On 22 Nov 1995 03:17:39 GMT,
Kevin Spencer <kspencer at s.psych.uiuc.edu > wrote:
>Oh no... not this thread again... will somebody please start an
Much of this material is very questionable from a scientific
standpoint, but one can't completely dismiss it out of hand.
I'm pretty sure that there is a common thread running through
much of this grass roots politically inspired material (e.g.
anti-immunization, chemical pollution, etc. etc. ) and that is that
some people are hypersensitive to various stimuli. I think this has
now been well demonstrated in at least some situations.
The very reason that it may be hard to detect these hypersensitivities
in the laboratory or clinic has to do with the major change in brain
and body state which accompanies the stressful clinical experience -
a state of heightened sympathetic arousal. This may have the effect
of temporarily normalizing brain levels of the monoamine modulatory
neurotransmitters in those whose basal levels are low.
These changes in neurotransmitter levels are probably also an
integral part of the coordinated brain-immune response to infection,
which is why neurological and psychological symptoms are not at
all unusual in infection and immunization. Serotonin appears to
play the principle role of inhibiting seizures, and there may be
a compensating reduction in serotonin when dopamine is temporarily
increased, depending on the mix of amino acids in food intake.
There is a definite age and genetic susceptibility for these adverse
reactions - surprisingly it appears to be at least party related
to occupation, because of the complex relationship between genes,
personality, and vocation. (There is plenty of scientific
evidence for this relationship). Pilots and flight attendants in
the airline industry, and physicians and nurses in the medical
industry appear to be high risk groups.
Self medication for the wide variety of medical conditions which are
part of this susceptibility profile often ends up as substance abuse
- it's not just because medical people in particular have easier
access to drugs.