Vol. 10, No. 4, 2004 Page 1


Identifying and correcting biochemical abnormalities can dramatically reduce violent behavior, according to a new study by William Walsh and colleagues.

Walsh et al. followed 207 consecutive patients with behavior disorders, all treated at the Pfeiffer Treatment Center. The patients, who ranged in age from 3 to 55 and included 149 males and 58 females, had received diagnoses of attention-deficit disorder, conduct disorder, oppositional-defiant disorder, or other behavior disorders. Ninety-five percent had previously undergone behavior modification, psychotherapy, conflict resolution therapy, or counseling, and 85 percent had undergone treatment with Ritalin, antidepressants, or other psychotropic drugs, but these treatments had been unsuccessful.

All patients received testing to identify problems including metal-metabolism disorders, methylation problems, disordered pyrrole chemistry, heavy metal overload, malabsorption syndromes, and impaired glucose regulation. Each patient then underwent an individualized program of nutritional supplementation to remediate identified biochemical abnormalities.

Following each patient for four to eight months after treatment began, the researchers found that 76 percent complied with therapy. (Half of the noncompliant group never began the therapy, while the other half complained of nausea, vomiting, or a dislike of swallowing pills.) In the treatment-compliant group, the researchers say, "A reduced frequency of assaults was reported by 92 percent of… assaultive patients, with 58 percent achieving elimination of the behavior." Eighty-eight percent of compliant patients with destructive behavior reported a reduced frequency of destructive acts, with 53 percent reporting a complete cessation of destructive behavior. Younger patients responded the most positively to treatment.

These results, Walsh et al. say, strongly indicate that individually tailored biochemical interventions can cause significant improvement in patients with chronic behavior problems. "The high incidence of biochemical imbalances in the behavior-disordered population and the major behavioral improvements following the correction of these imbalances suggest that individual biochemistry has a powerful influence on human behavior," they conclude. "Effective prevention of delinquency and crime may require early interventions aimed at normalizing the body chemistries of high-risk children."


"Reduced violent behavior following biochemical therapy," W. J. Walsh, L. B. Glab, and M. L. Haakenson, Physiology and Behavior, Vol. 82, No. 5, October 15, 2004, 835-9. Address: William Walsh, Pfeiffer Treatment Center, 4575 Weaver Parkway, Warrenville, IL 60555.

Return to:
[Author Directory] [Front Page] [Issue Index] [Subject Index] [Title Index]