Treating MCS with dextromethorphan


Martin Pall’s book, Explaining “Unexplained Illnesses”, and the treatment protocols based on his NO/ONOO- (nitric oxide/peroxynitrite) cycle theory, mainly focus on using nutritional supplements for treatment. However, Pall mentions a number of medications that act as NMDA antagonists and are already or may in future be used to treat MCS and/or other multisystem illnesses. One of these is dextromethorphan which is available in over-the-counter cough suppressant medications.

Dr Donald Dudley reported in ‘MCS: trial by science’ that dextromethorphan hydrobromide

does significantly decrease symptoms on olfactory exposure to volatile short-chain carbon compounds in MCS patients. It has been used by the author in more than 30 of these patients with significant positive effect.

Pall reports in Explaining “Unexplained Illnesses” that a number of physicians in Washington State have observed similar responses, and of the six MCS patients who had tried dextromethorphan that he spoke to, five had found it stopped or decreased symptoms. Some people with MCS don’t tolerate the normal dose. However, some of these people do tolerate and benefit from half or a quarter of the adult dose. Continue reading


The course that Annie Hopper did to cure her MCS


I was planning to write about other things on this blog, but news of the Limbic Recovery Foundation ( and makes me think the topic of “brain retraining for MCS” is worth revisiting.

Annie Hopper said in an interview on Planet Thrive:

“The Dynamic Neural Retraining System was developed from a combination of what I had learned over the past 20 years while employed in the health and wellness industry, as well as from all of the information, treatments, therapies and research I experienced and studied during my MCS days.”

More specifically, she wrote in 2008:

“In March 2008, my next door neighbour had given me an article from the Globe and Mail about a woman who had debilitating light and sound sensitivities as well as severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She had gone through a three day brain training process and as a result had completely recovered from her illness and was able to lead a normal life again.
When I read the article I realized that we had two things in common. She had an equally bizarre illness and that scientifically, we also had similar brain function.”  …
… in July 2008, I took the same training and it taught me how to manually change my brain function and structure. After the end of the second day of the course, I could no longer smell or taste chemicals in products anymore, nor did I have the host of other associated debilitating symptoms of exposure. I was able to alleviate all symptoms of MCS.” Continue reading

Mayo Clinic study of Gupta Amygdala Retraining


The Mayo Clinic study of Gupta Amygdala Retraining was published in April this year. There are some serious problems with the study, eg the high drop out rate, but leaving those aside, this is what the researchers wrote about Gupta Amygdala Retraining:

“Amygdala retraining serves to restore a more normal state of homeostasis through deconditioning the amygdala-mediated fear response to distressing internal sensations and thoughts. This is accomplished through several mind–body techniques that promote relaxation and attempt to reorient attention away from the distressing symptoms of the viscera or catastrophizing thoughts.”

The researchers concluded: Continue reading

German translation

Thank you to Silvia K. Müller for this German translation: ‘Gupta, Hopper, MCS und die Angst’, with a letter about the Swiss seminar with Annie Hopper that gives a different impression to the one given here:

First aid kits for people with MCS


If you have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity you may find that there are some items in standard first aid kits that you don’t tolerate and other things that you would find useful to add.

First aid kits come in a variety of sizes and with slightly different components according to their purpose, eg for at home, in the car or outdoor activities. Some are in metal or plastic boxes, others come in a nylon or vinyl soft case. You could check the contents of a standard first aid kit and replace or add to the items in it to suit your sensitivities. Empty metal and plastic first aid cases and cabinets, and soft first aid bags are available from some places that sell first aid supplies. You could fill one with first aid supplies that suit you, or you could use any container that you label clearly.

Here are some items that you may find useful: Continue reading

What to do when you are reacting to chemicals


Here’s a list of things that some people with MCS have found helpful for relieving symptoms of reactions to chemicals. They won’t all work for you – some even contradict each other. Ask your doctor for advice and work out what helps you (this may mean different remedies for different types of reactions). If you might have memory problems or difficulty thinking clearly during a reaction, write yourself a reminder and put it where you will see it when you need it, eg next to your bed or on the fridge. If you react to things while you are out carry a reminder with you, along with any supplies you may need to put your plan into action. Continue reading

“Brain retraining for MCS”: Possible explanations for improvements


Some people think that if it gets results, the explanations provided must be right. In the case of Ashok Gupta’s Gupta Amygdala Retraining and Annie Hopper’s Dynamic Neural Retraining System, their explanations are unlikely to be right, for the reasons I’ve given in previous posts. Here are some possible explanations for the improvements (including a small number of full recoveries) that some people have reported. Continue reading

Free “brain retraining for MCS”


review of Gupta Amygdala RetrainingTM, by Tamara Lewis, a psychotherapist who has taught graduate psychology classes, gives more information about the programme than I’ve seen anywhere else. She says, ‘The first thing he teaches about is from, what you would call in my business, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I am unclear why some of his literature says that his approach is not CBT. CBT includes what is called Thought Stopping. Ashtok teaches people to be aware of their anxious, negative or even destructive thought patterns about the illness that he believes serve to keep the up-regulated brain in over-drive, and then consciously stop those thoughts, “stop, stop, stop.”’ Then there is what she would call Cognitive Restructuring. There is also visualization of being well, and ‘stress management and relaxation techniques such as a yoga breathing and mindfulness meditation’.

There is no evidence that these “brain retraining” techniques can treat Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), and there are no explanations of mechanisms by which they could treat MCS. However, since there are people who say their MCS has been cured or improved by this programme, the techniques are worth a closer look. Here are links to free information and instructions. Continue reading

Gupta, Hopper, MCS and anxiety


Psychogenic theories about Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) have been discredited (see Martin Pall’s section on “Psychogenic Claims” on this page: People with MCS have worked hard to convince people ranging from family members to government officials that MCS is not an anxiety problem. So it’s strange and disconcerting to see enthusiasm for the “explanations” of MCS and treatment programmes of two people who appear to believe that MCS is an anxiety problem.

Ashok Gupta (Gupta Amygdala Retraining™) says, Continue reading

13-year-old attempted suicide after Lightning Process course


Like Gupta Amygdala Retraining and Annie Hopper’s Dynamic Neural Retraining System, the Lightning Process uses Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and various other therapies to treat ME/CFS, MCS and other conditions. There are descriptions of the Lightning Process here and here.

In Norway a 13-year-old boy attempted suicide after doing the Lightning Process course because “He could not get well, and felt it was his own fault.” This was not due to a child misunderstanding and blaming himself. As far as I’ve been able to find out the only reason Lightning Process practitioners give for the Lightning Process not working is course participants not applying it properly. See, for example, the comments from Phil Parker (who designed the Lightning Process) in the article, Lightning process – your experiences from the Action for ME journal. Continue reading

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