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Chris Palmer M.D.


I'm a psychiatrist working at the interface of metabolic and mental disorders in order to better understand the overlap between disorders like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease with mental illness. This work may lead to a better understanding of what causes mental illness and how to provide more effective treatments. I'm also the director of the Department of Postgraduate and Continuing Education at McLean Hospital and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

I have been a practicing psychiatrist for 25 years now, in addition to doing research and teaching. My clinical practice has focused on treatment-resistant cases, and I'm painfully aware of the shortcomings of our current approaches. We need to do better! To this end, I am pioneering the use of the ketogenic diet in psychiatry. This is a treatment proven to work in epilepsy, and epilepsy treatments are commonly used in psychiatry, so it's not far-fetched to believe the ketogenic diet may also have an effect on the brains of people with "mental" disorders as well. Case reports and small studies are confirming a beneficial effect, and in some cases, putting symptoms into remission.

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