Dramatic Recovery from “Catatonic Schizophrenia” Case History: Treatment of Severe “Schizophrenia” without Drugs

In May 1999, Mrs. J rather abruptly began hearing voices in her head. The condition was severe enough that she had no attention left for her present-time surroundings. She continued in this state for about seven months before successful treatment was started. In the later stages, she stopped talking and could not even bathe, eat or go to the toilet without help. Doctor after doctor we saw simply pronounced her schizophrenic. Some were willing to check for the usual list of physical conditions that conventional medicine lists as possible ills producing schizophrenia-like symptoms. All but one of them were unwilling to look further. One doctor conducted a more extensive search. After an initial interview, he recommended two tests be done. One of these tests revealed astronomically high levels of citric acid, high levels of lactic acid and unusually low levels of another substance in the urine, indicating a deficiency of glutathione. Glutathione is a compound made of three amino acids that effects glucose metabolism. Glucose is the brain's energy source. Once the glutathione deficiency was discovered, treatment began by the administration of glutathione intravenously, initially at a dosage of 250 mg. Calcium and magnesium were also administered, and B12 shots were given intra-muscularly. The IV treatments were accompanied by daily oral supplements of N-Acetyl-Cysteine and glutathione, along with a full battery of regular vitamins and minerals. The first evening after treatment there was no apparent change. But the following day it was quite apparent that something had happened, and by evening the changes became dramatic. After several months of not speaking to anyone, she began singing Christmas carols that afternoon. In the evening, she had a telephone conversation lasting over an hour, then had a half-hour conversation with me. For days, a persistent smile frequently graced her face, and on several occasions she spontaneously began dancing about the house and thoroughly enjoying the music playing. After an initial spurt, however, she tended to backslide somewhat, becoming untalkative again. The intravenous treatments were given once weekly for the first three or four treatments. She had a tendency to respond favorably to the treatment for the first two or three days and then backslide. Given the initial favorable response to the treatment, the doctor increased the dosage level. She responded noticeably better to the higher dosage level. Alpha lipoic acid (a glutathione regenerator) capsules were added to her daily supplements. The lipoic acid caused her condition to remain level between the IV treatments rather than backsliding. Treatments were increased to twice per week. The doctor also added some other vitamins and minerals to the IV. No drugs at all were used. After these optimizations, her condition improved rapidly. As she continued to improve, she went through a period where her activity level increased in advance of her mental and emotional level. This seemed to be the most critical stage of recovery, and she sometimes had to have two people standing by to watch over her. She went through a period where she insisted on her independence and incorrectly targeted her caregivers as the ones taking it away from her. She went through one incident of all-out screaming and fighting, when she became convinced that we were trying to murder her. The doctor said this type of reaction is routine in such cases, and prescribed a mild non-psychiatric sedative called Neurontin to get her over this phase. This is a critical phase in the recovery, because if the caregivers are unprepared for it they can wrongly assume that the person is getting worse, putting them into psychiatric hands when they are on the threshold of complete recovery. Neurontin was only needed for a few days. That final all-out fit proved to be the tail end of it. The very next day, she got into communication with me and came out of her condition. It took another week or so to stabilize. The IV treatments were continued twice weekly for two more weeks, then cut back to once per week for three weeks, and are now being given once every two weeks. The overall elapsed time of recovery was about six weeks from the start of first treatment, though it would have been about four weeks if treatment had been started with twice-weekly IVs and lipoic acid from the beginning. She has completely recovered and shows no lingering trace of her former mental state. Her condition would now be considered to be completely normal (or above) under any competent examination