Genetics and Brain Chemistry

Featured Speaker: Dr. J . Dunn BS, DC, CKP, CWK

Mental health imbalances including depression, anxiety, ADD, addictions, and PTSD are rampant in our society. Perhaps some of us are guilty of thinking depressed people in our lives should just “buck up” and be grateful for what they have. Many of these people consider that these conditions are somehow their fault. In working with these patients through the years, I previously had some success—but nothing spectacular - until I began working with the genetic variants. This lead to a greater understanding of the causes of these conditions and greater levels of compassion.

While there can be a myriad of different causes for depression, genetic variants can be particularly causative. Specifically, the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene can cause a person to be apathetic and depressed due to low dopamine and adrenaline levels. Dopamine is a catecholamine that is a precursor of adrenaline (an adrenal hormone associated with energy). Dopamine has a powerful effect on our reward system. Low dopamine levels have been associated with depression and addictive behavior. In addition, this same genetic variant is responsible for the production of serotonin, our other brain chemical associated with increased mood.

When dopamine is low, we feel a constant sense of desire or craving for things. Vitamin D, when it is adequate, facilitates the enzymes that make dopamine in our brains. When dopamine levels are adequate, we feel a sense of peacefulness and gratitude, and we are able to relax and enjoy our lives more easily and many of our cravings are significantly reduced. We find balance between work and relaxation.

VDR (vitamin D Receptor) gene codes for the receptor of Vitamin D. Gene variants in the VDR can interfere with the absorption of Vitamin D and lead to low mood and cravings. Along with issues with the immune system's ability to fight infections, how we absorb minerals and much more.

COMT (Catechol-o-methyltransferase) gene codes for the enzyme that breaks down Dopamine, Noradrenalin, Dopamine, and Serotonin. Genetic variants can lead to low elimination of these neurotransmitters. This in turn leads to anxiety, ADD, ADHD, insomnia, and susceptibility to PTSD. People with COMT variants often have trouble relaxing and sleeping. Their brain has great difficulty in shutting down.

MAO (Monoamine oxidase) gene codes for the enzyme that breaks down serotonin. Genetic variants can lead to excess levels of Serotonin. Excess serotonin may lead to irritability, aggressive behavior and quick temper along with digestive issues and much more.

Case Study:  Susan was referred to my clinic by a mutual friend. She had been suffering from depression and anxiety on and off for many years. Through the years she had been prescribed many different antidepressants including Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, and others.

They all seemed to help temporarily but inevitably would lead to side effects that were unbearable. She was told that getting her genes tested might help her understand and ultimately balance her brain chemistry, so she came in with a hopeful demeanor.

Susan got her genes tested using the MyHappyGenes® system and was amazed to learn that she had some genetic variants that were likely leading to her brain chemistry imbalances that had plagued her for many years. We went over her report and showed her using a biochemical pathway chart, how her brain was unable to make and break down neurotransmitters such as dopamine, adrenaline, serotonin, and glutamate. I showed her how it all worked together in a symphony and how simple changes in diet, lifestyle, and specific targeted nutrients could make a huge difference for her. We also used Kinesiology to verify that the recommended supplements were compatible with her body.

Brain Function/Thought Mood Disorders

the combination of genetic variants that she inherited could lead to a high risk of depression shown on the report slider above. 

Gene Table Sample

Several of the genes she inherited included the TH, TPH and VDR genes which can greatly inhibit her brain’s and body’s ability to produce Serotonin and Dopamine,results from MyHappyGenes Testing.

I recommended she try the changes recommended by her gene report and kinesiology and report back to me in 30 days. She called me after a week on the program and reported that her brain felt “normal” for the first time that she could remember. She was so excited to keep going and learn more.

After 30 days on the program, Susan reported that she felt very different and that she was no longer having the mood swings, depression, and anxious episodes that had been with her for so long. She continues to take her supplements and adheres to the diet recommendations and no longer feels the need for antidepressant support.

Understanding these genetic variants is the beginning of getting to the deepest level of causes of mental health imbalances. Using Genetic testing, and kinesiology can allow the practitioner to access these deep levels in a logical, predictable manner.

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J. Dunn headshotDr. J. Dunn BS, DC, CKP, CWK

is the Author of the Book Wholistic Kinesiology, and Perfect Health in Paradise, CEO of MyHappyGenes, creator, and innovator of Wholistic Kinesiology, and Wholistic Methylation, teacher and lecturer. For over 35 years, she has practiced natural medicine researched, and taught her groundbreaking techniques to thousands of individuals who, like her, are on a quest to find an alternative solution to allopathic medicine. Dr. Dunn began her career in the Natural Health Industry after a long bout of ill health, which drove her to seek out alternative healing methods. The results she experienced peaked her interest in Kinesiology, and she decided to study and learn this amazing technique herself. She eventually developed her own technique, combining anatomy, physiology, emotional work, bodywork, and nutrition to create Wholistic Kinesiology. Since then, she branched out into studying Genetic variants and their effect on our health, our brain, and our mood. She teaches practitioners around the world how to interpret genetic tests and design nutritional programs to make the most of your genetic potential. She recently began a project to help the world become happier and healthier by making the most of their genetic potential called

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