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Malabsorption and Delinquency - A Psychobiological Study Of Delinquents

George Von Hilsheimer, 1977

(Celiac.com 06/12/2000) A way the hypothalamic choreographer might be deranged is by malabsorption syndrome. If this suggestion is valid it directly leads to some simple therapeutic guidelines and implications for inexpensive and productive research - I suggest that malabsorption syndrome is a whole complex of metabolic disorders which interact with psychosocial stress, infection, allergies and endocrine disorders. Malabsorption is a stressor in itself...

...Malabsorption is associated with high levels of circulating adrenocortocotrophic hormone (ACTH) and with high levels of acetylcholine (ACh). ACTH and ACh are in turn associated with modes of learning which are characterized by poor habituation (the animals do not learn or unlearn well), by high levels of avoidance, by efficient escape conditioning, by neophobia and by poor instrumental conditioning. The experimental evidence suggests that children with malabsorption will often be similar in their electrophysiological and conditioning patterns to animals with lesions to the hypothalamus and to the hippocampus. (Di SantAgnese & Jones, 1962.)...

...Many authors have remarked on the similarity of the symptoms of sprue and celiac disease to schizophrenia (Dohan, 1969). Abnormal levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach are associated with hysteria and neurosis (Hepler, 1970). The classic celiac syndrome is said to occur in about one case in every two thousand patients seen by pediatricians, and there is a similar frequency of nontropical sprue in adults. However, one authority (Hodgkin, 1973) reported seeing only one case of celiac disease and no sprue in ten years on a British National Health Service with 2500 patients. My own experience is that many physicians are reluctant to diagnose celiac disease and that the variability of its frequency as a diagnosis may be even greater than that among expert clinicians diagnosing diabetes from laboratory results (viz. from 2 to 76%. Jarrett & Keen (1976)...

...Consequences of Malabsorption:

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  • The ecology of the gut would be poor;
  • Imbalances in blood chemistries and developmental anomalies would indicate neonatal and fetal nutritional inadequacy;
  • The adrenal glands would be depleted;
  • The immune system would be over reactive...

...Evidence for Malnutrition in Middle Class Delinquents

Summarizing the preliminary reports reviewed above and looking at my delinquents in their light suggest that compared to other children:

  • Delinquents are more often products of unfortunate pregnancies;
  • They suffer more pregnancy and birth complications;
  • They are seldom breast fed;
  • They have more colic and other early indications of GI distress and food intolerance;
  • They are often victims of celiac syndrome and other inborn errors of metabolism;
  • They are early addicted to diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates;
  • They have poor absorption of food deficient intestinal flora, and slow transit times for food products moving through their guts;
  • They have thiamin, pyridoxine and pantothenic acid deficiencies as neonates.

These facts suggest that delinquents are at high risk for unusual CNS development, CNS damage, poor continuing synthesis of CNS amino acids and neural transmitters, and are extremely vulnerable to derangements of the immune and allergy systems...

...Criminal, felon (schizophrenics), and chronic patients had the greatest evidence of malabsorption syndrome of all the subjects, who generally evidenced malabsorption. Felon (schizophrenic) had lower hair Cu than (schizophrenic) patients who were not actively delinquent...

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