Walsh Abstracts


Fatty Acid Profiles of Schizophrenic Phenotypes (Abstract)

         (Bibus, Holman et al. 2000) Download

Affecting 1% of the American population, schizophrenia constitutes a major disease in our society with considerable personal and financial costs. Successful treatment and access to quality health care are often limited for many patients. Recent research has suggested that omega-3 fatty acids may be involved in the etiology and/or treatment of schizophrenia. The objective of the present pilot study was to investigate fatty acid profiles of 40 schizophrenic patients biochemically characterized by the Pfeiffer Treatment Center, Chicago, IL.

Fatty acid profiles for blood lipid fractions of fasting plasma and red blood cells were analyzed. Data were then grouped based onbiochemicalphenotypes including low-methylation (high blood histamine), high methylation (low blood histamine) and pyroluria (elevated urinary kryptopyrrole). Results of the study indicate decreased levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in total plasma phospholipids for all schizophrenic groups tested ranging 66 – 75% of control levels. Similarly, total omega-3 was significantly lower for all groups despite normal or near- normal levels of eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosapentaenoic acids (DPA). In pyroluric patients, EPA was insignificantly elevated while arachidonic acid (AA) was significantly decreased. Linoleic acid was normal in all three patient phenotypes. Deficits in 20 and 22 carbon omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturates were offset by marked increases in palmitic acid.

While significant differences were observed between control and schizophrenic phenotypes, few differences were observed between high- and low-methylated patients. Differences did exist between the pyroluric phenotype and the low-and high-methylated schizophrenic groups. When data from all three phenotypes were grouped, AA was significantly lower for the entire cohort, despite normal levels for under- and over-methylated phenotypes. Collectively, schizophrenia appears to be related to essential fatty acid status, and identification of phenotypes based on chemical markers may offer an additional tool of the investigation and treatment of schizophrenia.

(1,2 The University of Minnesota) (3 The Pfeiffer Treatment Center)

Elevated serum copper levels in women with a history of post-partum depression

(Crayton and Walsh 2007) Download

Previous observations suggested that there may be an association between elevated serum copper (Cu) levels and post-partum depression (PPD). In this study, we examined Zn and Cu levels in women with completed pregnancies who had a history of PPD and compared them to women who did not have depression, and to women who reported having been depressed, but without a history of PPD. Cu levels were significantly higher in women having a history of PPD compared both to non-depressed women and to depressed women without a history of PPD. The mean serum Cu level of 78 women with a history of PPD was 131+/-39microg/dL compared with 111+/-25microg/dL in 148 women without such a history, and 106+/-20microg/dL in non-depressed controls (p<0.001). Zn levels did not differ across the three groups. Cu/Zn ratios were significantly higher in the PPD-history-positive group, due to the significant differences in Cu levels. Cu and Zn levels were not significantly different in depressed and non-depressed men, nor between non-depressed women and non-depressed men. Depressed women had higher Cu, but not Zn, levels compared with men. The nature of the association between elevated Cu values and PPD is, as yet, unknown; however Cu has roles in a variety of physiological systems that may be implicated in the development of PPD.

The Effectiveness of Targeted Nutrient Therapy in Treatment of Mental Illness: A Pilot Study

         (Stuckey, William et al. 2010) Download

In a pilot study aimed at investigating the effectiveness of targeted nutrient therapy, the clinical progress of 567 patients with a range of mental illnesses receiving established medical treatment in conjunction with a targeted nutrient program were assessed by clinical outcome after 12 months. 492 of the 567 patients interviewed commenced treatment and of these 382 complied for one year. The verified diagnoses included Autism Spectrum, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Schizophrenia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Of the total treatment group, 110 (23.6%) failed to complete one year of treatment, 221 (44.9%) noted major improvement, 91(18.5%) noted partial improvement, and 70 (14.2%) noted nil improvement in three nominated quality of life outcomes. These outcomes were compared to a comparison group (26) not receiving the equivalent nutrient treatment of which 5 (19%) noted major improvement, 5 (19%) noted partial improvement, and 16 (62%) noted nil improvement. Hospital admission was substantially lower in the treatment group.

Disordered Metal Metabolism in a Large Autism Population

         (Walsh, Usman et al. 2001) Download

Objective: To investigate the incidence of metal metabolism disorders in an autistic-spectrum patient population.

Method: Chemical analyses of blood and urine samples from 503 patients diagnosed with autistic disorder (n=318), Asperger's disorder (n=23), or atypical autism (n=162) were evaluated.

Results: Of patients tested, 428 (85%) exhibited severely elevated Cu/Zn ratios in blood (average 1.78) compared to a population of healthy controls (average 1.15). Another 30 patients (6%) exhibited a pyrrole disorder associated with severe Zn deficiency. Of the remaining subjects (n=49), 45 reported undergoing aggressive Zn therapy at the time of sampling. A total of 499 of the 503 autism-spectrumpatients exhibited evidence ofa metal-metabolism disorder.

Conclusion: The absence of Cu and Zn homeostasis and severe Zn deficiency are suggestive of a metallothionein (MT) disorder. MT functions include neuronal development, detoxification of heavy metals, and immune response. Many classic symptoms of autism may be explained by a MT defect in infancy including G.I. tract problems, heightened sensitivity to toxic metals, and abnormal behaviors. These data suggest that an inborn error of MT functioning may be a fundamental cause of autism.


Recent research indicates that a metallothionein (MT) protein dysfunction may be a primary cause of autism. MT proteins are directly involved in development of brain neurons, detoxification of heavy metals, and immune response. Treatments to promote the induction and proper functioning of MT proteins are described.

Reduced violent behavior following biochemical therapy

         (Walsh, Glab et al. 2004) Download

Reduced violent behavior following biochemical therapy. We conducted an outcome study to measure the effectiveness of biochemical therapy for 207 consecutive patients presenting with a diagnosed behavior disorder. The treatment protocols were based on clinical evaluation and our past experience in the treatment of 8000 patients with behavior disorders at the Pfeiffer Treatment Center (PTC) over a 10-year period. Each test subject was screened for chemical imbalances previously found in high incidence in this population, including metal-metabolism disorders, methylation abnormalities, disordered pyrrole chemistry, heavy-metal overload, glucose dyscontrol, and malabsorption. The clinical procedure included a medical history, assay of 90 biochemical factors, and a physical examination. Standardized treatment protocols were applied for each imbalance that was identified. The frequencies of physical assaults and destructive episodes were determined using a standardized behavior scale before and after treatment, with follow-up ranging from 4 to 8 months. RESULTS: Seventy-six percent of the test subjects achieved compliance during the treatment period. The remaining 24% were reported to have discontinued the therapy. A reduced frequency of assaults was reported by 92% of the compliant assaultive patients, with 58% achieving elimination of the behavior. A total of 88% of compliant destructive patients exhibited a reduced frequency of destructive incidents and 53% achieved elimination of the behavior. Statistical significance was found for reduced frequency of assaults (t=7.74, p<0.001) and destructive incidents (t= 8.77, p<0.001). The results of this outcome study strongly suggest that individualized biochemical therapy may be efficacious in achieving behavioral improvements in this patient population.

Elevated Lead in Beethoven Bone Relics

         (Walsh, Kemner et al. 2005) Download

Oxidative Stress, Undermethylation, and Epigenetics - The Bermuda Triangle of Autism

         (Walsh 2010) Download

Epigenetics 101

         (Walsh 2013) Download

PowerPoint Slides

2009 - Metallothionein Download

         2010 - Alzheimer's Disease Download

         2010 - Autism Download

         2010 - Biochemical Features of ASD Download

         2010 - Biochemical Imbalances in Mental Health Populations Download

         2010 - Depression Download

         2010 - Depression 2 Download

         2010 - Oxidative Stress in Autism Download

         2010 - Schizophrenia Download

         2012 - An Epigenetic Model of Autism Download

         2012 - Drug-Free Nutrient Therapy To Heal Brain Imbalances Download

         2013 - Epigenetics Download


Bibus, D. M., R. T. Holman, et al. (2000). Fatty Acid Profiles of Schizophrenic Phenotypes Abstract. 91st AOCS Annual Meeting and Expo. San Diego, California.

Crayton, J. W. and W. J. Walsh (2007). "Elevated serum copper levels in women with a history of post-partum depression." J Trace Elem Med Biol 21(1): 17-21. [PMID: 17317521]

Stuckey, R., W. William, et al. (2010). "The Effectiveness of Targeted Nutrient Therapy in Treatment of Mental Illness: A Pilot Study " ACNEM Journal 29(3). [PMID:

Walsh, W. J. (2010). Oxidative Stress, Undermethylation, and Epigenetics - The Bermuda Triangle of Autism. The Autism File USA. 35.

Walsh, W. J. (2013). Epigenetics 101, Walsh Research Institute.

Walsh, W. J., L. B. Glab, et al. (2004). "Reduced violent behavior following biochemical therapy." Physiol Behav 82(5): 835-9. [PMID: 15451647]

Walsh, W. J., K. Kemner, et al. (2005). Elevated Lead in Beethoven Bone Relics.

Walsh, W. J., A. Usman, et al. (2001). Disordered Metal Metabolism in a Large Autism Population. American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting. New Orleans.