The Summit on Neurodegenerative Disorders: 


New Information on Possible Causes, Diagnostics, and Treatment Strategies

November 9-11, 2018
San Diego, CA


The Summit on Neurodegenerative Disorders: 

New Information on Possible Causes, Diagnostics, and Treatment Strategies

Today we are seeing dramatically increasing rates of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and Parkinson’s Disease.  The causes of these disorders are multifactorial, with mounting evidence of contributing factors such as genetics, nutrition, chronic infection and inflammation, and exposure to environmental toxins like mold and heavy metals. 

For this special engagement,  The Great Plains Laboratory, Inc. and Integrative Medicine for Mental Health (IMMH) have collaborated to bring healthcare practitioners the latest data and clinical implications for biomedical factors affecting brain health and mental health, with a specific emphasis on neurodegenerative disorders.  New diagnostic strategies and treatment protocols will be presented that you can implement immediately in your practices.  If you see patients with symptoms of any neurodegenerative disorders, this is an event you won’t want to miss!


  • Family Physicians and Physician Assistants
  • Psychiatrists
  • Osteopathic Physicians
  • Neurologists
  • Naturopathic Physicians
  • Chiropractic Physicians
  • Nurse Practitioners and Nurses


Attendance at the summit (all three days or day two and day three) qualifies you to join our IMMH Clinician Registry, a searchable database for those looking for integrative practitioners in their area.

A Collaborative Engagement Presented By:

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Day 1 - november 9, 2018

The Great Plains Laboratory, Inc. Presents:  The Clinical Significance of Organic Acids Testing

Organic acids testing is a diagnostic tool that every healthcare practitioner should know about.  Whether you are a family physician, psychiatrist, or other type of practitioner, the information provided by organic acids testing can help identify underlying causes of a variety of chronic illnesses, including the symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders like depression and anxiety, and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.  The presentations on this day of the summit will review some of the most clinically significant markers measured with organic acids testing to mental health and the health of the brain in general.

7:30am | Registration and Breakfast

8:15am | Announcements

8:20am | Introduction To The Organic Acids Test and Why It Is So Important In Clinical Practice

Hundreds of organic acid metabolites are found in the urine of all mammals, including humans. These metabolites can be used for both diagnostic and therapeutic measurements for detecting abnormal gastrointestinal overgrowth or dysbiosis, assessing mitochondrial energy production, detecting genetic diseases, assessing malnutrition and suboptimum nutrition, revealing toxic exposure, finding alterations of neurotransmitter metabolites in neurological and psychiatric disorders, and assessing metabolites that cause severe inflammation in a variety of chronic illnesses.

The OAT evaluates for various fungal toxins, including specific markers for Candida. Many people rely on stool testing for Candida diagnosis and miss the presence of Candida toxins through the Organic Acid Test. Candida can lead to neurochemical imbalances in the brain, as well as sensory problems and self-stimulatory behavior (often seen in autism).

11:00am | Morning Break

The OAT evaluates for two specific toxins related to Clostridia bacteria – HPHPA and 4-cresol. Both of these toxins can inhibit a dopamine converting enzyme, leading to excess dopamine and toxic reactions in the brain and nervous system. Problems such as moodiness, irritability, aggression, self-injurious behavior, sleep difficulties, and more can be associated with Clostridia bacteria overgrowth.

12:30pm | The Role of Oxalate Toxicity in Chronic Health Problems

The OAT includes glycolic and glyceric acids in the oxalate section, which can differentiate between genetic and nutritional components in disturbed oxalate metabolism. Oxalates are compounds found in many foods, and can be worsened by Candida overgrowth. High oxalates are associated with pain in the joints, muscles, and connective tissues. They can also trap heavy metals (such as mercury, lead, and arsenic) in the body and lead to mineral imbalances. Certain behavioral issues and self-injurious tendencies have been associated with high oxalates.

1:15pm | Lunch

2:15pm | Neurochemical Imbalances and Quinolinic Acid Toxicity

The OAT evaluates for imbalances in serotonin (an important brain and nervous system chemical for mood, fine and gross motor skills, and calmness), as well additional markers that can indicate toxic stress in the brain and nervous system, such as quinolinic acid. High quinolinic acid suggests toxic stress in the brain and is important to evaluate before prescribing certain supplements, particularly L-Tryptophan which is commonly used to help with sleep.

3:10pm | Afternoon Break

3:30pm | Case Studies and Treatment Options

This presentation will highlight various patient cases from clinical practice that show the role of biomedical intervention for various patient scenarios such as dietary therapy, yeast and Clostridia treatment, and methylation support.

4:45pm | Organic Acids and Mycotoxins: Correlations With Mold in Various Chronic Illnesses

Recent discoveries have revealed strong correlations between specific markers on the Organic Acids Test and mycotoxin exposure. In this presentation, Dr. Shaw will review those correlations, including evidence in the literature linking them to health conditions such as autism and Parkinson’s disease. He will also discuss a recent case of autism that was rapidly recovered after antifungal treatment.

Day 2 - November 10, 2018

IMMH Presents:  Clinical Co-Factors in Neurodegenerative Disorders, Part 1

8:00am | Breakfast

8:30am | Biochemical Factors in Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Those with Alzheimer's live an average of eight years after their symptoms become noticeable to others, but survival can range from four to 20 years, depending on age and other health conditions. In 2015, there were approximately 29.8 million people worldwide with AD. It most often begins in people over 65 years, although 4% to 5% of cases are early-onset Alzheimer's which begin before this. It affects about 6% of people 65 years and older. Recent research is focused on multifactorial causes and treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and will be reviewed including genetic factors, nutritional deficiencies, toxic exposures, and nondrug treatments.

9:45am | Cutting Edge Ways to Prevent and Treat Alzheimer's Disease

Patients of any age can suffer with cognitive difficulties. The patient that presents to your office with memory problems in their 40’s is convinced that they have early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Before referring them to a neurologist, there are things you can you do first to help assess their level of functional impairment. In this presentation, Dr. Chapek will break down a thorough assessment approach that can be integrated into the practice of a family or naturopathic physician. Cases and video throughout the presentation will help illustrate key points.

11:00am | Morning Break

11:30am | Invasion of the Brain Snatchers: Environmental and Infectious Influences on the Brain

Do your patients really have a "mental illness" like OCD or depression, or is it an infection or toxins affecting their brains? This presentation will explore the work-up and effects of environmental toxins and infections on the brain and mental health.

1:00pm | Lunch

2:00pm | Mycotoxins: The Hidden Threat to Our Brains and Bodies

Mold and fungi are ubiquitous in the environment. However, in "WDB" (water damaged buildings), and even some foods, mold can become a sinister force affecting physical and mental health. Not all molds are toxic and many just cause respiratory issues, but a subset of molds produce mycotoxins; powerful neurotoxins that can have a profound effect on the brain and mental health. The effects of mycotoxins, as well as testing, diagnosis, and treatment options will be discussed.

3:00pm | Afternoon Break

3:30pm | The Role of Toxic Chemicals in Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders

Coming Soon.

4:30pm | Risk Factors for Parkinson's Disease

Coming Soon.

Day 3 - November 11, 2018

IMMH Presents:  Clinical Co-Factors in Neurodegenerative Disorders, Part 2

8:00am | Breakfast & Announcements

8:30am | Recovery Potential for MS, ALS, ALzheimer's and Parkinson's

Most of our neurodegenerative diseases are triggered or aggravated by toxic chemicals and neurotoxins. In this presentation, Dr. Code will review specific strategies of testing, treatment, and recovery from disorders like MS, ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. Case presentations will be included to assist with clinical application.

9:30am | Common Biomedical Factors in Multiple Sclerosis: A Pilot Study

An ongoing pilot study of 12 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) has taken place in which multiple biochemical factors have been evaluated. An overview of the nutritional research on MS will be presented along with the findings of this study. Some of the preliminary findings in MS patients include significant prevalence of molybdenum deficiency, exposure to toxic metals, and remarkable imbalances in the ratios of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. One of the most notable discoveries involves the levels of phospholipase A2 (PLA2) in these patients, which is highly correlated with many inflammatory diseases. PLA2 has been shown to be inhibited by several nutritional factors, which will be discussed as well.

10:30am | Morning Break

11:00am | The Critical Role of Fatty Acids and Cholesterol in Brain Health

A significant percentage of children and adults suffer from undiagnosed low cholesterol or essential fatty acid levels, which may have a profound effect on their physical and mental well-being. Scientific studies have shown a direct relationship between low total cholesterol and/or essential fatty acid values and autism, depression, bi-polar disorder and even suicide rates. Whether low cholesterol levels stem from the overuse of statin drugs, nutritional deficiency, or a biochemical abnormality, adequate levels are needed for the production of sex and stress hormones, vitamin D, bile acids, healthy cell membranes and myelin in the brain.

11:30am | Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s Disease - The Oxidative Stress Model

Tremendous focus has been placed on Tau protein and amyloid plaque research with regard to Alzheimer's over the years. The oxidative stress model not only provides hope in explanation disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, but also offers guidance in terms of treatment.

12:30pm | Lunch

1:30pm | Effective Treatment Strategies for Neurodegenerative Disorders

Coming Soon!

2:30pm | Speaker Panel Q&A

3:30pm | End of Day


Kabran Chapek, ND

Dr. Kabran Chapek has been a staff physician at Amen Clinics since 2013. As a graduate of Bastyr University in the Seattle area, he is an expert in the use of functional and integrative treatments and collaborates extensively with many of the Amen Clinics physicians.  He has a special interest in the assessment and treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia, traumatic brain injuries, PTSD, and anxiety disorders. Dr. Chapek is the founding president of the Psychiatric Association of Naturopathic Physicians (PANP), an affiliate group of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP).


Bill Code, MD

Dr. Bill Code completed his medical degree at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.  He is Board Certified in Anesthesiology in both Canada and the United States. In addition to his anesthesiology practice, Dr. Code specialized in pain management.  Dr. Code’s medical career came to an abrupt end in 1996, as a result of multiple sclerosis.  Following some recovery from his MS, he studied integrative medicine under Dr. Andrew Weil at the University of Arizona.  Dr. Code is the author of four books including Who is in Control of Your Multiple Sclerosis, Pieces of the MS Recovery Puzzle, Winning the Pain Game, and his brand new book, Winning the Brain Game.  In his most recent book, Dr. Code provides a roadmap to enhance brain recovery through nutritional choices and safe interventions such as oxygen therapy.


Mark Filidei, DO

Mark Filidei, DO is an Internal Medicine physician who completed training in General Internal Medicine at Brown University. He is the Director of Integrative Medicine for the Amen Clinics, and is a staff physician at the Whitaker Wellness Institute, the largest Functional Medicine clinic in the United States, where he spent over a decade treating thousands of patients for multiple complex medical issues. Dr. Filidei is an officially trained member of ILADS and treats Lyme disease and mold illness with both natural and conventional treatments. Dr Filidei specializes in Hormone Replacement Therapy and the treatment of Mental Health disorders utilizing a functional medicine approach. He is a member of the Millenium TBI Network treating brain injury, and he is on staff at the University of California Irvine as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine where he teaches medical students and residents.


Albert Mensah, MD

Dr. Albert Mensah received his medical degree from Finch University of Health Sciences-Chicago Medical School.  Dr. Mensah has extensive clinical experience in biochemical imbalances and currently serves as a faculty member of the Walsh Research Institute Medical Practitioner Education Program. As a physician in this specialized field since 2005, Dr. Mensah has treated over 3,000 patients with advanced targeted nutrient therapy. Dr, Mensah is co-founder of Mensah Medical in Warrenville, IL.  His current practice includes the management of cognitive disorders such as autism spectrum disorder, behavior/learning disorders, eating disorders, bipolar disorder, anxiety syndromes, childhood and adult schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and family medicine.


William Shaw, PhD

William Shaw, PhD, is board certified in the fields of clinical chemistry and toxicology by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry. Before he founded The Great Plains Laboratory, Inc., Dr. Shaw worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Children's Mercy Hospital, University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Medicine, and Smith Kline Laboratories. He is the author of Biological Treatments for Autism and PDD, originally published in 1998 and Autism: Beyond the Basics, published in 2009. He is also a frequent speaker at conferences worldwide. 

Dr. Shaw is the stepfather of a child with autism and has helped thousands of patients and medical practitioners to successfully improve the lives of people with autism, AD(H)D, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, bipolar disorder, chronic fatigue, depression, fibromyalgia, immune deficiencies, multiple sclerosis, OCD, Parkinson's disease, seizure disorders, tic disorders, Tourette syndrome, and other serious conditions.


Rick Sponaugle, MD

Rick Sponaugle, MD received his medical degree from West Virginia University. He served as Chief of Anesthesiology for two different hospitals in Tampa Bay and is board certified in Addiction Medicine. Dr. Sponaugle is now an integrative physician with an emphasis on environmental medicine and tick-borne infections who specializes in treating brain and neurological disorders derived from severe neurotoxicity.  He has performed analysis of 9,000 neurotransmitter patterns and 6,000 mold mycotoxin levels in neurotoxic patients.  Dr. Sponaugle has written chapters on neurotoxicity for Suzanne Somers and has been featured on the Dr. Phil Show, Suzanne Somers Show, CNN, FOX News, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, and PBS.  Dr. Sponaugle is the medical director of Sponaugle Wellness Institute in Tampa Bay, Florida.


Kurt Woeller, DO

Kurt N. Woeller, DO has been an integrative medicine physician and biomedical autism specialist for over 20+ years. He is an author of several health books including Autism – The Road To Recovery, Methyl-B12 Therapy For Autism, Methyl-B12 for Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, and“5 Things You MUST Do Right Now To Help With Your Rheumatoid Arthritis. He is an international speaker, educator, and practicing clinician offering specialized interventions for individuals with complex medical conditions. His health consulting practice for autism alone is multinational with families from various countries. Dr. Woeller serves as a lab advisor for BioHealth Laboratory, as well as provides educational seminars for The Great Plains Laboratory, Inc. He is cofounder of Integrative Medicine Academy (, which is an online training academy for health practitioners learning integrative medicine.


Four Points by Sheraton San Diego

8110 Aero Drive San Diego, CA 92123

Centrally located in the San Diego Business District, Four Points San Diego is located near major tourist attractions like the San Diego Zoo and the Gaslamp Quarter.  Unwind at the outdoor heated pool and oversized hot tub, grab a bite to eat at the restaurant, Citrus, or enjoy a local craft beer in Montfield Bar or Skies Lounge.  Four Points San Diego has its own 9-hole, par-3 course right on property, opened in 1997, and designed by David Smith.  Explore the hotel’s list of the best things to do in San Diego during your stay.  At Four Points, they’ll make sure your trip to San Diego is one you'll never forget.


A block of rooms is available for a discounted rate of $135/night.  To reserve a room online, click here.
Room block guarantee expires after October 8, 2018. 


The Four Points Sheraton San Diego is located just 15 minutes from San Diego International Airport (SAN).  Complimentary shuttle service is provided.


Overnight guests may park free of charge (normally $12.00/day).



CME credits have been applied for, but are not yet approved.  The CME credits applied for are for MDs, DOs, NDs, DCs, LAcs, NPs, CNs, and PAs.  Please check back here for updates on CME approval.

CE credits for nurses have been applied for, but are not yet approved.  Please check back here for updates on CE approval.


event registration

Neuro Summit 2018
from 199.00

Friday, Saturday and Sunday
$399 through October 12, 2018
$449 after October 12, 2018

Saturday and Sunday
$299 through October 12, 2018
$349 after October 12, 2018

Friday (OAT Workshop)
$199 through October 12, 2018
$249 after October 12, 2018

Attendees on Friday receive a FREE Organic Acids Test, worth $299!  Summit fees include breakfast, break snacks, and lunches daily. 


CME credits for MDs, DOs, NPs, PAs, NDs, DCs, LAcs, and CNs have been applied for, but are not yet approved.

CE credits for nurses, psychologists, therapists, counselors, and social workers have been applied for, but are not yet approved.

Please check back here for updates on CME approval.  If approved, CME and CE will be available for an additional fee.

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