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Choline on the Brain? A Guide to Choline in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Discussion in 'Phoenix Rising Articles' started by pattismith, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. pattismith

    pattismith Senior Member

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    I didn't find anywhere this article from 2012 by Cort, so I post an extract :

    http://phoenixrising.me/research-2/...nic-fatigue-syndrome-by-cort-johnson-aug-2005

    begining of the article:

    Brain metabolic activity in CFS
    Three studies have examined metabolic functioning in the brain using proton magnetic spectroscopy (MRS) (Chaudhuri et. al. 2003, Tomoda et. al. 2000, Puri et. al. 2002). The levels of three metabolites (N-acetyl aspartate (NAA), choline, creatine) in the brain are examined using this technique.

    Puri’s study found that CFS patients (a) have significantly higher levels of choline in the occipital region of the brain than do controls and (b) exhibit an abnormal choline gradient between the motor and occipital cortex (Puri et. al. 2002).

    Chaudhuri’s study found increased choline levels in the basal ganglia (Chaudhuri et. al. 2003). A very small study (n=3) examining adolescents with CFS also found increased choline levels in the basal ganglia as well (Tomoda et. al. 2001).

    Three studies then, all of them small, but most with highly significant findings (p<.05, p<.001, p<.008) have found increased brain choline levels mostly in the basal ganglia. Normal NAA levels in two studies indicated neuronal mass was not disturbed.

    The basal ganglia
    The basal ganglia are large masses of gray matter at the base of the cerebral hemisphere; i.e. they are near the base of the skull where it meets the spinal column. They provide a nexus for interactions combining limbic/motor activities with volition; i.e. they play a key role in internal motivational states. One of the aspects they effect is perception of effort.

    The limbic system is a collective term that denotes an array of interconnected brain structures (hippocampus, amygdale, fornicate gyrus) at or near the edge (limbus) of the cerebral hemisphere that connect with the hypothalamus.

    By way of these connections, the limbic system exerts an important influence upon the endocrine and autonomic motor systems and appears to effect motivation and mood. Several endocrine and autonomic nervous system abnormalities have been identified in ME/CFS.

    Basal ganglia dysfunction often causes problems with something called ‘tasking’. Sequential task processing, for instance, an important process used in initiating and following through complex tasks, is often impaired in people with basal ganglia dysfunction.

    The ‘reward’ system which provides motivational impulses that in turn stimulate other parts of the brain is also often disrupted. These two abnormalities can increase the effort needed to carry out complex tasks, in particular.

    A disease called akinesia which is defined as “poverty and slowness in willful movements” can also occur because of basal ganglia disease. It is believed to result from the inability of the brain to respond to environmental cues such as sight, sound and touch.

    Choline
    Choline is found in three forms in humans; phosphatidycholine (lecithin), acetylcholine and cytidine diphosphocholine. Most of the choline in the body is found in specialized fat cells called phospholipids that are abundant in the membranes of cells. Choline in used in the synthesis of three components in cell membranes; phospholipids, phosphatidycholine (lecithin) and sphingomyelin.

    Causes of increased brain choline production
    Elevated brain choline levels are usually associated with increased cell production (malignant tumors) and/or increased cell membrane turnover due to inflammation or ischemia (low blood flows) (Chaudhuri et. al. 2003).
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
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  2. pattismith

    pattismith Senior Member

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    An atypical antipsychotic drug Clozapine has this anti inflammatory property:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278584617300258
     
  3. Learner1

    Learner1 Professional Patient

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  4. andyguitar

    andyguitar Senior Member

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    Well done @pattismith for finding that and posting it. Filled in a gap in my knowledge. Inflammation. Keeps coming up. For quite a while now I have been thinking that the much loved idea that depression and other symptoms that are (according to medical science and the pharma industry) caused by an imbalance in the levels of neurotransmitters is wrong. Heresy. But how about this: The distubance in neurotransmitter levels is caused by inflammation and it is the inflammation that is the real cause of the symptoms. Any ideas about this from members?
     
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  5. Learner1

    Learner1 Professional Patient

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    Having too little or too much of a particular neurotransmitter can produce brain symtoms. I felt lethargic and couldn't move, and reported it to my doctor, who measured my dopamine level, found it to be low, as well as my tyrosine level which was practically zero. Taking 3-6g of tyrosine solved the problem!

    But there are many other things that can create brain symptoms, like infections, trauma, and other nutrient deficiencies, like lack of B12, zinc, lipids, and other amino acids.

    I'm not convinced inflammation leads to disturbed neurotransmitter levels. It may, but if inflammation is found, some detective work to find the cause is in order.

    I've been finding IVIG causes inflammation in my CNS and dexamethasone and boswellia seem to help. For other causes, other solution sets apply.
     
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  6. andyguitar

    andyguitar Senior Member

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    Sure take the point about Tyrosine. What I mean is that it is the anti-inflammatory effect of those substances defined as neurotransmitters that helps. So when they drop-as in your case- the protective effect they have in preventing imflammation is lost. Yeah i am aware of the many other things that can cause brain symptoms. But the exact manner in which they cause symptoms is difficult-if not impossible- to determine.
     
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  7. Mary

    Mary Senior Member

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    @pattismith - FWIW, I started taking lecithin which is high in choline several years ago (but also several years post-onset of ME/CFS) for brain health - my short-term memory improved noticeably shortly after starting the choline - e.g., when going to the grocery store to get a couple of things without a list, I would remember items that previously I would easily forget. I recommended it to one of my sisters who also noticed a memory benefit. And, I'm not sure if this is related to the choline or not, but at one point I became able to do crosswords more easily - answers would come more easily and quickly to me.

    I don't know how this would relate to the above study in case people would think of avoiding choline - perhaps it's not we have too much choline but how it's distributed that is the problem?
     
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  8. andyguitar

    andyguitar Senior Member

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    Maybe the benefit you got comes from something other than the choline in the lecithin?
     
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  9. Learner1

    Learner1 Professional Patient

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    Cell membranes need phospholipids, like phosphatidyl choline. Patients have had some success taking lecithin, phosphatidyl choline, and other phospholipids, as in the NT Factor product.

    Maes and Morris describe how mitochondrial membranes get damaged, and Nicolson has done a lot of work with lipid replenishment with Gulf War Illness, cancer-related fatigue, infections, and ME/CFS.

    I've found benefit from taking NT Factor, as well as reducing the sources and effects of oxidative and nitrosative stress.
     

    Attached Files:

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  10. pattismith

    pattismith Senior Member

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    Mary I felt concerned by this question when a PR member reported problems after taking choline. He raised this important issue and found this ancient article by Cort (thank you @joejack102 ).

    I am too much exhausted to explain the choline question in details in english, but andy and learner have perfectly understand how we can interpret the sources I quoted.

    More and more articles are pointing brain inflammation (and especially microglial activation) in diseases like depression or schizophrenia, like it has been pointed in ME as well!
    So I found that reading schizophrenia articles was very informative. In this particular pathology, an infectious origin is suspected as well...

    So to make it short, taking choline alone might not be good for us, but taking Lecithin is very good, because inflammation and cell death calls for more phospholipids' needs.
     
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  11. Learner1

    Learner1 Professional Patient

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    It also depends on how well your Kennedy pathway, Lands cycle, and PEMT pathways work, to make all the needed conversions.

    That's why taking a product with the already converted substances may be easier than waiting and hoping for the conversion from lecithin.
     
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  12. andyguitar

    andyguitar Senior Member

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    Very interesting thread and hats off to @pattismith for starting it. I have also been looking at schizophrenia among many other 'Brain Problems'. Whilst looking at some recent research I came across information about a drug that had been developed but not brought to market. Many drugs suffer the same fate. Although they show promise the cost of the clinical trials needed to get them approved is not economic. What struck me about the particular drug was that it was designed to work on Histamine receptors. The idea that schizophrenia is caused by allergy is not new. I first came across that theory about 20 years ago. Cant remember the book it was in but fairly sure it was by a British immunologist. It's a shame that members tend to shy away from research that may hold the key to CFS just because the word 'Psychitric' is used. There is some research I turned up last year that shows in graphic detail how one particular drug in the class 'Serotonin Release Agent' causes serious,long lasting inflammation in the parts of the brain which seem to be malfunctioning in CFS/ME. There is a serious problem with posting about it. So if anyone wants to know about it PM me. But dont shoot me I'm only the messenger. It's going to come out anyway. Question is how to deal with it when it does.
     
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