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CHAPTER 6
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Germanium - The Health & Life Enhancer

PREFACE    |   INTRODUCTION   |   CHAPTER 1   |   CHAPTER 2   |   CHAPTER 3   |   CHAPTER 4   |   CHAPTER 5   |   CHAPTER 6   |   CHAPTER 7   |   CHAPTER 8   |   CHAPTER 9   |   CHAPTER 10   |   CHAPTER 11   |   CHAPTER 12   |   CHAPTER 13   |   CHAPTER 14   |   CHAPTER 15   |   REFERENCES

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Neurotransmitter Modulation & Analgesia


Psychoneuroimmunology - The Mind/Body Link

A profoundly fertile interdisciplinary field of research probes the intimate connections that exist between the mind, the brain, the nervous system and the immune system. The phrase that describes the interaction of the central nervous system and the immune system is "psychoneuroimmunology" (96). Whereas western scientific's previously simplistic and mechanistic world-view of matter, including the body, would dissect and describe each individual organ, tissue, and cell and ascribe a specific cause and effect to it, it has become obvious that the chemicals in the body, and the body systems, are inter-related. And, although the interactions of the mind, the nervous system and the immune system cannot be termed simple, the emerging complexity inter-weaves with a rather elegant wholism, in which simple molecules are modulators and effectors in both the nervous and the immune system.

Pain Perception And Response

This inter-relation of the mind, the body and the immune system is fascinatingly embodied in the phenomenon of pain perception and response. In a simple example, pain is a warning signal conveyed from cells at the site of injury via nerves to the brain. More complex is the phenomenon of phantom limb pain, in which pain apparently emanates from an amputated limb. The Gate Theory, proposed by pain expert Ronald Melzack, suggests that there is a certain threshold of pain, influenced by a variety of neuro-physiological and psychological factors,

Thus, how strongly the pain is felt, and what physical and emotional responses are evoked, are determined by a myriad of parameters, ranging from the context of the situation, our psychological state, and our general physical and mental fitness.

In life-threatening situations, such as in war, natural disasters such as flood or earthquakes, or traumatic catastrophes such as mine disasters, nuclear accidents or hostage incidents, individuals have been known to become endowed with an almost "superhuman" degree of strength, courage and a seeming lack of pain until well after the events when they can afford the luxury of being in pain. There have been many inspiring tales of victims trapped for extended periods of time in seemingly hopeless situations, who have virtually willed their way to survival. The body seems to focus attention on the most life-threatening stimulus - a headache seems to fade when one is knocked on the head.

Our response to pain can be modified by our moods - somehow, pain feels worse when we are depressed, hopeless, alone and unloved. When we are happy, fulfilled and free from stress, even severe pain can be accepted with equanimity and not lead to a downward spiralling of emotional depression. Pain can be modulated by a variety of mechanisms, including simply distracting the focus of attention and becoming absorbed in something else, by altered states of consciousness achieved through breathing, exercise, meditation and hypnosis.

Components Of The Nervous System

The nervous system is a massive network which reaches to almost every part of the body. Within different sites of the brain are control sites for many body functions. The cortex, the outer "grey matter" is the site where vision, hearing, calculations occur. Deeper into the brain is the limbic lobe, site of emotions, such as anger, fear, love, joy, stress. Still deeper is the hypothalamus, interface between the brain and many peripheral regulatory functions. The hypothalamus regulates many of the body's automatic or autonomic functions which continue whether we are awake or sleeping, such as breathing, digestion, heartbeat. The hypothalamus, highly concentrated with neurotransmitters, communication molecules of the nervous system, also sends neurohormones to the pituitary, which is the body's master gland, which, in response to messages received by the hypothalamus, sends hormones to specific organs throughout the body.

Chemical Messengers Of The Nervous System

There are various molecules which act as messengers to facilitate the transmission of information throughout the body. These are termed neuroendocrines, neurotransmitters and neuropeptides. Amino acids, in addition to being the building blocks of protein, are also the precursors to small molecules which modulate the nervous system by acting as neurotransmitters. For example, acetylcholine, which stimulates nervous system function and also immune functions, is a general transmitter between neurons, including nerve endings of skeletal muscle fibres.

A group of neurotransmitting molecules collectively called catecholamines, includes dopamine, noradrenaline and adrenalin. Deficiencies in dopamine have been noted in Parkinson's disease, leading to muscular tremours. Yet another neurotransmitter is serotonin, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter involved in cognitive functions and sleep cycles. Paradoxically, although serotonin exerts calmative effects on the nervous system, it is overall an immuno suppressant. Another group of molecules called neuropeptides, include the opioid (morphine-like) peptides beta-endorphins and enkephalins. These peptides, which appear to be the body's natural pain-relieving molecules, are released by the hypothalamus in response to pain, and can profoundly modulate reactions of the nervous system. Although their immune effects are not yet completely known, it has been shown that beta-endorphins increase T-cell proliferation and enkephalins enhance active T-cell rosettes (5).

Organic Germanium's Effect Upon Pain

One of the most widely appearing "anecdotal" report in case histories of patients treated either in Dr. Asai's Germanium clinic, or with European physicians, is the alleviation of pain with the administration of organic Germanium. This includes terminal cancer victims, sufferers of arthritis, and angina patients. Dr. Asai himself described the virtual absence of pain and the improved sense of well-being associated with cancer surgery with taking large doses of organic Germanium. One man with a cartilagenous tumour of the lung, underwent an angiogram, which previously has been excruciating, without pain.

Since pain is also subjectively modulated by mood, belief, hope, stress, etc., these reports of lessening of pain, might be attributed to psychological factors rather than organic Germanium. However, recent neuropharmacological data attained through laboratory animal studies, has demonstrated concrete results attesting to organic Germanium's neuro-modulatory and analgesic properties.

Organic Germanium's Modulation Of Neurotransmitters

The effect of Sanumgerman upon the central nervous system in mice has been investigated (51-52), and has been found to influence both the catecholaminergic and the serotoninergic systems. Sanumgerman reduces levels of noradrenaline and dopamine and inhibits their utilization in the brains of mice, while stimulating serotonin and serotonin-turnover rates. Therefore, overall, Sanumgerman has been found to exert an inhibitory effect upon the catecholaminergic system and a stimulatory effect upon the serotoninergic central system. These actions would explain some of the transient side effects sometimes seen with Spirogermanium, such as lethargy, drowsiness, defective vision. The stimulation of serotonin, which exerts a calming effect, can explain the positive effects of feeling better which are consistently observed with patients taking organic Germanium.

Organic Germanium's Analgesic Effect Via Neuropeptides

Ge-132, administered to rats orally or by intraperitoneal injection, enhanced the effects of morphine analgesia (37); the analgesic action was completely blocked by naloxone, which is a stereospecific opiate antagonist. This suggests that Ge-132 may activate the analgesic system through an opioid receptor in the brain, activate dopaminergic or serotonergic neurons in the analgesic pathway operated by morphine, and release endogenous enkephalins or other neuropeptides.

Further elucidation of organic Germanium's analgesic effects by Komuro et al, 1986, showed that derivatives of Ge-132 inhibited the degradation of endogenous opioid peptides (enkephalin-degrading enzymes) (56). In this report, twenty-eight species of Ge-132 derivatives were examined for their inhibitory effects on these enkephalin-degrading enzymes, purified from a number of animal and human organs and tissues. Several derivatives inhibited the activity of dipeptidylcarboxypeptidase from longitudinal muscle tissue, aminopeptidase from human cerebrospinal fluid and dipeptidylaminopeptidase from monkey brain and bovine small intestine longitudinal muscle. This evidence strongly suggests that organic Germanium's analgesic effect comes about through preventing the degradation of enkephalins, one of the body's natural class of pain-relieving molecules.

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