Intermittent Explosive Disorder Insights

Oppositional Defiant Insights
November 16, 2014
Brain Measures – The New Psychiatric Standard
November 30, 2014

Intermittent Explosive Disorder – Fresh Perspectives For IED

About 90% of IED children exhibit a very elevated Cu/ Zn ratio in blood, coincident with increased urine pyrroles.
William Walsh PhD

Biology, Bipolar and Personality

intermittent explosive disorder

Too Much Copper?

More than simply a mood disorder, Intermittent Explosive Disorder seems so completely atypical and unreasonable. IED behavior is, as Dr Walsh describes in his Nutrient Power,1 like an exploding volcano or a runaway train, often out of the blue.  With fresh neuroscience insights those who suffer with IED clearly need more consideration than a reflexive, shoot from the hip, mood stabilizer.
The puzzle here: those who suffer with IED, more often than not, simply don't look like they have a problem… and then it hits the fan.

I wrote here at CorePsych about IED back in '08. In that post you will note that IED diagnostic appearances remain the same but biomedical evidence options now dramatically improve, and target discrimination provides more predictable options:

Short Intermittent Explosive Overview: Cu/Zn Ratio and Pyrroles

For those looking for answers I've already collected assessment resources for biomedical measurement and intervention – see them just below, as they apply to Intermittent Explosive Disorder. 

But first the basics: Dr Walsh, reports a study with 1500 children identified as Intermittent Explosive from his extensive chemical database.2  These children were, more often than not, well-behaved and cooperative – except for the occasional explosions of unmanageable rage

As Dr Walsh describes these children and adolescents:

In most cases, the episode would end within 15-30 minutes, and the child would have remorse and might beg forgiveness. However, the meltdowns would continue and often involved physical assaults and destruction of property.3

Laboratory Findings for Intermittent Explosive Disorder

Remember these basic findings:

About 90% of IED children exhibit a very elevated Cu/ Zn ratio in blood,4 often coincident with elevated urine pyrroles.3

Previous clinical and laboratory findings of Copper and Pyrrole elevations reported at CorePsych:

  1. Copper/Zinc Ratio Elevated – Video
  2. Pyrrole Elevation – Video
  3. Copper/Zinc Relevant for PMS – Video

Intermittent Explosive Treatment Outcomes: Quite Promising

Most families report somewhat improved behavior during the first week of nutrient therapy, with about 60 days needed for the full effect. Any ongoing psychiatric medications are continued during the first two to three months of nutrient therapy , with about 80% of the families reporting success in weaning the child off the drugs without a return of the explosions.3

Brief Conclusion on IED

Yes, nothing in medicine proves categorically correct, simply because of inherent human complexity. However, these findings encourage us to move beyond diagnosis by appearances into more data driven interventions.

I'm with Galileo – measurements matter.

Further Walsh Details And All Previous Walsh Posts

For all CorePsych posts, details on Walsh's research, and with videos that explain epigenetics, for example, as related to aberrant methylation and mind-imbalances:

If these observations ring true for you please drop a comment!

Dr Charles Parker
Connect & Subscribe To CorePsych News: This Link
Connect & Subscribe For YouTube Updates: This Link
Complimentary & New: 23 pg Special Report: Predictable Solutions For ADHD Medications
Book: New ADHD Med Rules:



1 Walsh, Dr. William J. (2014-05-06). Nutrient Power: Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain (Kindle Locations 3089-3090). Skyhorse Publishing. Kindle Edition.
2 Walsh WJ, Rehman F. (1997). Methylation syndromes in mental illness. Abstracts: Society for Neuroscience 27th Annual Meeting (pt 2). New Orleans, LA, October 25-29.
3 Walsh, Dr. William J. (2014-05-06). Nutrient Power: Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain (Kindle Locations 2310-2311). Skyhorse Publishing. Kindle Edition.
4 Walsh et al, Elevated copper zinc ratios in assaultive young males – Pub Med:


  1. […] Intermittent Explosive Disorder Insights […]

  2. […] dogma. That new, measurable cellular and subcellular set of variables includes Brain Function, Metabolic Challenges, Change, Cognition, Context and Working […]

  3. […] [Ed Note: this post first out in 11/2008, today 6 years ago. See this more recent CorePsych posting on IED from 11/2014 on the Biomedical Measurement and Fresh Treatments for Intermittent Explosive Disorder] […]

Pin It on Pinterest