Serum copper levels in these patients are abnormally high. Since copper is a brain stimulant and destroys histamine, the elevated serum (and presumably brain) copper level probably accounts for many symptoms, including the low blood histamine level.
Histapenia (hista-: histamine; -penia: deficiency of) is a shortage of histamine in the body. Histamine is an important brain chemical involved in many reactions.
Behavioral symptoms in high-copper histapenia include paranoia and hallucinations in younger patients, but depression may predominate in older patients. The patient is usually classified as having chronic or process schizophrenia. Some studies of schizophrenics have revealed high blood copper, as seen in histadelia, with low urinary copper (showing that copper is being retained) as well as low blood zinc.
The treatment program consists of the administration of zinc, manganese, vitamin C, niacin, vitamin B12, and folic acid. With this treatment the high blood copper is slowly reduced and symptoms are slowly relieved in several months' time.
Zinc should be given once testing confirms a low zinc or high copper level. Zinc and manganese allow for the normal storage of histamine in both basophils and the brain. During treatment, the largest tissues of the body – namely the liver and muscles – are flushed of their copper first so that the serum copper may rise to aggravate mental symptoms. If this occurs then the dose of zinc should be reduced for a two week period.
Excess copper may be acquired from commercial vitamins and minerals or drinking water flowing through copper pipes. Distilled water may occasionally be needed to reduce copper intake.
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