A Neurobiological Hypothesis
Basis for a cooperation in 2013 with Norbert Schipke, a non-medical practitioner
Science based psychology
Gerald Edelman interprets processes in our consciousness analogously to processes in our immune system (Theory of Neuronal Group Selection, TNGS). He describes the effects of stimuli and information entering our consciousness from the outside world with global models taken from immune system research.
The model of consciousness used in Systemic Therapy connects modern systems theory to Edelman's TNGS. (more on Systemic Therapy)
This way scientific models can be used to globally interpret and possibly control psychological/psychiatric and other medical processes. An example would be to use self-organized oscillations
Conceptual generalization of bacteria / external stimuli following Gerald Edelman's Theory of Neuronal Group Selection (TNGS)
Starting points (continuous arrows in figure)
- Chronic disease (left part of figure):
- pathogens, e.g. borreliae,
- trigger our immune system to generate pathogens' images in the form of e.g. antibodies or
- dysregulate our hormone system
- (left, upward arrow).
- Vice versa, when given enough time, the borreliae adapt to our defence (formation of niches (right, downward arrow).
- As a result of this interaction we might develop a chronic disease (examples). Our illness becomes an integral part, a new characteristic of us. To fight chronic illness antibiotic therapy needs to be augmented by restoration of our immune-hormone system.
- Changing of consciousness (right part of figure): Analogously
- impressions, sensations, stimuli trigger our consciousness to generate images in the form of neuronal groups (left, upward arrow).
- Vice versa, the sensibility, the preconditioning of our neuronal groups determines what we perceive. Our perception of the external world changes with the structure of our neuronal groups. Our character limits what we perceive. Edelman calls the ongoing mutual modification of neuronal groups on the one hand and impressions on the other re-entry or re-entrant signaling.
- In his essay "In the River of Consciousness" Oliver Sacks has given an example: "It is not just [New York's] Seventh Avenue that I see, but my [New York's] Seventh Avenue, marked by my own selfhood and identity".
Psychosomatic hypotheses (dashed arrows)
- Compared with the immune system the hormone system is (possibly) less stable in the sense that it is more easily influenced by our consciousness (upper dashed arrow).
- By means of its coupling with our immune system, our hormone system (possibly acting as a signal amplifier) channels images it has received from our consciousness to our immune system.
- Vice versa, states of our body, e.g. hormone or immune dysregulations, feed back into our consciousness (lower dashed arrow).
Neurobiological hypothesis (psychosomatic destabilisation of disease)
As co-author of Lymenet.de I received emails from a few Lyme patients with a rather positive attitude towards life with details of their unsuspected recovery:
- In the first years of their illness they received long duration and high dose antibiotic therapies which still left them with serious relapses.
- After discontinuing the antibiotic therapy they turned to nonprescription drugs and doing so they fully recovered (no more relapses). Examples:
On the basis of his large patient data base Burrascano reports similar effects (supportive theray).
In principle, depending on the state of the disease, psychosomatic effects might be triggered by nutritional supplements or other supportive therapies and could reverse immune and hormone dysregulation. This could explain the success that non-medical practitioners have.
Version: April 1, 2013
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