Tag Archives: Neurotransmitters In The Brain

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Neurotransmitter Restoration (NTR)

Neurotransmitter Restoration

Neurotransmitter Restoration (NTR) and effective role in drug addiction includes the treatment of cancer-related pains

Neurotransmitter Restoration (NTR): Addiction Recovery using Intravenous NAD & amino acids

The first step in addiction recovery is a functional medical investigation targeting the conditions in the body that facilitate fatigue, anxiety, depression, reduced pain tolerance, poor focus and the likes further demanding the neurotransmitter restoration. These common underlying conditions include food sensitivities, gluten intolerance, adrenal and thyroid imbalances, mal-absorption, neurotransmitter deficiency and NAD deficiency. Since these issues are treatable, normally with nutritional supplements and diet, the patient receives intravenous NAD and amino acids based on individually designed protocols for a 10 day period of time. The IV NAD and amino acids improve brain function based on higher levels of cellular energy production along with increased neurotransmitters, such as serotonin. There could be some withdrawal symptoms for a period of two or three days which is easily manageable and so should not worry you much. After three to five days as withdrawal symptoms disappear, craving subsides and clarity of thinking is restored.

Having been in this discipline for over two decades, doctor Dalal Akoury, MD, President, and founder of AWAREmed health and wellness resource center reiterates that, it should be noted that this treatment is not a substitute for recovery, but it is the beginning of the process of healing. The moment the brain and body are functioning better, the patient has the energy, clarity and focuses on engaging in the recovery process. The patient will be able to understand the reasons for compulsive behavior and with better health and motivation they can stop compulsive behaviors and make informed choices that are self-supportive rather than self-destructive.

Neurotransmitter Restoration (NTR): Detoxifying patients professionally

Some studies done in the past five decades reveals the efficacy and safety of IV NAD in detoxifying patients from alcohol, opiates, tranquilizers and stimulants. Like the early studies, our experience with the protocol over the past five years substantiates its benefits in greatly reducing withdrawal symptoms, as well as reducing, and often eliminating the cravings. And at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center under Doctor Akoury’s upon scheduling an appointment with doctor Akoury, you will be handled professionally with the state of the art equipment’s and tailor-made programs designed to individual, family and group therapy. Patients are provided with continued integrative care for their underlying medical problems, which helps them to timely feel better physically and mentally. This way they are more likely to continue healing psychologically, emotionally, socially and spiritually. Depending on a case by case at least two-year commitment to aftercare treatment is critical because the underlying psychological issues which often lead to substance abuse must be resolved for long lasting recovery.

Neurotransmitter Restoration (NTR): Addiction Recovery using Intravenous NAD & amino acids


gut-brain-axis (1)

Food chemicals as used by humans and plants

Food chemicals

Food chemicals as used by humans and plants have several similarities on how they affect the brain

Food chemicals as used by humans and plants: Brain understanding of food addiction

You may be wondering the similarities on how plants and humans use food chemicals in their daily functions! Professionally, doctor Dalal Akoury MD, President, and founder of AWAREmed health and wellness resource center say that plants produce chemicals capable of affecting our brains because they share an evolutionary history with us and primitive one-celled organisms produce many of the same chemicals present in our brains. Meaning that, irrespective of what you choose to eat the chemicals each meal contains may alter how your neurons function and by extension how you feel or think. We have all experienced the consequences of our shared evolutionary history with the plants we eat. For example, unripe bananas contain the neurotransmitter serotonin. When you eat an unripe banana, its serotonin is free to act upon the serotonin neurons within your digestive tract. The result is likely to increase activation of the muscles in the wall of your intestines.

Many plants contain compounds that should be able to enhance the brain’s performance. For example, potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants contain solanine and α-chaconine substances that can enhance the action of acetylcholine, a chemical in the brain vital to memory formation.

Morphine chemicals

Morphine-like chemicals are capable of acting upon the brain are produced in your intestines when you consume milk, eggs, cheese, spinach, mushrooms, pumpkin, and various fish and grains. Dairy products, in particular, contain a protein known as casein, which enzymes in your intestines can convert into beta-casomorphin. In newborns, that beta-casomorphin can easily pass out of the immature gut and into the developing brain to produce euphoria. The pleasurable feeling produced by this opiate-like compound in newborn mammals after their first taste of their mother’s milk is believed to encourage the infant to return again and again for nourishment. Thus, being able to experience the euphoria induced by this opiate-like chemical has life and death consequences for the newborn child.

Food chemicals as used by humans and plants: Caffeine and Nicotine

These are definitely plants derived from drugs. Chocolate contains a bit of caffeine, but also an array of other psychoactive compounds that may contribute to the pleasurable sensation of eating it. Chocolate contains phenethylamine a molecule that resembles amphetamine, and a small amount of chemical called Anandamide resembling the active ingredient in marijuana. Ironically, Anandamide happens to be used by our brain as a regular neurotransmitter and appears to be critical for us to experience pleasure.

Finally having seen the effect of food on human life, as a society we must pool together to ensure that we live a happy life, therefore, the services of professionals will be necessary to give guidance. And with the help of AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center, all your concerns will be well taken care of. Remember that doctor Akoury practice focuses on personalized medicine through healthy lifestyle choices that deal with primary prevention and underlying causes instead of patching up symptoms. You can call her on telephone number 843 213 1480 for further deliberations.

Food chemicals as used by humans and plants: Brain understanding of food addiction




Dopamine levels variance and the feelings of satisfaction

Dopamine levels variance

Dopamine levels variance and dopamine reward master. The neurotransmision and substance abuse needs immediate treatment

Dopamine levels variance: Neurotransmitter role in drug addiction

This is may be due to genetics, environment related or a combination of factors. A study concluded that pathological gamblers most often experienced traumatizing experiences when they were younger. Since most people who became addicted to gambling have low dopamine levels, and also that same group usually has endured a traumatic experience, it was concluded the overall dopamine levels can change due to environmental factors. This supports the opinion that both the mind and the brain can change due to environmental factors. However in yet another study it was established that a gene related to dopamine is sported twice as often in pathological gamblers than non-gamblers. To this effect, doctor Akoury says that this view seems to supports the observation that dopamine levels are genetic. We can therefore come up with two possible observations. Either both genetics and environmental factors affects ones brain anatomy and mind simultaneously, or that environmental factors can affect genes which in turn affect ones brain and mind.

Dopamine levels variance: Why is risk and reward a trigger for the release of dopamine?

It’s scientifically logical that sex and food release dopamine, because they are essential for the life of human beings. Risk and reward are not.  It is believed that everything happens for a reason; meaning, there must be a scientific explanation for the increase of dopamine levels as a result of risk and reward. Like for instance the human race is different from other species on this planet not only by its ability to reason, but also its ability to create and be innovative. Therefore nature dictates that humans are creative and innovative, and for this to happen a person should have some level of satisfaction when one accomplishes an innovation. Doctor Akoury agrees that for one to accomplish an innovation he/she must take certain risks. It is risky to try to do something that no other being on earth has ever accomplished. Therefore, there must be a reward other than material that one gets when he or she accomplishes the innovation, otherwise that person would not take the risk. The reward here is the release of dopamine and the feeling of satisfaction. The problem with this process is that not only can one be satisfied after a major risk and accomplishment, but that one can also be satisfied through constant minute risks and accomplishments.

The feeling of satisfaction that dopamine exhibits are so strong that one can often lose his or her ability to reason in order to achieve satisfaction. It is that unconscious state of mind that takes over and begins to make certain decisions. The brain develops neural circuits that unconsciously assess reward. Since dopamine plays an active role in these circuits, people will act in what they think is in their best interest, when in fact the only interest it satisfies is the release of dopamine. This can be exemplified in gambling where one insists on gambling even though he or she knows that the odds are against them. Finally we appreciate that there is a lot of scientific explanations in this topic which may not be very clear to many people and if you are one of them then we are more than ready at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center to listen and help you be on the know. All you have to do is to call doctor Dalal Akoury (MD) who is also the founder of the facility for an appointment and all your concerns will be addressed professionally.

Dopamine levels variance: Neurotransmitter role in drug addiction




Addicted brain

Mesolimbic pathway and drug seeking

Mesolimbic pathway

Mesolimbic pathway and drug seeking. Hypothalamus area of the brain and drug addiction.

Mesolimbic pathway and drug seeking: Drug cravings to the brain

From our basic understanding of the purpose and functioning of the brains reward system in the previous postings, we can interrogate it a little bit further in several ways. The circuit most associated with pleasure and reward is the mesolimbic pathway which is located in the brainstem. The objective of this area of the brain is primarily concerned with basic survival. Within the mesolimbic pathway is an area called the ventral tegmental area (VTA). The VTA projects to the nucleus accumbens (thought to be the reward center). The neurotransmitter most commonly linked with the mesolimbic system is dopamine. Many people consider dopamine to be the driving force behind the human pursuit of pleasure. The release of dopamine is a pleasurable sensation. The release of dopamine motivates us to repeat behaviors or activities that prompted this release. This system’s purpose was to promote survival by rewarding life sustaining behaviors such eating and procreation.

All addictive drugs and activities release varying amounts of dopamine into the nucleus accumbens with stimulant drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine releasing the most. However when it comes to drugs like alcohol or heroin, the brain’s own opiate system (endorphins) also gets involved. Doctor Akoury further says that even though different forms of addictions have different effects in the nucleus accumbens, they share one common denominator that they all activate the reward system which in turn motivates us to repeat those behaviors, even though they may be harmful. Besides what we have discussed about the concepts of reward, pleasure, and craving together, it is however very important to appreciate that there is a distinction between pleasure-seeking and drug seeking. Note that pleasure-seeking is all about the pleasurable, rewarding aspect of addiction while drug-seeking refer to the craving aspect of addiction. Dopamine may be more involved in drug-seeking (craving) component of addiction. The opiate (endorphin), GABA, or glutamatergic systems may be more involved in pleasure-seeking aspect of addiction too.

Pleasure-seeking and drug-seeking (cravings) are inter-related, yet distinct. Research has established that natural rewards (food, water, sex) typically lessen their influence on the reward system over time. As a behavior occurs more often, dopamine levels tend to decrease in the process. Psychologists call this habituation. This makes sense. Once you’ve eaten enough food, you don’t need to be rewarded for eating more food. Then you would be eating too much, or too much of one type of food. Therefore everyone needs to take heed of keeping the brain free from all attacks be it from substances or otherwise. Talking to the experts at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center under the able leadership of doctor Dalal Akoury should be your starting point. Call and make that appointment today for the commencement of your journey to full recovery from your addiction.

Mesolimbic pathway and drug seeking: Drug cravings to the brain





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Misfiring Sex Hormones Cause a Spiral Downward: Havoc on the Brain

The effects of misfiring sex hormones to the brain

The hormones regulating sexual response in humans are testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, oxytocin, and vasopressin.  Testosterone is most prevalent in males and estrogen and progesterone in females. Oxytocin and vasopressin are present equally in both men and women.

Each hormone plays a specific function in sexual motivation and response. Testosterone encourages males to compete for the attention of females. Estrogen increases sexual motivation in women, and is most elevated during ovulation, while at the same time progesterone, which lowers female sexual motivation, is lower. Oxytocin is associated with sexual pleasure and is the hormone responsible for forming emotional bonds. Vasopressin levels are raised during arousal in males, and may contribute towards increased sexual motivation.

brain havocWhen released at regular levels and at the correct times in response to ovulatory cycles or sexual stimulus, these hormones create the motivation for sexual reproduction and increase the pleasure response that it generates.

However, when these hormones are out of balance or secreted at the wrong time, they can have very adverse effects on one’s wellbeing.

Many women are aware of the link between hormones and mental health, having experienced it on a monthly basis in the form of PMS and mood swings in the time approaching the onset of her menstrual cycle. When the body undergoes puberty, the rising and falling hormone levels also result in mood swings, depression, irritability, and aggression. Pregnancy also releases a flood of hormones which affect mood and can in some women cause severe post-partum depression after giving birth. Menopause and menopausal symptoms of irritability, erratic behavior, changes in sex drive, brain fog, and hot flashes are also all the result of hormones being out of balance.

Although the mechanics of hormone-induced mental health issues are not fully understood, it would appear from the reactions that estrogen and progesterone, particularly, interact with the production and reception of serotonin and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) neurotransmitters in the brain. The fluctuation of estrogen and progesterone around the time of menstruation causes PMS and also PMDD or premenstrual dysphoric disorder. PMDD manifests in severe depression and anxiety, as well as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). PMDD sufferers have been misdiagnosed as bi-polar or with any of some other psychological disorders, because of the havoc wreaked by their hormones on their brain chemistry.

One sufferer in Cornwall stated: “The most bizarre part is that as soon as I start bleeding it goes away. Literally 30 minutes or an hour later and I feel totally normal again. Like I’ve been in a fog for a week and then I just step out”. However, she says of the week to ten days before her period: “Smells are stronger, sounds are louder, things that don’t bother me normally become a major issue, I’m clumsy and accident prone, totally exhausted and emotional. As I get closer to my period all of that intensifies and gets coupled with an extreme self-loathing, sometimes even suicidal thoughts. I look in the mirror, and my whole face looks different, distorted and not myself. It sounds bonkers; it feels bonkers.”

This disorder affects approximately 5% of menstruating women, although the prevalence may be much higher but simply go unreported.

And women are not the only sufferers. Men who experience an excess of estrogen are prone to depression and mood swings as well. Too little testosterone will display in symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, loss of libido, and depression.

Check out our Integrative Addiction Conference 2016 being held in Austin, Texas


Tests and studies carried out in a Canadian ice hockey team yielded some results regarding the effect of testosterone on mood and mental health, and showed a direct correlation between testosterone levels and confidence and aggression. The research into the link between testosterone and competitiveness returns very mixed results depending on the baseline personality of the subject.

Excess testosterone is metabolized into estrogen, which in some men results in metal health issues which are often diagnosed as bi-polar disorder. Studies conducted on some such patients which included hormone replacement therapy instead of the bi-polar medication which they had been taking showed positive results in their behavior and mental health.

Testosterone has also been shown to have a causal effect on egocentric and anti-social behavior. Also, low testosterone levels in men have been found to have a detrimental effect on sleep patterns. Disrupted sleep can have many psychological and physiological consequences, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity, and depression.

Diagnosing and recognizing hormone-related disorders is the challenge. Very often this cause is overlooked and remains untreated. Regulating hormone levels in cases of mental health issues could present a long-term solution. Much research and study in this area are still necessary to fully understand and determine the link between the hormones and mental health.

The effect of hormones on mental health and wellbeing will be one of the topics under discussion at the upcoming Integrated Addiction Conference. Register online at https://www.awaremed.com/integrativeaddictionconference/ for access to the forum and discussions and to attend the event.