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BMJ Case Reports 2012; doi:10.1136/bcr-2012-007213
  • Findings that shed new light on the possible pathogenesis of a disease or an adverse effect

Efficacy and cost of micronutrient treatment of childhood psychosis

  1. Bonnie J Kaplan5
  1. 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  2. 2Mood and Anxiety Disorders Clinic, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  3. 3Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  4. 4Center for Integrative Psychiatry, Groningen, The Netherlands
  5. 5Department of Paediatrics, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Professor Bonnie J Kaplan, bonnie.kaplan{at}albertahealthservices.ca

Summary

Psychosis is difficult to treat effectively with conventional pharmaceuticals, many of which have adverse long-term health consequences. In contrast, there are promising reports from several research groups of micronutrient treatment (vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids) of mood, anxiety and psychosis symptoms using a complex formula that appears to be safe and tolerable. We review previous studies using this formula to treat mental symptoms, and present an 11-year-old boy with a 3-year history of mental illness whose parents chose to transition him from medication to micronutrients. Symptom severity was monitored in three clusters: anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and psychosis. Complete remission of psychosis occurred, and severity of anxiety and obsessional symptoms decreased significantly (p<0.001); the improvements are sustained at 4-year follow-up. A cost comparison revealed that micronutrient treatment was <1% of his inpatient mental healthcare. Additional research on broad-spectrum micronutrient treatment is warranted.

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