Tue, 25 February 2020
This week, I'm excited to welcome Dr. Dave Rabin to the show. Dr. David Rabin MD, PhD is the chief innovation officer, co-founder and co-inventor at Apollo Neuroscience Inc. In his role, Dr. Rabin is developing Apollo Neuroscience's IP portfolio and running clinical trials of the Apollo technology, the first scientifically-validated wearable system to improve focus, sleep and access to meditative states by delivering layered vibrations to the skin. Dr. Rabin is a board-certified psychiatrist, translational neuroscientist, inventor and has been studying the impact of chronic stress in humans for more than 10 years. He has specifically focused his research on the clinical translation of non-invasive therapies that improve mood, focus, sleep and quality of life in treatment-resistant illnesses. Dr. Rabin received his MD in medicine and a PhD in neuroscience from Albany Medical College and trained in psychiatry at Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Dr. Rabin organized the world’s largest controlled study of psychedelic medicines in collaboration with colleagues at Yale, the University of Southern California, Mt. Sinai, I’Dor, Modern Spirit, and MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies) to determine the mechanisms of the dramatic therapeutic benefits observed following psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in treatment-resistant mental illness. Biological specimens are being collected from the first cohort of patients diagnosed with treatment-resistant PTSD in the MAPS FDA phase 3 double-blind randomized placebo-controlled crossover trial that began in 2019.
Dr. Rabin is also the founder and executive director of the Board of Medicine, a nonprofit charity focused on improving the safety and effectiveness of medication-based treatments for patients and healthcare providers. Dr. Rabin built and led a team of expert physicians and scientists to spearhead the development of the world’s first evidence-based peer-reviewed clinical guidelines for the safe use of medical cannabis and other complementary and alternative medicines. The Board of Medicine uses these guidelines to train and certify healthcare providers and industry partners, as well as to provide quality control standards for natural and unregulated medicines to support the community goals of high-quality clinical research and harm-reduction.
Dr. Rabin continues his clinical psychiatry practice providing psychiatric treatment as well as psychotherapy services to his clients and patients in California and Pennsylvania.
Questions we ask in this episode:
This week, I'm excited to welcome Dr. Dave Rabin to the show.
00:48 Dr. Rabin is a board certified psychiatrist and neuroscientist who specializes in the treatment of chronic stress. He's the co-founder of Apollo, a new wearable wellness device scientifically validated to lower stress. In this episode, we discuss how touch and vibration can positively impact HRV, that's heart rate variability, and learn how the Apollo can adapt to enhance focus recovery and sleep. Over to Dr. Rabin. Hey, guys. This is Stu from 180 Nutrition, and I'm delighted to welcome Dr. David Rabin to the podcast. Dr. Rabin, how are you?
01:29 Good, thanks. How are you, Stu? I really appreciate you having me.
01:32 I really appreciate you sharing some of your time. I know that we got lots to talk about this morning and there's a particular device that we're really intrigued in finding out a lot more about. Before we dial into that, and for all of our listeners that may not be familiar with you or your work, I'd love it if you could just tell us a little bit about yourself please.
01:53 Sure. I'm a psychiatrist and a neuroscientist. I see patients currently focused on treatment resistant, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety, substance use disorders and chronic pain, insomnia, pretty much most mental health conditions that are worsened by stress and some of them that crossover even into physical health. That's a lot of conditions and we see a lot of overlap between those conditions in people. I was working with those patients for a while and I realized that there were a lot of commonalities between these folks that prevent them from achieving their therapeutic goals from treatment. If you have anxiety or depression, your goal of treatment is to feel less anxious and feel happier during the day and have more energy and sleep better at night.
02:41 But less than 50% in a lot of cases are getting that kind of result from their depression treatment in Western medical situations. I started to look at other techniques for how we could help people access those skills and access better sleep, better focus, better energy levels during the day, better mood, that we're starting to look into sort of where Eastern and Western medicine meet, really looking at the breathwork biofeedback and starting to look at meditation and mindfulness practices and the neuroscience of that, right, and how we've evaluated those over the years.
03:19 We know that biofeedback practices boost heart rate variability, something that we'll probably talk about a little later, and heart rate variability turns out to be really interesting, particularly in this day and age, because it is the rate of change of the heartbeat over time, which doesn't sound that interesting. But when you actually look at it more deeply, what you see is that heart rate variability is the single biggest predictor of the effect of stress on our bodies over time. It causes these imbalances in our autonomic nervous system, our stress response system, our recovery response system that prevent us from recovering effectively and then that impairs our performance down the road. Heart rate variability allows us to evaluate that.
03:58 We saw the patients you have PTSD, depression and anxiety all have low heart rate variability. People who have chronic pain, insomnia, they all have low heart rate variability almost across the board. That's really interesting because their bodies and their reports from their mouth when they talk to me would say or my colleagues would say, "I feel really stressed out. My body's always under duress, always under threat. Never feeling like it can rest, take a break, truly feel safe." All of these kinds of language was used. We developed Apollo as a strategy to help give people something that's accessible, that's a wearable technology.
04:37 It vibrates in a very gentle frequency of sound that stimulates the nervous system very much like biofeedback through our sense of touch to help balance the nervous system. We wanted to make something that was accessible and easy for people to use that could actually have realtime benefit in terms of improving our autonomic nervous system balance and helping us access high performance states, high recovery states, and meditative states more effectively.