This site is not to encourage you to treat yourself without a doctor.This site is intended to share my ideas about neurology and the function of the body to help you understand neurologic problems. My intention is that you share these ideas with your doctor to help both of you learn and make your treatment more successful. Everything on this site is based on published science but I have taken it a step further to try to put the whole picture together. They are hypotheses or guesses about how our bodies work.
I began to think about making this site when I realized that the explanations I give my patients about their neurologic problems are really “best guesses”. Some are my ideas, others are from books. The explanations that come from books are also ideas, they’re just written down by other neurologists. Doctors have certain building blocks of science that we all agree on: DNA, the structure of the cell, etc. but most of the “explanations” of neurologic illness, from headache to Parkinson disease, are hypotheses. They are ideas that a neurologist proposed that have been generally accepted by other neurologists. That does not mean that they are “the truth”. Our bodies did not come with a user’s manual. We are piecing together information to try to figure out how it works. There is no book to look in to confirm that our ideas are “right” or “wrong”. Now that I’ve been in practice for several years I’ve realized that what I tell you today may not be the truth in another 10 years.
If these explanations are just ideas, it seems to me that there are many “explanations” in neurology, particularly about headache and sleep, that are commonly accepted but don’t really turn out to be “true”. The only absolute truth in medicine is your observations about your body. We doctors then “interpret” your observations to try to tell you “why”. But if my explanation doesn’t fit your experience with your own body it may not really be the “truth”. All of the ideas on this site are open to interpretation by you and your doctor. Take what seems to make sense and fits with your experience and leave what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to have your own ideas. We doctors have much to learn from our patients. The internet has brought you as the patient the opportunity to be an equal participant in your own care.
About Dr. Walter Stumpf:
The ideas expressed on this site are built upon the extensive scientific work of Dr. Walter Stumpf who, sadly, passed away at the end of 2012. He was an amazing scientist who single handedly clarified one of the most important aspects of our endocrine system. Despite widespread resistance to his ideas and repeated rejections of his submissions by various scientific journals he continued to believe in the validity of his concept of “soltriol”. His many journal articles describe Vitamin D’s actions, and its integration into the other parts of our endocrine system making up a triad of gonadal, adrenal and dermal steroids. It is a brave thing indeed, to face absolute resistance and severe criticism by one’s colleagues for 30 years of professional life and still hang on to one’s beliefs. It was my pleasure to meet Walter and to get to know him before his death. Together we added the idea that soltriol is pivotal to normal sleep. I think of him daily as I teach my patients about the important role vitamin D plays in our biology. Lack of attention to Walter’s work over the last 25 years has produced epidemics of pain, suffering and death throughout the developed countries of the world that might have been prevented had his ideas been accepted earlier. It is my passionate hope that, when the rest of the scientific community finally catches on, Walter will receive a posthumous Nobel Prize for his work. I also believe that the name of this hormone should be changed to the term that he coined for it; “soltriol”. Partly out of respect for Walter but also because it is a term that more appropriately expresses our biological connection to the sun.
Stasha Gominak, M.D.