NAPERVILLE, Ill., March 14, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- Acts of violence in the workplace or schools often are not as random as they appear to outsiders. Parents of violent children have been telling doctors and educators for years that their children were born with unique, disruptive, angry, defiant personalities. William J. Walsh, PhD, senior scientist at Health Research Institute and Pfeifer Treatment Center, and one of the leading U.S. researchers in violent behavior, backs them after 25 years of scientific exploration.

A study of 24 pairs of brothers, one average and one violent, was conducted by Walsh. The results, replicated in three blind, controlled experiments, showed two distinctive patterns in the brain chemistry of violent individuals not found in their siblings: 1) elevated copper/zinc ratio; depressed sodium, potassium, manganese; abnormal calcium, magnesium, blood histamines and 2) very depressed copper; very elevated sodium, potassium; elevated blood histamines, kryptopyrroles, lead, cadmium, iron, calcium, magnesium; depressed zinc, manganese.

How did this translate to behavior? Those having Type 1 levels exhibited Jekyll-Hyde behavior with episodic violence, poor stress control and genuine remorse often accompanied by acne, allergies and academic underachievement. Type 2s were assaultive without remorse, and pathological liars who had a fascination with fire, were cruel to people and animals, and often had sleep disorders. The researchers later identified two additional distinctive, less violent behavior types: non-assaultive delinquents who were impulsive, irritable, underweight underachievers in school and non-assaultive delinquents with sugar craving, drowsiness, and depression.

"The brain is a chemical factory that produces neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and other brain chemicals 24 hours a day. The only raw materials for these syntheses are nutrients: amino acids, vitamins, minerals, etc.," explained Walsh. "Most neurotransmitter imbalances appear genetic in nature and involve abnormal metabolism, absorption and/or storage of food nutrients by the body. However, an individual's biochemistry may change at any time after birth as a result of food allergies, puberty, aging, stress or trauma.

Pfeiffer Center's treatment consists of nutrient therapy-using vitamins and minerals along with dietary adjustments to correct brain chemistry imbalances. "Nutrient therapy can be very potent and, unlike most psychiatric medications, does not involve side effects since no molecules foreign to the body are used," he continued.

Some violent offenders are psychiatric patients who have stopped taking medications due to the debilitating side effects. Pfeiffer doctors keep patients on prescription medications while balancing brain chemistry. In some cases they work with the patient's physician to gradually eliminate or reduce medications and minimize side effects.

In 1995, a formal "outcome study" measuring the effectiveness of these natural treatments for behavior-disordered patients was conducted. The test population of 235 included 171 males and 64 females. Treatment response showed improved behavior by 91% of all "compliant" patients (those who took the supplements as directed). Frequency of temper episodes was reduced by 80% with no assaultiveness after treatment.

The clinic's success is built on 25 years of scientific research. Walsh obtained his PhD in chemical engineering from Iowa State University, holds six patents, has authored more than 175 articles or technical reports on brain chemistry, and was researcher and section head for 20 years at Argonne National Laboratory.

In the early 1970s, Walsh did volunteer work in the Illinois prisons. There he found many criminals who had competent, loving families, every educational opportunity, and siblings who were model citizens. Walsh began to wonder if biological errors contributed to sociopathic behavior and if the body chemistry of inmates was different from average people. His wondering lead to the revealing study of brothers.

With colleagues from Argonne, Walsh began testing blood and urine samples of prisoners and ex-convicts. In 1976, he met the late neurobiologist and psychopharmacologist Carl Pfeiffer, a pioneer in brain chemistry research on schizophrenia, who suggested they take a close look at copper, zinc, manganese and histamine levels in both blood and hair tissue.

In 1982, Health Research Institute (HRI) was founded as a public charity. More than 400 children and ex-convicts were tested for brain chemistry disorders and drug-free nutrient therapy was developed to balance the minerals, vitamins and amino acids of each type. Today, HRI has a research database of biochemical information from more than 10,000 patients with mental health problems.

William Walsh founded, was first president, and is now senior scientist of the Health Research Institute and the Pfeiffer Treatment Center, a not-for-profit outpatient clinic added in 1989. The Center's treatment of chemical imbalances has expanded to include treatment of behavior disorders, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder (ADD), autism, depression, bipolar disorders and schizophrenia in children and adults.

Prevention of violence may be as simple as one or two appointments a year. In just three hours at the clinic, a complete medical and social history is taken and comprehensive blood, urine and hair tissue analysis begun. Doctors interpret the results and individualized nutrient therapy is recommended. Within a month, the findings are sent to the patient or his parents. Vitamins and minerals needed to begin balancing each individual's brain chemistry are compounded into capsules at the clinic's pharmacy. Follow up testing is scheduled after three to six months and supplements adjusted.

Because of Pfeiffer's nonprofit status, treatment costs only $860 for chemical testing and averages $50 a month per patient for nutrient supplements. The center's Hope Fund, supported entirely by private donations, offers assistance to those who need treatment but cannot afford it.

Health Research Institute and Pfeiffer Treatment Center are located at 1804 Centre Point Drive in Naperville, Illinois, approximately 45 minutes from Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Outreach clinics are held twice a year in Maryland, Minnesota, Arizona and California. For more information visit www.hriptc.org. or telephone (630) 505-0300.

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CONTACT:  Health Research Institute
          Emily Gray
          (630) 505-0300