Vol. 9, No. 1, 2003 Page 6&7

Megadose nutrients reduce rage in children with PDD, OCD

High-dose vitamins, minerals and amino acids can markedly reduce rage and mood problems in some children with psychiatric disorders, according to a new study by researchers who previously reported similar findings for depressed subjects.

In a pilot study, Bonnie Kaplan et al. administered a supplement containing three dozen nutrients to two boys whose symptoms included explosive rage and mood swings. The children were part of a separate study (currently in press), but because they changed school programs and/or started new medications during the trial, the researchers could not be sure that benefits stemmed from the treatment. Therefore, Kaplan et al. observed the children's responses when they were later taken off the supplements, and then placed back on them.

One subject was an eight-year-old with atypical obsessive-compulsive disorder. Before beginning the supplements, the boy experienced episodes of explosive rage several times daily. He was depressed, withdrawn, irritable, anxious, and hyperactive, and had "an intense and pervasive preoccupation with guns and knives."

During the intervention, the number and duration of the boy's rage attacks declined significantly, his mood and behavior improved, and his obsessive thoughts about weapons virtually disappeared. Since the parents were not sure if the change was due to the boy's new school, they discontinued the supplement. Within three weeks, the boy began obsessing about guns, and within six weeks he was once again moody and disobedient and began throwing frequent tantrums. When the supplements were reinstituted, the boy improved dramatically, and at a one-year follow-up he had no significant behavioral or attentional difficulties. A second attempt to stop the supplements nine months later resulted in a similar regression, once again reversed when the supplements were reinstituted.

The second subject in the study was a 12-year-old with Asperger syndrome (a form of high-functioning autism). The boy exhibited attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning problems, irritability, and explosive outbursts. He too improved on the supplements, becoming less moody, less negative, and less prone to temper outbursts. However, he also changed schools during the initial phase and began taking stimulant medication, making it difficult to determine if the benefits were due to the supplement. To analyze the effects of the nutrients, the parents experimented with discontinuing the dose. After three weeks, the boy's behavior had worsened significantly, and the family reported that his irritable moods and negative attitude "were once again the focus of family life."

The boy's parents began administering the supplements again, and within six weeks, his behavior problems decreased markedly. Eventually, his dose was reduced to one-quarter of the initial dose, with no ill effects. He still requires stimulant medication to control his hyperactivity.

Kaplan et al. note that both boys continue to exhibit problems consistent with their diagnoses, but note that both have benefited dramatically from supplementation, with improvements in mood, reductions in rage, and reductions in obsess- ional symptoms. The researchers suggest that the supplements may address "inborn errors of metabolism in key neurobiological pathways, such as those responsible for neurotransmitter synthesis and uptake, membrane stabilization, second messenger signaling, and so on."

Earlier (see related article, Crime Times, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 1, Page 3), Kaplan et al. administered the same nutrients to 11 adults diagnosed with bipolar disorder. All of the subjects in this earlier study were unresponsive to drug treatment, or unable to take drugs due to side effects. After six months of taking the nutrients, the subjects experienced symptom reductions of 55 to 66 percent, and their need for psychotropic medications decreased by more than 50 percent.


"Treatment of mood lability and explosive rage with minerals and vitamins: two case studies in children," B. J. Kaplan, S. G. Crawford, B. Gardner, and G. Farrelly, Journal of Child and Adolescent Psycho- pharmacology, Vol. 12, No. 3, Fall 2002, 205-19. Address: Bonnie Kaplan, Alberta Children's Hospital, 1820 Richmond Road WS, Calgary, Alberta, Canada AB T2T 5C7.

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