Dr. Christopher Palmer: The Brain Energy Theory of Mental Illness


Dr. Christopher Palmer

Dr. Christopher Palmer is a Harvard Medical School Physician, researcher, author, consultant, and educator working at the interface of metabolism, metabolic disorders, and what we call mental disorders. He is the director of the Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education at McLean Hospital and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. For more than two decades, he has held leadership roles in psychiatric education at Harvard, McLean Hospital, and nationally. He spent more than fifteen years conducting neuroscience research in the areas of substance use and sleep disorders.

On top of these academic pursuits, he has continued to practice psychiatry, working with people who have treatment-resistant mental disorders using a variety of standard treatments. He has been pioneering the use of the medical ketogenic diet in the treatment of psychiatric disorders—conducting research in this area, treating patients, publishing academic articles, and speaking globally on this topic. Most recently, he has developed the first comprehensive theory of what causes mental illness, integrating biological, psychological, and social research into one unifying theory—the brain energy theory of mental illness.

We talk about…

  • Why Dr. Palmer believes mental health disorders are metabolic disorders of the brain
  • What one of the biggest flaws in our current mental health field is
  • What role mitochondria and metabolism play in mental health
  • How our current approaches to mental health treatment are failing people
  • Why Dr. Palmer is so excited about the brain energy theory 
  • What causes metabolic and mitochondrial dysfunction
  • How mental health disorders share one common pathway
  • The two things you can do today to begin restoring mitochondrial health

More from Dr. Christopher Palmer…

Visit Dr. Palmer's website

Hangout with him on Instagram and Facebook

Buy his book, Brain Energy

Wanna learn more?

If you loved this episode, you'll love Episode 24: Psychiatric Drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness with Robert Whitaker

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