It’s always a feeling of loss when brilliant people who dedicated their lives to helping others leave this world. For me, it particularly hits home that Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD has left us at age 91 because he has been a wonderful member of our ACN advisory board.
I was humbled when he first volunteered to work with us. And I was always a bit intimidated when speaking with him because of his stature in the fields of nutrition and psychiatry. His ground-breaking contributions to discovering causes and better treatments for schizophrenia are legendary, and his nutritional insights were key to starting the movement of orthomolecular medicine. Dr. Hoffer’s efforts are well described in an obituary by his son John.
Something I have always remembered was his frank assessment of the field of neurology. One day I was lamenting the lack of response by neurologists to natural and biomedical approaches for Tourette syndrome. Dr. Hoffer explained that it usually takes over 20 years for a new concept to be accepted in medicine, and that neurologists tend to be closed-minded and usually take much longer to accept change. He also said that conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder and Tourette syndrome were rare during most of his practice, and the increase in recent years must be of environmental origin.
I was recently in Vancouver and met several people who were still patients of Dr. Hoffer. They raved about him and spoke of him as if he were family. He will be deeply missed by so very many around the world.