My Journey of Discovery
I have spent the last 30 years of my scientific career focused on diseases. Specifically, on understanding the biochemical mechanisms of diseases and how these biochemical mechanisms may ultimately end our lives. I believe that I have discovered the key to solving the puzzle of health and I invite you to come along with me and explore the limits of longevity and vitality. Through my research I discovered the concept of disease prodromes, which is the concept that you don’t just wake up one day with a disease. Over time, there are biochemical dysfunctions that appear. These biochemical dysfunctions precede the disease phase, and this biochemical dysfunction phase is referred to as a negative or disease prodrome. You are not born with these dysfunctions. In our epidemiological longitudinal studies, we have also observed the opposite side of this negative, disease situation; some people are living without disease or cognitive impairment at 95 years old. These people are referred to as having a positive or healthy prodrome; which is a prodrome of vitality and longevity.
It is equally possible to have biochemical deficiencies that lead us to disease and biochemical surpluses/reserves that lead us to health and vitality. Adverse events will occur in our lives and they occur randomly. Therefore, we want to have a reserve capacity so that our body is prepared for these unexpected events. Research has shown that there are several biochemical systems that when in reserve, are linked to longevity and vitality. These are the systems that I am focused on.
You may have heard my name before concerning my research on Alzheimer’s disease, and specifically the role that plasmalogens play in the etiology of Alzheimer’s and other diseases. I would like to give you some background on myself and the research that has led me to this point.
My childhood curiosity led me to an interest in chemistry, physics, philosophy, and quantum mechanics. When I started digging into the metadata of theories that most of us take for granted, I started to realize that a lot of the scientific theories that we accept as absolute, are collections of theories built upon theories and that the foundations of many of them are, quite frankly, filled with sand. It was frustrating because I assumed that the philosophies that I had been taught in school were all based upon vigorously tested hypotheses. Unfortunately, that turned out to be the exception, not the rule. Most of the time, “peer-review”, is more of a popularity contest, than an independent review of the findings. The underpinnings of human psychology does not stop just because its “science”. Multiple books have been written on this subject. Scientists are no different than other people in that they vested interests in their careers and their legacies. And science can be cruel. You can spend years investigating a hypothesis that, on its surface, looks impossible to be wrong, just to have all destroyed by one definitive experiment that contradicts it. This revelation that scientists are human forced me to start looking at basic principles and rebuilding my belief systems from the bottom up.
The most basic philosophical understanding of our working world can be conceptualized in terms of complex systems which are constantly adjusting to changing circumstances in an attempt to maintain order. Random external and internal environmental events constantly challenge these systems and their ability maintain order. This is the relentless attack of entropy, which eventually destroys all things and forces them to be re-created and re-formed. These complex systems are loosely organized into three large groups. First, there is biology, which is the interaction of organisms and how people and animals interact with each other in their environments to reorganize and adapt to changing circumstances. That is one level of organization. This is the level that has the greatest impact on our psychological health. Then we have chemistry, the molecular level, which is the interaction of molecules and how molecules interact with each other in their environments. These molecular systems are also trying to maintain order in the face of an ever-changing environment. When we examine ourselves as carbon-based biological beings, it is this level that has the greatest impact on our physical health. The third level is physics. Physics, to me, is ultimately about the nature of reality and the nature of being. Things which I am deeply interested in. However, for the human species, fundamentally the lowest common denominator of our world is chemistry. Thus, that is what I first started focusing on — understanding chemistry, the basis of chemistry, and the chemical basis of life.
I have had many mentors along the way and have been fortunate with my Ph.D. supervisors to have been given the necessary freedom needed for my research. I think they knew early on that I was very curious and self-motivated, and I would dig deep into things. I think they reveled in watching me expand my horizons. I started my Ph.D. in 1990 at age 21, and when I completed it in 1993, I had six studies ready for publication. I was simultaneously working in the pharmaceutical industry while completing my Ph.D.
My dissertation was titled, “The biochemical mechanisms of refractory depression.” It was a study about combination drug therapy in treating refractory depression. I was looking at the combination of serotonin reuptake inhibitors versus the tricyclic antidepressants and the monoamine oxidase inhibitors. I designed and executed experiments that used these drugs to probe different neurochemical systems in the brain, how they interacted with each other and how the brain reorganized and adapted to changing environments induced by specific drug therapies.These studies were my first deep look into the theories regarding mental diseases, the biochemical effects of mental disorders, and how the imbalances in signaling pathways affect our health. The body has so many different systems interacting and working together. My job as a scientist is to filter through the multitude of effects and determine which changes are part of a causation pathway and which are just random.
It's puzzles like these that have always intrigued me. People are born with certain talents and aptitudes and usually seek out things that further amplify their strengths. I have always been naturally attuned to identifying patterns in complex datasets, which is why I have been so drawn to scientific research and clinical trials. My studies and research experience have allowed me to see that biological systems have certain commonalities to them. They have shown me that our world isn't a collection of random events, and things do have a way of coalescing into a common language.
The New Frontier
I invented an advanced mass spectrometry technology platform that has been used to analyze thousands of human samples from around the world and continues to be the most advanced technology of its kind today. Using this technology, I discovered the critical role plasmalogens play in maintaining functionality in the human body, especially cognition. Plasmalogens are unique lipid molecules that are a critical part of nerve, heart, lung, eye, and kidney cells. They are necessary for optimal neurotransmitter performance. Plasmalogen levels decrease with disease and age. If the body becomes unable to make enough plasmalogens to keep up with demand, the body’s plasmalogen stores become depleted. Plasmalogens are an essential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecule as well as a critical building block needed to repair cells. From my research, I have designed and created plasmalogen supplementations that are able to maintain and replenish plasmalogen reserves. ProdromeNeuro and Prodrome Glia are scientifically designed to provide the body with critical plasmalogen molecules necessary for optimal cellular function and can be measured in the ProdromeScan blood test. ProdromeNeuro and ProdromeGila are biochemical plasmalogen supplements designed to restore, maintain, and optimize neuron membranes. They also create a biochemical reserve of critical membrane building material for neuron membrane repair when needed.
Are you ready to optimize your health? Download a short summary on plasmalogens, learn about my upcoming book, or explore my videos on the resources page to learn more about how you can change your perspective on health and aging. You can order a blood test or my supplements at www.prodrome.com