Presenter: James M. Greenblatt, MD
This presentation will introduce an empirically supported rationale for the implementation of orthomolecular medicine strategies, in adjunct to conventional approaches, for the treatment of alcoholism. The presentation will begin with an assessment of the role of niacin deficiency in alcohol use disorders. This will be accomplished through the lens of history, via reprisal of the lesser-known legacy of Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder “Bill W” whose work with orthomolecular pioneer Abram Hoffer helped to illuminate niacin deficiency as a key etiologic factor in alcoholism presentations, as well as a target for nutritional interventions. Bill W’s early work to and current research supporting the efficacy of B-vitamin supplementation for alcoholism will be presented. The biologic mechanisms through which B vitamins support and optimize brain health will also be elucidated, with a particular focus on the brain’s reward pathways. Abram Hoffer and Bill W’s early forays into the medicinal applications of psychedelics will also be explored, via open-minded discussion about how compounds that target the default mode network may enhance therapeutic outcomes. Through near-forgotten legacies come modern-day lessons…and potentially paradigm-shifting clinical pearls.