Skip to toolbar

4 Most Important Medical Tests for Attachment and Behavioral Disorders

Written by Aimie Apigian, MD.

Let’s play the “What If” game for a second…

What if… there was an underlying biology problem in your child that is making your job as can awesome parent harder?

What if…there were easy tests you could order to specifically identify what biological problem there was with a just as relatively simple treatment?

What if…your child’s biology was now optimized for healing and attachment with you! How would that change things for you, your child and your family?

There are biological imbalances that are now known to be common in children with emotional and behavioral problems (1,2), and attachment trauma may have been the trigger for those imbalances. There are easy tests you can order to identify if they have those imbalances, or others, with most of them having fairly straightforward treatment to correct those imbalances.

Once your child’s biology is optimized for security and connection – you can start to make significant progress, they heal faster, and you get to have more fun along the way!

I’m going to share the 3 tests that are essential for discovering what is it in your child’s biology that fuels their impulsivity, defiance, and reactivity. I will also share one other important test for a thorough work-up. Being a former therapeutic parent myself, I’m really excited to share this with you today because I know what a difference this could make in your life!

 Pyrrole Disorder

Pyrrole Disorder is a genetic condition that causes blood by-products called ketopyrroles to be in high amounts in your blood. As ketopyrroles are filtered through the kidneys and put in the urine, it pulls Zinc and Vitamin B6 with it. The problem is not the high amounts of ketopyrroles in your blood and urine, the problem becomes the Zinc and Vitamin B6 deficiency! Key features of low levels of zinc and Vitamin B6 include anxiety, mood swings, inattentiveness and hyper- sensitivity to light and sound (3,4,5).

Zinc deficiency is a real problem! Zinc is involved with the immune system (6,7), nervous system (5), energy production (5), mental concentration and clarity (7), hormones (7), and detoxification system (8). White spots on the fingernails is a sign of zinc deficiency!

Vitamin B6 is involved with the immune system (9), brain neurotransmitters (11,13), energy production (11,12) and nerve health (10). Even minor deficiencies will make energy production more difficult, and irritability, anxiety, and depression are the most common early symptoms (1,2).

Test: A urine test through DHA Laboratory

 Copper and Zinc Ratio

High copper levels cause a lot of oxidative stress and results in a zinc deficiency as well. This is another common finding in people with behaviors characteristic of Attachment Disorder. This is a common finding in those children (or adults) with a lot of intermittent anger, rages, reactivity and impulsivity.

Test: Copper, Zinc and Ceruloplasmin Levels Through DHA Laboratory


The Methylation cycle is strongly implicated in mood and mental health, nerve health, and physical energy. For example, 95% of children on the Autistic Spectrum have been found to have defects in their methylation cycle and show significant improvement when corrected (3).

Methylation controls epigenetics, or the selective expression of our DNA. This results in methylation being extremely important for running all processes in our brains and body, even in brain neurotransmitter levels and our individual response to mood medications (14). People who have certain methylation patterns respond worse to anti-depressants (15)!

Defects in the methylation cycle are not as simple as finding a mutation in the gene MTHFR, a gene receiving a lot of attention right now in Autism and mental health. The important thing to discover through analysis of the DNA is whether your child is an under-methylator or over- methylator. Both of them have mood changes associated with them, though a higher percentage of children with the behaviors and moods of Attachment Disorder tend to be under- methylators (3).

The good news is that we can change the methylation cycle and DNA expression through nutrition and supplements! You will want to work with a physician who is very familiar with the methylation cycle and mood disorders because if the wrong nutrition and supplement is applied, things do get worse.

Test: Whole Blood Histamine and Homocysteine Through DHA Laboratory or Methylation Profile Through Doctors Data Laboratory

 Nutritional Evaluation with Heavy Metals

Your brain and body function because of its ability to take in nutrients from the environment and convert it to energy and the products it needs for cell machinery and regeneration. If it lacks a nutrient or if there is a metal of toxin that affects this process, you will feel it in the form of physical or mental health symptoms.

Review of the nutritional status in your cells is not just looking at levels of different substances in your blood, but whether the nutrients are getting into the cells and how efficiently your cells are able to use them. The NutrEval test will show you in real time how the cells are working, giving you big picture and pinpointing specific problems. Thus, the NutrEval test will give you answers to vitamin levels, metabolism of the macronutrients fat, protein, and carbohydrates, detoxification system and inflammatory status, and the presence of toxic metals like mercury and lead.

Test: NutrEval test: $850, A blood and a urine test you do on the same day. Summary

I cannot stress how important these tests are to rule out a biochemical imbalance in your child with Attachment Disorder and/or Behavioral Problems! You can optimize your child’s biology – brain and body – for healing and attachment!

The tests you should consider to determine what biological imbalances your child has that is making their behaviors and attachment process more difficult:

  1. Urine Ketopyrroles, Copper/Zinc Ratio and Methylation Status through DHA Laboratory, $296
  2. Methylation Profile through Doctor’s Data, $200
  3. NutrEval Test With Heavy Metals through Genova Diagnostics, $850.

Dr Aimie’s email is 


1. Lakhan S.E., Vieira K.F. Nutritional Therapies for Mental Disorders. Nutr J. Jan 2008;7:2 doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-7-2.
2. Walsh W.J., Glab L.B>, Haakenson M.L. Reduced Violent Behavior Following Biochemical Therapy. Physical Behav. Oct 2004; 82(5):835-9.

3. William Walsh (2014). Nutrient Power. Skyhorse Publishing, New York. p.121-128
4. Mlyniec K., Gawel M., Doboszewska U., Starowicz G., Nowak G. The Role of Elements in Anxiety. Vitamin Horm. 2017;103:295-326
5. Prasad A.S. Clinical, Immunological, Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Roles of Zinc. Exp Gerontol. May 2008;43(5): 370-7
6. Jarosz M., Olbert M., Wyszogrodzka G., Mlyniec K., Librowski T. Antioxidant and Anti- Inflammatory Effects of Zinc. Zinc-Dependent NF-kB Signaling. Inflammopharmacology. Feb 2017;25(1):11-24
7. Prasad A.S. Zinc in Human Health: Effect of Zinc on Immune Cells. Mol Med. May 2008;14(5-6):353-7
8. Prasad A.S. Zinc: Role in Immunity, Oxidative Stress and Chronic Inflammation. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. Nov 2009;12(6):646-52
9. Meydalni S.N., Hayek M., Coleman L. Influence of Vitamins E and B6 on Immune Response. Ann N Y Acad Sci. Sep 1992; 669: 125-139.
10. Kennedy D.O. B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy – A Review. Nutrients. Jan 2016;8(2):68 doi: 10.3390/nu8020068.
11. Calderon-Guzman D., Hernandez-Islas J.L., Espitia-Vazquez I., Barragan-Mejia G., Hernandez-Garcia E., Santamaria-del Angel D., Juarez-Olguin H. Pyridozine, Regardless of Serotonin Levels, Increases Production of 5-Hydroxytryptophan in Rat Brain. Arch Med Res. Jul-Aug 2004;35(4):271-4
12. Depeint F., Bruce W.R., Shangari N., Mehta R., O’Brien P.J. Mitochondria Function and Toxicity: Role of B Vitamins on the One-Carbon Transfer Pathway. Chem Biol Interact. Oct 2006; 163(1-2):113-32
13. Bourre J.M. Effects of Nutrients (in Food) on the Structure and Function of the Nervous System: Update on Dietary Requirements for Brain. Part 1: Micronutrients. J Nutr Health Aging. Sep-Oct 2006;10(5): 377-85.
14. Zhao J., Goldberg J., Bremner J.D., Vaccarino V. Association Between Promoter Methylation of Serotonin Transporter Gene and Depressive Symptoms: A Monozygotic Twin Study. Psychos Med. Jul-Aug 2013;75(6):523-9
15. Wilkinson G.R. Drug Metabolism and Variability Among Patients in Drug Response. N Engl J Med. May 2005; 352:2211-2221
16. Mokhtari V., Afsharian P., Shahhoseini M., Kalantar S.M., Moihi A. A Review on Various Uses of N-Acetyl-Cysteine. Cell J. Apr-Jun 2017;19(1):11-17
17. Gordon B.R. Approaches to Testing for Food and Chemical Sensitivities. Otolaryngol Clinic North Am. Oct 2003;36(5):917-40.
18. Rae C.D., Williams S.R. Glutathione in the Human Brain: Review of Its Roles and Measurement by Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. Anal Biochem. Dec 2016; S0003-2697(16)30434-1
19. Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) and the Glutathione Peroxidase System; a Link Between One- Carbon Metabolism and Antioxidation. Nutrients. Feb 2017;9(3)

Related Articles