By Courtney Snyder, MD
Half of my work day is spent honing in on details. For each person I evaluate and treat, I’m considering multiple symptoms, lab data, contributing factors, and treatment interventions. Left unchecked, this amount of detail hurts my brain - figuratively and literally. This type of work might be considered “left brain“ and appealing to someone who is “undermethylated,” which I am.
The other half of my work day is involved with addressing how, from a spiritual perspective, we:
By spiritual, I mean our inner life. My writing and teaching about the intersection between neuroplasticity and spirituality is essentially about how we exercise those parts of the brain that relate to that inner work. Instead of honing in on details, this is about pulling back and looking at the bigger picture of our lives and our humanity. This right brain work feels good.
Courtney Snyder, MD
Before I delve at length into the amazing process of methylation and its impact on personality and mental health, I'll lay some groundwork. For those who don't need or want such background, I've tried to make it easy for you to hit the highlights or jump ahead to your own starting point.
Courtney Snyder, MD
Who knew...copper, the essential trace element important in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, respiration, immune function, energy metabolism and growth, could wreak so much havoc on the mind and body?
I never gave much thought to copper until it presented itself to me in the most delightful way...a dream of a copper tiled ceiling - the most memorable dream I've had. Copper ... "associated with the goddess Aphrodite/Venus in mythology and alchemy, ...symbolic of love, balance, feminine beauty and artistic creativity." So taken with this dream, I painted a mantel copper.
We eventually moved and left that copper mantel and dream behind. Ten years later copper resurfaced at the Walsh Research Institute where Dr. William Walsh was teaching about copper overload - one of the most common biochemical imbalances found in brain related disorders. "In most persons, blood copper levels are kept in a narrow range through the action of metallothionein, ceruloplasmin, as well as other proteins. Unfortunately, many persons have a genetic inability to regulate copper levels and a serious copper overload can result." - William Walsh, PhD.
I'm a conventionally trained child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist. My current approach to health is both holistic (pertaining to the whole person) and functional (addressing the root causes of illness). I write this blog to share what I've learned.