Insanity Max 30 Review – Shorter and More Effective Insanity

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If you thought month 1 was insane month 2 is flat out fitness crazy. Proper form- go slower and make sure you are doing it right. Because none of the symptoms seem severe, dramatic or life threatening, at least in the early stages of anaemia, the disorder tends to be neglected. However, try not to limit yourself mentally, and push harder every now and then. There is an intense multiplication of cells, with an excess of colloid. In a child who consumes much less food than required for his or her energy needs, energy is mobilized from both body fat and muscle. There may be no mother or she may be ill, or she may have insufficient or no breastmilk.


The Insanity Virus

Inflammation of the Testicles. Inflammation of the Throat. Inflammation of the Uterus. Inflammation of the Womb. Characterized or caused by inflammation. A variety of fever due to inflammation. Influenza that caused several waves of pandemic in , resulting in more than 20 million deaths worldwide; it was particularly severe in Spain hence the name , but now is thought to have originated in the U.

As a form of swine influenza. Want of nutrition; failure of nourishment. Example from a n Death Certificate from England: Persistent mental disorder or derangement.

No longer in scientific use. Exposure to the sun. Insolation is occasionally used in the same sense as coup de soleil. Sudden prostration due to exposure to the sun or excessive heat. Chronic inability to fall asleep or remain asleep for an adequate length of time. Symptoms recur every 48 hours. The abnormal reception or slipping of a part of a tube, by inversion and descent, within a contiguous part of it; specifically, the reception or slipping of the upper part of the small intestine into the lower; introsusception; invagination.

In medicine, ischemia is a restriction in blood supply, generally due to factors in the blood vessels, with resultant damage or dysfunction of tissue. Retention of, or impossibility of discharging, the urine [Dunglison ]. Retention or suppression of urine.

Stoppage or reduction in the flow of urine either from blockage of a passage with resulting retention in the bladder or from disease of the kidneys. Example from an death certificate: The French called it the Neapolitan or Italian disease. A sensation in the skin occasioned or resembling that occasioned by the itch eruption; called also scabies, psora, etc. Example from a Death Record from England: The condition of being an invalid; a state of debility or infirmity; especially, a chronic condition of poor health.

An iatrogenic artifact is a disease made up by doctors, often a diagnostic trend or fad that has become or is expected to become obsolete or discredited. Examples of diseases considered or accused of being iatrogenic artifacts include nymphomania, hystero-epilepsy, repressed memory, autogynephilia, and multiple personality disorder. In many cases, it has been shown that "experts" who believe in the disease are able to observe or even induce symptoms matching the disease's description in suggestible patients.

In the case of hystero-epilepsy, it was shown that moving those allegedly afflicted with the disease into different settings made their symptoms disappear. Icterus which can be accentuated by many factors including excessive haemolysis, sepsis, neonatal hepatitis or congenital atresia of the biliary system. Enteritis involving both the ileum and the colon. Infection of the Brain. Cystitis Example from an Death Record from Michigan: Phrenitis Example from an Mortality Schedule from Kentucky: Nephritis Example from an Death Record from Michigan: Pneumonia Example from an Death Record from Michigan.

Myelitis Example from an Death Record from Michigan. Gastritis Example from an death certificate from West Virginia: Metritis Example from an Death Record from Michigan. The Italian word for influence. The disease is so named because it was supposed to be produced by a peculiar influence of the stars.

The French call it la grippe, under which name Sauvages first described the epidemic catarrhal fever of It was formerly called coceoluche, "because the sick wore a cap close over their heads. As for food, it is not entirely the main issue right now, though you must have the best diet regimen possible if you want to somehow endure Max 30 with only 6 hours of sleep and still get results, or even function throughout the day.

Here, if this helps, try reading these other two reviews of mine, of two programs I feel will be more suitable for your circumstances. I carry almost all of my weight in my thighs and butt. The more you workout with the Max 30, the leaner your body looks.

You will drain fat tissue, all the while promoting muscle definition. Any extra muscle mass created, will drain even more fat from your thighs. And muscle mass, by all definition, is very lean, and occupies less space than fat tissue.

Im Dayana and I came across this review. I would like to gain strenght and body muscle but without having to go to a gym, which I have before. I love sports but I dont know what option would be best for me to build up muscle and get stronger. You will get stronger with Max 30, and there is no doubt about that. As far as muscle mass goes, you will not bulk up significantly, but only build slightly more muscle mass than what you have now, and define your body more muscle, less fat tissue.

If however, you up the protein intake slightly, and increase the intensity of the workouts, you will gain more muscle mass and get even stronger. I have 2 children an 3 yr old and a 1 yr old. I would like to lose the weight on my upper body especially the babyfat and gain some muscle on my lower body like legs and butt. I want your opinion. Sorry for being so late with my reply. This program can help you achieve exactly what you want. Only thing is, you will have to fight very hard for it.

As a beginner, and not knowing your history with fitness, I will assume that you cannot start on a fast pace initially. This program has a modified set of moves for each workout, so can start slowly and build strength and cardio condition. And having in mind that you are having a family and kids, the fact that Max 30 is taking only 30 minutes per day, kinda makes the most suitable program for what you have described.

Pardon me,does the program DVD package able to ship to international country other than in USA or Canada after i buy it from online website?

So after a few months of t25 gamma to add a little muscle and climbing a mountain I am going to start this again today. I hope I enjoy it as much as last time. I think my cardio has dropped since I stopped doing this. So hopefully after a few weeks I will be feeling super fit again like last time! Just keep pushing through the first couple of days, it gets much easier after that. I too sometimes forget how on Earth was I able to complete the program last year.

But then, few of the modifications during the first couple of days, and I quickly get back in shape to test my metal. Hello I have done insanity and lost 20 kgs in three rounds.. I am not eating clean.. Glad that you started Max If you enjoyed the results with Insanity, you will love this one.

And yes, as far as being a vegan goes, you can make awesome abs as well- just need to know your way around the kitchen and pack enough protein. Anyway, the formula will tell you a rough estimate. Though you can try and balance things out all by yourself.

Belive me it is not that hard. Just start eating clean and healthy, and portion your food as much as your body needs. When hungry, attack the vegetables, no extra calories there. Ab attack comes with the cardio workouts, and you can do it as you please. If you however go with the ab maximizer program additional kit, sold separately from Max 30 there is a schedule included and two extra ab workouts as well.

For now, do the ab attack as you see fit. I am very interested in starting this program, definitely time to get back in shape!

My questions is, how much room is needed to effectively do this workout? I travel for work and am usually in a hotel room for 2 weeks a month with limited space. I imagine different workouts require varying amounts of space, so just trying to see if this would work out for my situation.

You can manage with less most of the time. I did Insanity when I was 52 to lose weight to help with my fave hobby, rock climbing. I remember doing the warm up for the first time and thinking, hell when will this stop, what kind of a warm up is this and then it just got worse.

I completed the program and lost 35 pounds and looked great again after years of being podgy. I moved onto T25 after that and found it good because of the reduced amount of time to do the workout but it was nowhere near as hard as Insanity apart from alpha total body and gamma extreme.

After completing that I continued with a T25 hybrid so as to stay in shape and then six weeks ago I started Insanity Max I maxed out at 7 minutes seems to be the killer time that when you start because it does your legs but by the end of week 4 I could get to 30 minutes on cardio challenge. I finished week 2 of the second half of the program tonight.

Anyway I thought your review was great and it will help me push on even harder for my last two weeks. Anyone out there who thinks they are too old to do this type of workout think again. Give it a go. Be sensible and listen to your body but just do the best you can and the results will make it all worthwhile. Just a final word — I did the Friday fight round 1 with my 21 year old son who is one of those annoying naturally athletic types.

He maxed out at 3 minutes thats still the warm up and quit on me after 15 minutes. Congrats for the success so far, and for the determination to stick up with this insanely intense routine.

Thinking about pushing the play button now, it gives me thrills: Btw, laughed so hard about how you challenged your son. I do that to many of my friends who are fitness rats and it always ends up funny. I tried insanity for the the first time 5 months ago and got through to the 6th week but then I got sick and did not see it through, now I wanted to start the program over again cause I thought max 30 was a lighter version of insanity, but after reading this review i realize it is not.

I am in the middle of the second week week of insanity, do you recomend I complete this program and then I try max 30 or should I just drop insanity and change to max 30? Also I have the impression that with insanity you burn fat as well as muscle, is this true? If so, does it also happen with max 30? First of all my advice would be to complete whatever program you are currently with.

The insanity workout, in your case, is a great program that will give you amazing results. The only issue I see here is time. Neither of the 2 programs burns muscle mass if you are eating enough protein. Chest are flat and more defined than ever, and so are arms and shoulders.

It is harder than anything I ever tried in my life, but no pain no gain is my motto. And your review convinced me to go for it!! Cant wait to start! Thank you for your time to share the review of the program.

I went to the gym regularly until about 3 months ago, I just seem to have lost my motivation I got bored with my workouts but this program sounds like it will put me back on track. Max 30 will definitely keep you motivated throughout. I definitely want to complete this. I feel like if I ever step out of line with it I have to begin all over again. Simply try to follow some principles of healthy eating and do your best.

If you mess up one day, make sure to get back on track the other. The continuous workout and increasing intensity the more you do it the harder you can push will take care of the rest. Besides, the more you invest yourself during the workouts, the harder it is becomes to break diet principles.

Carbs are easy to handle- just take quinoa and brown rice and cook for two days ahead. The one, then the other. Same goes for protein- cook chicken enough to last for two days, and then you can go with fish. Canned tuna can do the trick if you are out of stock with other protein sources. Legumes are a nice addition as well.

I started with max out time of 6 mins and currently into the 4th week. I have touched 11 and a half minutes of max out time but it is varying depending upon the workout.

But last week I was constantly above 8 minutes. This workout is great. It keeps me motivated to push further everyday. Going to gym was always difficult for me and I was falling short of exercise routines with limited gym equipment at my home but this workout has given me a new dimension altogether. The only problem is I am unable to follow the diet plan strictly.

Is that ok to be a bit flexible on that front? Kudos for the progress! As long as you are eating clean most of the time, you are fine. Sometimes it is nice to allow your body relax with a mouthful of cookies. In the grand scheme of things, doing intense exercise day in and day out will take care of that.

I have finished asylum 1 and asylum 2 workouts and I am now starting to do max The workout feels great and refreshing after two months of asylum training. The question is will i lose the conditioning and strength gained throuhh asylum 1 and 2? Will max 30 maintain it?

What about using max 30 as cardio after weight training? And also when i finish max 30 is it ok to do asylum 3 times per week for maintenance? Hey Zlatan, An asylum graduate here as well: Most intense month of my entire life for sure. Tell you what- the conditioning will pretty much improve, though as far as strength goes, you might lose a fraction of that. As for Max 30 being your cardio supplement after weight training, it depends on the intensity on your training.

Doing Asylum 3 times per week for maintenance is great if you can regularly keep up with it. Results wise, it is the equivalent of doing a moderate-to-intense program every day. I used asylum to gain conditioning for basketball will max 30 be good for the sport of basketball as well?

Asylum is probably much better due to the athletic spin on the program which includes a range of sports training moves.

I think Max 30 would be better for speed and cardio endurance though. But still little i have belly fat. I start today insanity max But i wanna ask it if anyone finish the program its really works? Because we know like after 20 mn our body start burn oil. Program look like not enough long. So if anyone did it before maybe can help and share the experience. Staying on track with the workouts and trying to follow a healthy diet will definitely burn any remaining fat tissue that you have.

Make sure to rest enough, and you will love the results. I will finish max 30 and do one more round of asylum 1. After that I plan on doing asylum vol 1 and vol 2 hybrid but only 3 times a week as maintenance. So it will take around 15 weeks to complete all the workouts. Very much interested in Max 30, any suggestions are greatly appreciated. If losing fat is what you are primarily concerned about, then Max 30 is your pick.

It will also help you tone and define your muscles, and depending on your diet maybe even add some muscle as well. I try to supplement by drinking Muscle Milk and eating fish, but could you recommend something else, both in terms of food and a supplement?

Also, how much protein should I be consuming? Just a quick reminder of the input for great results: Ditch the muscle milk, and go with a whey protein instead. Upgrade to one scoop when intensity is decent. Oh, and egg whites are the golden standard of protein, so eat of those during breakfast. Lastly, try to keep correct form during workouts, so muscles can take a punch. Remember, one proper move is worth 5 that are lacking correct form. Do you do it until you max out or do you write your time and then carry on for the remainder of the 30 minutes?

You go as far as you can without making a pause, and then write down the time… Take a moment of rest whatever you need in order to be capable of moving on with the rest of the workout , and continue following the crew on screen. Then you can take rest whenever you feel like you must, keep it short seconds, depending on your level and return back to it again.

The max out time is simply to map how far can you go from the beginning of the workout without making a single pause. I love how supporting everyone here is.

Last year in oct-Nov I started t but quit after the alpha round because of the holiday season. My question is after I complete the alpha and beta round will I be able to jump in to max 30?

Most people here have completed insanity and t etc before getting into max Will it be too much of a jump for a semi-beginner like me? But I am so tired of being big. So far so good. I take it one day at a time.

Congrats on building the healthy habits from the ground up- it takes a lot of patience and dedication. Having tackled food, everything else is a piece of… hmm, well.. As for making the transition towards such an intense workout like Max 30, it depends. But mostly on a very overlooked factor- joint strength. See, most people fear the intensity, when in fact you adjust accordingly.

Go with Max 30 only if you are determined enough to push hard. The modifiers will help you along the way, but you will need to invest yourself a lot regardless of the fact. Early workout is better, especially when it comes to cardio- for the body is burning extra fat tissue.

However, some people have stubborn metabolisms, so their fat burning ability partially shuts off before they jump start the system with a breakfast.

I for one have discovered that noon and evening workouts do the trick for me more than early morning ones ever will. If you decide to go with Max 30, drop us a line and share some of your experience. Thanks for the great review. I am into week 5 of 21 day fix extreme and plan on doing at least 2 more months of this and wanted to move to Max Will I still follow the 21 day fix eating plan? Or will I need more calories since this workout is really tough. And will this be a good workout to switch to?

Max 30 would be an excellent program to move towards. It will drain fat that other programs never could, and surprise you in the process: As for diet, you can continue with the same plan from 21 Day Fix, only add more when needed.

Bottom line- you will have to listen to your body and go from there. Initially, you can continue with the same diet plan only enhancing the number of calories slightly… then, as your body dictates, you will add more protein a must , and slightly more carbs. Be prepared though, Max 30 is nothing like 21 Day Fix. The first week, at least until you catch grip, will be especially hard.

My wife and I had been doing the 21 day fix repeatedly for 4 months and really enjoying it as a time to push ourselves and do something together. It also helps to realize all the effort it takes to burn those extra calories if you eat more than you need.

My wife ordered the Insanity Max 30 workout and we started it 5 weeks ago. For the first week, cardio and calf burn kept me from focusing on the intensity and form needed to really burn out my major muscles. With cardio being such a limiting factor, major muscle recovery was easy for me.

By week 4 I felt I could real ramp up the form and intensity and could see awesome results. One week into month 2 and it is a big jump harder, but month 1 adequately prepared my brain, no, it changed my brain so that I look forward to pushing harder to max out. I recommend this workout and here are some comments: You can always go faster, lower, higher, better form, add isometrics at points in you movements, or engage the core better or harder in order for you to max out earlier.

At that early stage, you will appreciate having to look up at the screen for an extra second or two anyway. Even when I lifted weights for 45 mins 3 times a week, I would get a burning hunger and need to eat a lot even though I had plenty of body fat still.

The variety of push-ups in Max 30 is nuts and really strengthen your chest and triceps, so you are good there. That said, if your workout partner is not prepared for how ridiculous Max 30 is, there may be problems. Its that nuts in the beginning. Doing a less intense workout first helped us step up, as well as appreciate the virtues of both workouts. And thanks for the tips as well, some very useful takeaways there. So glad to hear that you guys are having so much fun with Max Cause it is so true.

If you are determined enough, all other Beachbody workouts fail in comparison. Next on the list? Take my word and go for the Asylum series. Vol 1 is a killer! La creme de la creme of hard workouts. I just completed Focus T Since I am an office worker, I can only do this exercise at 9 p. So it is a little bit late to eat something to take protein I want to lose some weight and fat. Do you think that it is a must to take protein after work out?

Every person has different body that loses from different areas. The same holds true now. A bit of a back story: Would you suggest a transition to Insanity Max 30 during the 2nd month? My ortho doc says I can do workout as long as they are low impact on the joints. Would anyone here consider this relatively low impact or high impact training? Thanks, looking to start something new as soon as I find something that jives. This is a high impact.

Its a lot of jumping and jumping lunges and plyometrics like that. There is a modifier that is meant for low impact though.

First of all, that review was a real pleasure to read and i could feel like you were sincere about all the points of that workout, so thank you for that: I am now on my first week of the second month and i am surprised to see that i drastically improved my performances in terms of cardio and muscle power. Even the second month videos are less difficult to me than the first month ones when i started, and i can now handle every single exercise without any break and almost every time at the same pace as the insanity team.

Which one is the most difficult to your opinion? My aim would be first to dry my body from belly fat , the only part of my body that still has fat in it!

Max 30 is definitely bringing it up a notch. Congrats for going this far with Insanity. He has done Asylum, and many of the Max videos, so I guess he should chip in with some thoughts as well. Glad to see you so far into the program! Insanity is a very tough routine, so seeing you having fun brings a smile to my face, because I can perfectly relate.

As Sandra said, Max 30 is a bit more challenging, if you can start high intensity instantaneously. It will definitely reintroduce some of that pain and struggle. But, as someone who has completed the Asylum, I must say that it is the most intense program ever published from Beachbody bar none! If you are up for the challenge, forget any fat on your body. But also note that it is a lot harder than both Insanity and Max For now though, focus your attention exclusively on completing the program.

Insanity is a great routine, and cutting it half way in order to do another one is not necessary at all. Finish it first and then try other programs.

Yeah i can say i am definitely enjoying myself, at the point i am looking forward my training every day like a child would wait for his christmas presents haha. I was asking to anticipate and starting straight away with another program! Cardio is reallt my strong point, but i struggle more in deep muscles exercices so i guess it will be more challenging to me haha! Hi May have posted this question further up than I should. Did day 1 today with the modifier at their pace.

It was hard but I reached 19 minutes before I really had to stop. The last ten minutes were really tough and I stopped 3 tines for a full 20 to 30 seconds.

Anyway my question is should I be cautious and continue with the modifier for week one or dive in and max out at 3 to 5 minutes if that! My feeling is I should gauge things for week one and then maybe repeat it with the full workouts. It seems to me that all options are open. I plan to go back to Crossfit and martial arts after a few years away so I want to be ready and healthy. First of all, congrats for starting this program.

Glad to see you being reasonable too. This is a tough commitment, and being strategical about it, dedicating an extra week or two, is the smartest way to handle it. That being said, you should continue with your modifier in order to prepare the body. At least for a week.

Then, try and see how it goes without it for a while. The great thing is that whenever you feel like you cannot go further, jsut take a rest and continue with the modifier. This is a process in which you have to learn how to listen to your body. But somewhere around week two, this will come naturally, and you will more intimately understand the limits of your capabilities and when to switch between work and rest, work and modifier.

Its my last week month two and its awesome am now stronger, healthier, faster my body looking a way better, but only thing that am thinking about, what is the best to do after this??

So glad to hear this! It brings a smile on my face when I see people enjoying the things recommended on this blog. Next for you my friend, at least the way I see it judging by your eagerness, is Asylum Vol. It is my favourite program. You will definitely love it. It will be a customizable and personalized program, and I think you will like it as well. Our gift to you. I hope you will like it.

Just started doing this but I really like it. My question is if I still want to lift weights, can I do this first, then go the gym? Should I have a protein shake in between? If you have your mind already made, then by all means have a protein shake in between, and eat a high protein diet.

Make sure not to combine workouts 5 days per week. Two or three times should be the limit I guess. I am 23 years old and I have 3 kids. My youngest is 6 months old. I am starting the Insanity Max 30 workouts on Monday! I cannot wait for the crazy results! I have gained some baby weight for sure I am more than ready to get my body looking better!!

Hi i have just ordered Max: I had a baby 7 months ago and ended up having a C section, i would really like to get rid of the lower belly fat and tone up my entire stomach.

My real concern is my lesg and bum, which i would like to lose a bit of weight from the top innner thights part and keep my bum the size it is or even increase the size of my bum. I am a little bit afraid of doing this and losing my bum and too much of my thights. I would like to tone my entire body.

What is the best thing to do to get the results i want. Thank you in advance. This workout includes around moves total. Many of those target your hamstrings and butt endless squat varieties, jumps and whatnot….

I Would love to contact you… are you on IG or Facebook? I would like to ask you a couple of questions… the picture of you on this article just left me speechless. THAT is my goal body! Just send me an email here in the contact form on this site. I do have one question…I tried this once before and after making it through Insanity, I never had knee pain.

Halfway through this program I did. So much so, I couldnt do the second half. After a 6 month hiatus and PT, knees feel good. Do you think its just improper form or pushing too hard? I love the workouts, but dont want to permanently damage my joints. PS I assume you made it through month two…. In terms of what caused the knee pain, it is almost always bad shape. The body not being used to what is happening all of the sudden. This is usually coupled with what you said- lack of proper form, and pushing past your limits.

Since you struggled with a knee pain once, do a morning stretch every day 5 minutes max and this will also contribute to lowering the risk of knee pain or injuries happening again. Hi my name is muhap i already get my insanity max 30 and i did not get my coach email can you plesse help me —. I am finishing a Jillian Michaels dvd called ripped in 30 and now I am looking to move to a different workout… I was trying to decide between max 30 and T25 but I was scared of all the contradictory reviews you find on the internet about max 30 so Im really happy to read this website: Max 30 seems like a great option since you are already working out and have some cardio and muscular endurance.

So, I start my first workout and I max out at 4min… what happens then? Thanks for your review. Glad you are willing to up your game. Max 30 will be fun, I can tell you that.

As for maxing out, here is the deal- you go as hard as you can from the beginning of the workout till as long as you can. When you max out i. Then, you just continue with the rest of the workout.

The logic behind this method is really twofold. First, going as hard as you can for as long as you can at the very beginning puts you in a very competitive state of mind, as well as improves your mental game and determination.

Once you conquer this, the rest of the workout feels easier and you can challenge yourself more. Second, you get to wear your body down at the very beginning, ensuring a flow of lactic acid as well as a surge of endorphin, adrenaline and a lot of muscle fibers firing up. This will put your body in an optimal mode for digging deep and burning calories. Thank you for your great and honest review. I am actually doing the p90x3.

Now I am searching for a program after I finished it. Would you recomand this as a follow-up? I also want to have a break for about a week in between the programs, where I want to do back strenghening workouts and some best ofs of the p90x3 about days in this week, just to come down a bit before I get started again.

Congrats for finishing the P90X3. As for the rest period in between workouts you are definitely right. Take a week off, and start rested. Insanity The Asylum Vol. It is far better in fact. It is also on the opposite spectrum a cardio and endurance festival , just like Max 30 is. Which makes it way more challenging. Make no mistakes though- Asylum is by far the hardest workout program Beachbody has ever made. Hi im 30 and very overweight im looking for a way to loose the weight and was told about max 30 i would say my fitness level at the moment is poor and i do suffer with asthma.

Im really motivated to get fit as when i recently took my daughter to a theme park i was unable to go on the ride with her as i eas to big. Please help thanks in advance. Glad you like to dedicate yourself on getting healthier. Max 30 is a great option for loosing pounds and getting more agile, flexible, faster… It is hard though. Even with the modifier included you will have to give your best and develop a love-hate relationship with this program that can at times feel like agony.

However, if you are new to fitness and working out why not go with something easier? Like for example Focus T25? Or maybe even P90? These are great programs to ease you into fitness while still providing for amazing results.

They saw spherical retroviruses oozing from the cells of seemingly healthy animals. They soon found the virus in healthy humans, too. So began a strange chapter in evolutionary biology. Viruses like influenza or measles kill cells when they infect them. Sixty million years ago, a lemurlike animal—an early ancestor of humans and monkeys—contracted an infection.

It slipped inside one of the rare germ line cells that produce sperm and eggs. When the lemur reproduced, that retrovirus rode into the next generation aboard the lucky sperm and then moved on from generation to generation, nestled in the DNA.

But such genetic intrusions stick around a very long time, so humans are chockablock full of these embedded, or endogenous, retroviruses. If our DNA were an airplane carry-on bag and essentially it is , it would be bursting at the seams. Our body works hard to silence its viral stowaways by tying up those stretches of DNA in tight stacks of proteins, but sometimes they slip out. Now and then endogenous retroviruses switch on and start manufacturing proteins. They assemble themselves like Lego blocks into bulbous retroviral particles, which ooze from the cells producing them.

Endogenous retroviruses were long considered genetic fossils, incapable of doing anything interesting. By the time Perron made his discovery, Torrey and Yolken had spent about 15 years looking for a pathogen that causes schizophrenia. They found lots of antibodies but never the bug itself.

The team wondered if other retroviruses might cause these symptoms in separate diseases such as schizophrenia. In they nabbed a possible culprit. Several other studies have since found similar active elements of HERV-W in the blood or brain fluids of people with schizophrenia.

One, published by Perron in , found HERV-W in the blood of 49 percent of people with schizophrenia, compared with just 4 percent of healthy people. Torrey, Yolken, and Sarven Sabunciyan , an epigeneticist at Johns Hopkins, are working to understand how endogenous retroviruses can wreak their havoc. Much of their research revolves around the contents of a nondescript brick building near Washington, D.

Inside are hundreds of cadaver brains donated to science by the deceased , numbered 1 through Each brain is split into right and left hemispheres, one half frozen at about — degrees Fahrenheit, the other chilled in formaldehyde. Jacuzzi-size freezers fill the rooms. New high-speed DNA sequencing is making the job possible. Fixed to that plate are million magnetic beads, and attached to each bead is a single molecule of DNA, which the machine is sequencing.

In a week the machine churns out the equivalent of six human genomes—enough raw data to fill 40 computer hard drives.

RNA is a messenger of DNA, a step in the path to making proteins, so its presence could mean that viral proteins are being manufactured in the body more frequently than had been thought. Although the body works hard to keep its ERVs under tight control, infections around the time of birth destabilize this tense standoff.

White blood cells vomit forth inflammatory molecules called cytokines, attracting more immune cells like riot police to a prison break. The scene turns toxic. The mice became clumsy, then paralyzed, then died of brain hemorrhages. It was an extreme experiment, but to Perron it made an important point. In MS the immune system directly attacks and kills brain cells, causing paralysis.

In schizophrenia it may be that inflammation damages neurons indirectly by overstimulating them. The first, pivotal infection by toxoplasmosis or influenza and subsequent flaring up of HERV-W might happen shortly before or after birth. That would explain the birth-month effect: Flu infections happen more often in winter. The initial infection could then set off a lifelong pattern in which later infections reawaken HERV-W, causing more inflammation and eventually symptoms. This process explains why schizophrenics gradually lose brain tissue.

It explains why the disease waxes and wanes like a chronic infection. And it could explain why some schizophrenics suffer their first psychosis after a mysterious, monolike illness. The infection theory could also explain what little we know of the genetics of schizophrenia.

One might expect that the disease would be associated with genes controlling our synapses or neurotransmitters. Three major studie s published last year in the journal Nature tell a different story.

Gene studies have failed to provide simple explanations for ailments like schizophrenia and MS. Genes may come into play only in conjunction with certain environmental kicks. Retroviruses, including HIV, are known to be awakened by inflammation—possibly the result of infection, cigarette smoke, or pollutants in drinking water. The era of writing off endogenous retroviruses and other seemingly inert parts of the genome as genetic fossils is drawing to an end, Perron says.

Schizophrenia treatments were limited when she fell ill. Early on she received electroshock therapy and insulin shock therapy, in which doctors induced a coma by lowering her blood sugar level. Rhoda Torrey has spent 40 years in state hospitals. The disease has left only one part of her untouched:

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