article before and found it interesting.

 

I have TS myself. When I was pregnant my tics increased probably 10 fold. This was when I was finally diagnosed.

But when I was breastfeeding my tics got MUCH better. I even put off getting any treatment and continued to breastfeed for over a year. After I weaned, my tics came back with a vengeance.

Anyway, what I'm getting at is that the letdown process during breastfeeding is triggered by production of prolactin. So I (or any breastfeeding mother) always had an excess amount of prolactin in my body. I found that article interesting because it said that prolactin is the precursor to DHEA which combats that cortisol that can make tics worse.

 

I put the two together and figured that my tics were being subsided by the excess prolactin being produced during breastfeeding. Now I wish I'd just kept going and not stopped at a year!

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aeon007,

very interesting, thanks for sharing that information of personal experience.

 

Now has anyone here actually used DHEA or a precursor to DHEA (like something that helps produce DHEA naturally in the body)? Or anything that supposedly helps with lowering cortisol? Any feedback? Do they make prolactin in a supplement form? :)

 

This is why it would be good to find any more recent and subsequent info from the authors of this info, to see if what they had to say has any validity. Having a hypothesis or theory is certainly a good thing, but experimentation and valid conclusions would be helpful too. I feel that anyone who puts out info such as this should stay on it and publish their subesequent research. I think when I tried before, I really couldn't come up with anything. If anyone is in a surfing mood, please let us know what you come up with. Thanks

 

Faith

 

 

 

Faith

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thanks aeon077, that is very helpful for what I'm thinking about the adrenal glands not producing the right amounts of hormones.

 

Faith, My understanding is children should not take DHEA supps. but if the B5 helps with the function of the adrenals then that would be a great way to start the healing. Also what I have found out is nuts and legumes are veryhelpful in the conversion of DHEA. Another reason I feel son is not producing the right amounts of DHEA, because of his deadly allergy to peanuts, also allergic to beans. He does not eat these in any form.

 

As aeon077 has pointed out the adrenal health and hormones have a profound influence on the body.

 

CP

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This is why it would be good to find any more recent and subsequent info from the authors of this info, to see if what they had to say has any validity. Having a hypothesis or theory is certainly a good thing, but experimentation and valid conclusions would be helpful too. I feel that anyone who puts out info such as this should stay on it and publish their subesequent research. I think when I tried before, I really couldn't come up with anything. If anyone is in a surfing mood, please let us know what you come up with. Thanks

 

 

 

Faith

 

Faith, are you referring to the article Guy posted or are you referring to the study quoted by myrose in the link you gave above??

 

if the article by Jones that Guy posted, that was a synopsis done some years ago on known information re the Chemistry of TS so not a research study http://au.geocities.com/jones_kacm/chem.htm

 

----------------------------------------------

 

 

welcome aeonn and thanks for posting that very interesting info!! :)

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Hi ALL,

 

I find this subject very interesting!! Can vitamin B5 help with healing the adrenal glands? My son was found to have a vitamin B5 deficiency, after having the OAT test. So my questions is, how common is it to have a vitamin B5 deficiency when having tics? How many of your children were found to have a vitamin B5 deficiency? This article is very interesting, I wonder if anyone with tics has tried to use DHEA supplements before? It would be very interesting to know!!!!

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chemar,

I was referring to the article myrose posted. But I thought it contained some of the same info. sorry if I am confusing. I just wonder about the DHEA and cortisol part, because in the "Chemistry of TS" , that info seems to be sited at the bottom, so I thought it was the same. But do note that the part "DHEA and cortisol" IS the same info from the author Howard, so it may or may not be sound. Just wanted to reiterate my take on it.

 

I just feel that if this type of info is out there and it is not recent, then it there should be some up to date info on it that would certainly help give credence, that's all. sorry if I'm confusing the issue, but how do you feel re the info on DHEA?

 

Faith

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