By Russell L. Blaylock, M.D.
Advanced Nutritional Concepts, LLC
After 30 years of intensive research, much has been learned about how brain
cells work and what goes wrong when disease arises. One of the great enigmas
has been the connection between vaccinations and certain brain disorders such
Gulf War Syndrome
More common neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s
dementia and ALS)
As we learned more and more about how brain cells should work, we discovered
that often normal processes, such as metabolism, could result in the
accumulation of powerful chemical byproducts, called free radicals, that have
the capacity to destroy these cells.
Free radicals, basically, are very reactive particles that bounce all around
the cell damaging everything they touch. Most originate during the process of
metabolism but can also arise from toxin exposure, irradiation and toxic
metals. Because they are so destructive, cells have a network of defenses
designed to neutralize them. This antioxidant network is composed of numerous
components that include vitamins, minerals and special chemicals called
thiols (glutathione and alpha-lipoic acid).
What Causes the Free Radicals
The idea that free radicals play a major role in all of the conditions listed
above is now proven--the big question is why are so many free radicals being
generated? In the case of autism, ADD and ADHD many came to support the idea
that mercury derived from vaccines was the source of the radicals. And it was
known that mercury could cause free radicals to be generated in large numbers
within the brain. Evidence connecting mercury to the autism spectrum
disorders, neurodegeneration and the Gulf War Syndrome is strong, but not
Interestingly, all of these diseases also share another common event--over
activation of a portion of the immune system.
It is important to appreciate that only a certain part of the immune system
is overactive, because other parts, such as cellular immunity, are actually
diminished. In some instances, as with the childhood disorders, the problem
is congenital and in others it develops as a result of many factors such as
aging, toxin exposure, poor nutrition and excessive vaccination itself.
Mercury can impair immune function as well.
How Vaccines are Made
Basically, vaccines contain either killed viruses or bacteria, germ
components, toxic extracts or live organisms that have been made less
virulent--a process called attenuation. To stimulate an enhanced immune
reaction against these organisms, manufacturers added powerful
immune-stimulating substances such as squalene, aluminum, lipopolysacchride,
etc. These are called immune adjuvants.
The process of vaccination usually required repeated injections of the
vaccine over a set period of time. The combination of adjuvants plus the
intended organism triggers an immune response by the body, similar to that
occurring with natural infections, except for one major difference. Almost
none of these diseases enter the body by injection. Most enter by way of the
mucous membranes of the nose, mouth, pulmonary passages or GI tract. For
example, polio is known to enter via the GI tract. The membranes lining these
passages contain a different immune system than activated by direct
injection. This system is called the IgA immune system.
It is the first line of defense and helps reduce the need for intense
activation of the body’s immune system. Often, the IgA system can completely
head off an attack. The point being that injecting organisms to induce
immunity is abnormal.
Because more and more reports are appearing citing vaccine failure, their
manufacturers’ answer is to make the vaccines more potent. They do this by
making the immune adjuvants more powerful or adding more of them. The problem
with this approach is that in the very young, the nutritionally deficient and
the aged, over-stimulating the immune system can have an opposite effect--it
can paralyze the immune system.
This is especially prevalent with nutritional deficiency.
An early attempt to vaccinate Africans met with disaster when it was
discovered that many were dying following vaccination. The problem was traced
to widespread vitamin A deficiency among the tribes. Once the malnutrition
was corrected, death rates fell precipitously. Another problem we see with
modern vaccines is that the immune stimulation continues over a prolonged
period of time. This is because of the immune adjuvants. They remain in the
tissues, constantly stimulating immune-activating cells. With most natural
infections the immune activation occurs rapidly, and once the infection is
under control, it drops precipitously. This, as we shall see, is to prevent
excessive damage to normal cells in the body.
What Happens to the Brain With Vaccination?
It seems the brain is always neglected when pharmacologists consider side
effects of various drugs. The same is true for vaccinations. For a long time
no one considered the effect of repeated vaccinations on the brain. This was
based on a mistaken conclusion that the brain was protected from immune
activation by its special protective gateway called the blood-brain barrier.
More recent studies have shown that immune cells can enter the brain
directly, and more importantly, the brain’s own special immune system can be
activated by vaccination.
You see, the brain has a special immune system that operates through a unique
type of cell called a microglia.
These tiny cells are scattered throughout the brain, lying dormant waiting to
be activated. In fact, they are activated by many stimuli and are quite easy
to activate. For our discussion, activation of the body’s immune system by
vaccination is a most important stimuli for activation of brain microglia.
Numerous studies have shown that when the body’s immune system is activated,
the brain’s immune cells are likewise activated. This occurs by several
pathways, not important to this discussion. The more powerfully the body’s
immune system is stimulated the more intense is the brain’s reaction.
Prolonged activation of the body’s immune system likewise produces prolonged
activation of the brain’s immune system.
Therein lies the danger of our present vaccine policy.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family
Practice have both endorsed a growing list of vaccines for children, even
newborns, as well as yearly flu shots for both children and adults. Children
are receiving as many as 22 inoculations before attending school.
What Happens When the Brain’s Immune System is Activated?
The brain’s immune system cells, once activated, begin to move about the
nervous system, secreting numerous immune chemicals (called cytokines and
chemokines) and pouring out an enormous amount of free radicals in an effort
to kill invading organisms. The problem is--there are no invading organisms.
It has been tricked by the vaccine into believing there are.
Unlike the body’s immune system, the microglia also secrete two other
chemicals that are very destructive of brain cells and their connecting
processes. These chemicals, glutamate and quinolinic acid, are called
excitotoxins. They also dramatically increase free radical generation in the
brain. Studies of patients have shown that levels of these two excitotoxins
can rise to very dangerous levels in the brain following viral and bacterial
infections of the brain. High quinolinic acid levels in the brain are thought
to be the cause of the dementia seen with HIV infection.
The problem with our present vaccine policy is that so many vaccines are
being given so close together and over such a long period that the brain’s
immune system is constantly activated. This has been shown experimentally in
numerous studies. This means that the brain will be exposed to large amounts
of the excitotoxins as well as the immune cytokines over the same period.
Studies on all of these disorders, even in autism, have shown high levels of
immune cytokines and excitotoxins in the nervous system. These destructive
chemicals, as well as the free radicals they generate, are diffused
throughout the nervous system doing damage, a process called bystander
injury. It’s sort of like throwing a bomb in a crowd. Not only will some be
killed directly by the blast but those far out into the radius of the
explosion will be killed by shrapnel.
Normally, the brain’s immune system, like the body’s, activates quickly and
then promptly shuts off to minimize the bystander damage. Vaccination won’t
let the microglia shut down. In the developing brain, this can lead to
language problems, behavioral dysfunction and even dementia. In the adult, it
can lead to the Gulf War Syndrome or one of the more common
neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s dementia
or Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS).
A recent study by the world-renowned immunologist Dr. H. Hugh Fudenberg found
that adults vaccinated yearly for five years in a row with the flu vaccine
had a 10-fold increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. He attributes
this to the mercury and aluminum in the vaccine. Interestingly, both of these
metals have been shown to activate microglia and increase excitotoxicity in
Direct Effect of the Cytokines
Various cytokines have been used to treat cancer patients as well as other
Studies of the effects of these cytokines on brain function reveal some very
close parallels to the diseases we have been discussing. For a more in-depth
study of these effects I suggest you read my article appearing in the Journal
of the American Nutriceutical Association (volume 6 [fall], Number
4, 2003, pp 21-35) and in the summer issue 2004 of the Journal of the
American Association of Physicians and Surgeons.
One can see:
A host of other behavioral problems
In the child, brain immune over-activation has been shown to be particularly
damaging to the amygdala and other limbic structures of the brain. This can
lead to unusual syndromes such as the loss of “theory of mind” and “ Alice in
Wonderland syndrome.” It has also been shown to damage the executive
functions of the frontal lobes. In essence, what is lost is that which makes
us social human beings, able to function in a complex world of ideas and
interactions. Several studies have indeed shown elevated levels of cytokines
in autistic children. It is also interesting to note that these cytokines,
especially interleukin-1ß and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a)
the damage produced by excitotoxins. So, what we see is a viscous cycle of
immune activation, excitotoxin and cytokine excretion, and free radical
production. The latter starts the cycle all over again.
The Role of Autoimmunity and Viral Persistence
Studies in autistic children have shown that a state of immune attack on the
brain is occurring. Similar findings are seen with neurodegenerative diseases
and the Gulf War Syndrome. It must be appreciated that this autoimmunity was
triggered by the vaccinations and by organisms contaminating the
vaccinations. Once started, the immune reaction cannot stop, thus triggering
all the destructive reactions I have discussed.
Dr. Garth Nicolson has shown a direct connection between mycoplasma
contamination of vaccines and the 200 percent increased incidence of ALS in
Gulf War veterans. The disorder is produced by the same mechanism described
Another, even more common, problem is the use of live viruses in vaccines.
The reason live viruses can be used is that they are weakened by passing them
through a series of cultures--a process called attenuation. These attenuated,
non-disease-causing viruses are then injected in hopes of stimulating the
body to produce an immune attack.
The problem with this idea is two-fold.
First, we now know that in far too many cases these viruses escape the immune
system and take up residence in the body--for a lifetime. A recent autopsy
study of elderly individuals found that 20 percent of the brains contained
live measles viruses and 45 percent of the other organs contained live
measles viruses. Similar findings have been described in autistic children
and the measles virus is identical genetically to the one used in the
vaccine. The second problem is that most of these viruses were found to be
highly mutated. In fact, different mutations were found among viruses in
various organs in the same individual.
This has been a secret kept from the public.
These attenuated viruses undergo mutation brought on by the presence of free
radicals in the tissues and organs and they can mutate into virulent,
disease-causing organisms. Recent studies have confirmed this frightening
finding. In fact, a large percentage of Alzheimer’s disease patients have
live viruses in their brain as compared to normal individuals. Once these
live viruses are injected, they cannot be removed. Because the viruses stay
in the body, they will be under constant free radical exposure, which can
increase during times of stress, illness, exercise and with aging. It is the
free radicals that cause the virus to mutate.
In essence, the viruses can exist in the brain, or any organ, either silently
and slowly producing destruction of the brain or spinal cord or producing
sudden disease once the virus mutates to a highly lethal form.
We have seen that the policy of giving numerous vaccinations to individuals,
especially infants and small children, is shear idiocy. A considerable number
of studies have shown conclusively that such a practice can lead to severe
injury to the brain by numerous mechanisms. Because the child’s brain is
undergoing a period of rapid growth from the third trimester of pregnancy
until age 2 years, his or her brain is at considerable risk from this insane
We have also seen that live-virus vaccines and contaminated vaccines hold a
special risk in that the viruses tend to persist in a substantial number of
individuals and that free radicals can cause the latent viruses to transform
by genetic mutation into disease-causing organisms later in life. It is vital
that anyone scheduled for vaccination follow a schedule that allows no more
than one vaccine every six months, allowing the immune system time to
Live-virus vaccines should be avoided.
This was recently illustrated by the switch from the live polio vaccine to
the killed virus. All cases of polio after the introduction of the vaccine,
in the developed world, came from the vaccine itself. This was known from the
Finally, it is vital that anyone undergoing vaccination should start
nutritional supplementation and adhere to a healthy diet before vaccination
occurs. Vaccine complications are far fewer in individuals with good
The Danger of Overvaccination with the Present Vaccine Policy
by Dr. Russell Blaylock, M.D.
Vaccine authorities, that is, those who make vaccine policy for our children,
are of the opinion that physicians can give children an unlimited number of
inoculations without any significant untoward effects, despite a growing
abundance of scientific evidence and clinical experience to the contrary.
Before we look at some of this evidence we need to instill a little historical
accuracy and dispel some myths concerning the efficacy and role played by
vaccine policy in eliminating disease epidemics.
As a physician, I was taught, both in undergraduate school and medical school,
that the great epidemics – smallpox, measles, pertussis, etc. – were eventually
eliminated by a public-health policy, which initiated mandatory vaccines for all
children. Most of the lay public also accepts this myth.
Yet, historical studies, summarized in Neil Z. Miller’s book, clearly
demonstrate that for most of the deadly epidemic diseases, death rates fell
well before vaccine policies were initiated. For example, measles death rates in
both the United States and Great Britain fell more than 90%
twenty years before the measles vaccine program was initiated in 1960. Pertussis
death rates fell more than 80% prior to when the pertussis vaccine was made
These impressive declines in death rates from these epidemics have been
attributed to an improvement in public-health measures and improved nutrition.
If we examine death rates from these diseases today, we can clearly see the
importance of these two preventatives.
Periodically, measles and pertussis mini-epidemics occur in the United States
and death rates are extremely small. Yet in Africa and other undeveloped
countries, similar epidemics kill thousands – the difference – poor
public-health systems and poor nutrition in these high-risk areas. Also of
importance, in most of these undeveloped countries there is a high incidence of
parasitic infection (malaria, schistosoma, etc.) in the population, which
drastically lowers nutrition and immunity.
Yet, health authorities in this country scare people into accepting present and
future vaccine policies by historical stories of mass death from
epidemics of these diseases. Likewise, if we examine the high death rates during
epidemics in the developed countries, we see that most occurred during world
wars and periods of famine.
Another myth is that vaccines provide long-term, even lifetime, protection.
Linked with this is the grand deception of “herd immunity.” Herd
immunity is based on the idea that if 80% of a population is successfully
immunized against a disease, then the rest of the population is
protected against an epidemic. Likewise, immunization rates below this level
endanger us all.
We are now living in the age of mass retirement of the baby boomers, my
generation. As children, we were immunized against smallpox, diphtheria,
pertussis, and a few others of the potentially epidemic diseases. Therefore, the
vaccine proponents imply that we have been free of epidemics of these diseases
because of “herd immunity,” that is, that 80% of the population (most of who are
in my generation) remains immune.
A number of new studies have shown that in fact immunity from these vaccines
lasts only 3 to 10 years at best (some studies indicate shorter periods of 3 to
4 years). That means that while most of us thought we were immunized, in fact,
the vast majority of this nation has no immune protection remaining from the
vaccines. It also means that far below 80% of the nation is presently protected
from infections by these agents. This means that for the past 40 years or more
we have been, according to the health authorities, living without the protection
of “herd immunity.”
Silently, these vaccine promoters have conducted studies, which have shown that
even today our children’s vaccines are lasting no more than 4 years. In fact,
they are suggesting that all children receive booster vaccines every 4 years.
This means that for the past several decades even the children have been without
protection from these vaccines – i.e., vaccine policy has, and continues to be,
predicated on a grand lie.
The Unspoken Dangers of Overvaccination of Children
Present vaccine policy in most states mandates that children receive about 34
inoculations before attending school. For the sake of convenience, many
pediatricians give a number of these vaccine injections all at once – as many as
9 injections during a single office visit.
When, even as adults, we get sick from an infection, most of the sickness comes
from our body’s immune reaction and not to the direct toxicity of the infectious
agent. This is especially so with viruses. Our body tolerates this by attempting
to quickly kill the invader and return things back to normal.
A number of studies have shown that much of the “sickness behavior”
(listlessness, weakness, headache, loss of appetite, nausea, memory disruption,
and even language dysfunction) comes from immune injury to the brain.
Fortunately, most of the injury is reversible when we recover from the
Studies have shown that with vaccination, a child’s immune activation persists
for as long as two years. This is because of the powerful immune adjuvants
(boosters) added to vaccines. Many of the adjuvants can cause brain damage
directly – such as mercury and aluminum. In fact, a new emerging
musculo-neurologic syndrome has been uncovered called macrophagic myofascitits,
which is due solely to the aluminum in vaccines.
When the pediatrician gives 6 to 9 injections in a single office visit, the
child is exposed to a massive dose of brain-damaging immune adjuvants
all at once. The child’s immune system not only goes into overdrive, it does so
for very long periods, even years.
Most parents are familiar with screaming, fitful babies following a visit to the
pediatrician for vaccines. In many cases this uncontrollable,
high-pitched crying and irritability may last for days or even months.
Pediatricians tell parents that it is just the pain caused by the injection.
This is a lie.
Having operated on a number of babies and small children, I can tell you that
they tolerate pain better than adults. A number of studies have shown that
immune-triggered brain swelling and inflammation cause this behavior.
It should also be appreciated that the toxic metals used as adjuvants in
vaccines have additive and even synergistic toxicity. That is, by adding mercury
and aluminum in a vaccine, the toxicity of both is greatly magnified. And while
mercury has been removed from a number of childhood vaccines, the CDC and
American Academy of Pediatrics, in all their wisdom, now recommend the
mercury-containing flu vaccine be given to all pregnant women, babies from age 6
to 18 months, and teenagers. In the light of all we know about mercury toxicity
to the developing brain, this can only be described as insane.
The Brain’s Special Immune System
The human brain has a special immune system that, while connected to the body’s
immune system, has special properties that make overstimulation a
special danger. A great number of studies have shown that when you vaccinate an
animal, the body’s immune system notifies the brain’s immune system an attack
This triggers the activation of the brain’s special immune cells, called
microglia. Normally these cells are quiescent (sleeping), but when activated
they can move around the brain looking for invaders.
Normally, these brain immune cells quickly kill the invader and go back to
sleep. Only mild damage, which can mostly be repaired, occurs. Yet, should the
activation be prolonged and intense, severe brain injury can occur. A recent
study found that brain microglia are chronically activated throughout the lives
of autistic children and adults, thus explaining much of the damage.
When these microglia are activated, they secrete large amounts of free radicals,
lipid peroxidation products, and excitotoxins (glutamate and
aspartate), all of which damage brain cells and their connections – a process
called by-stander damage. Studies of autistic children clearly
demonstrate elevated glutamate and aspartate levels in their spinal fluid and
We call this destructive reaction excitotoxicity. This destructive reaction is
thought to also be the central mechanism of stroke and brain trauma damage,
Alzheimer’s dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and ALS. It is also the cause of much
of the damage in cases of meningitis – viral or bacterial.
In fact, studies have shown that the eventual outcome in cases of measles,
encephalitis, and bacterial meningitis, depend on how high the brain glutamate
rises and for how long. The measles vaccine is a live-virus vaccine and autopsy
studies of elderly have shown live measles viruses in 20% their brains.
In one study reported in the prestigious journal Neurology in 2004, found that
people getting the hepatitis B vaccine have a 300% increased risk of
developing multiple sclerosis in 3 years of the vaccinations. In another study,
Dr. Hugh Fudenberg found that elderly getting a flu vaccine for 5 years in a row
increase their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease 10-fold. This mechanism
explains both observations. What will happen to the millions of babies forced to
take the hepatitis B vaccine at birth is anyone’s guess.
Mercury is a very powerful stimulator of microglial activation and interferes
with a protective mechanism used by the brain against excitotoxicity, which, in
essence, causes intense excitotoxicity in the child’s brain. Alarmingly, the
dose needed to do this is far below the amount that was, and still is, being
injected in children – and adults. For example, the flu vaccine – designed for
children and adults – contains a full dose of mercury.
It is known that excess microglial activation and brain glutamate accumulation,
as seen with overvaccination, in a baby and small child, not only damages brain
cells and connections, but interferes with brain development. From the last
trimester of intrauterine life until age two years the child’s brain is
undergoing massive developmental changes (called the brain growth spurt). By age
4, only 80% of the brain is formed and the most important part of the brain used
for social development, memory, and impulse control is not fully developed until
Overvaccination during this period interferes with the development of brain
pathways, resulting in language problems, poor attention and impulse
control, learning difficulties, and problems with social interaction while also
creating future psychological problems.
The mechanism for this damage has been carefully worked out and involves an
interaction between immune cytokines and excitatory amino acids such
as glutamate and aspartate, both of which are massively increased with
overvaccination. The presence of inflammatory immune cytokines with
elevated levels of brain glutamate damages the child’s developing brain and
triggers centers causing fear, pain, and anger (the amygdala-limbic
connections). This effect has been shown in adults as well, but is less intense.
Contaminated Vaccines a Major Problem
Connected with this special immune process is the problem of contamination of
the vaccines with either whole organisms found in live-virus vaccines, or
nucleic-acid fragments in both live-virus and killed-organism vaccines. Several
studies of commonly used vaccines have discovered live organisms, varying from
pathogenic viruses to mycoplasma, in a large percentage of vaccines. For
example, in a Japanese study of six major vaccine manufacturers, researchers
found viral contamination in as many as 56% of the samples.
Both nucleic-acid fragments and live organisms can infect tissues and initiate
chronic immune activation. Studies have shown that viral nucleic-acid fragments
can act as continuous sources of immune stimulation, thus leading to by-stander
damage to neurons and synaptic connections. This may explain the over 200%
increase in Lou Gehrig’s disease in Gulf War veterans, which has been attributed
to the 17 vaccinations they were given over a few days.
In addition, retention of these viral fragments and DNA fragments can result in
autoimmune diseases, especially in people with a genetic weakness for
autoimmunity. This may also explain the increased incidence of diabetes and
asthma in children exposed to certain vaccines. Health authorities, even though
they admit to the contamination, are quick to discount the danger. Ironically,
they admit that they do not know the long-term consequences of retention of
these viral fragments.
Also connected to these contaminants in the vaccines is the risk of cancers
years later. Most are familiar with the contamination of both the live polio
vaccine (OPV) and inactivated vaccine (IPV) with SV-40 oncogenic virus. As far
back as 1959, Dr. Bernice Eddy proved that SV-40 was oncogenic.
Dr. Michele Carbone and her co-workers have also proven that this contaminating
virus was responsible for a number of cancers in the children of women who were
exposed to the vaccine. These tumors include mesotheliomas, ependymomas,
choroids plexus papillomas, and osteosarcomas. Studies have shown that the
offspring of some 58,000 women vaccinated with the contaminated vaccines had a
13-fold higher incidence of brain tumor development than those not exposed to
Until 1992, the poliovirus vaccine was also contaminated with simian
cytomegalovirus. A recent study found that over 70% of cases of stroke are
related to this virus. These are not problems to be treated lightly, as the
vaccine promoters have chosen to do.
An Insane Vaccine Policy
Those making decisions concerning vaccine policy know little of these brain
mechanisms. Instead, they depend on out-of-date thinking and studies,
many of which are phony and paid for by vaccine manufacturers. In fact, most
pediatricians are unfamiliar with excitotoxicity or microglial
activation, rather they get their information from their specialty societies,
which are dominated by physicians receiving monies from the vaccine
manufacturers or who know nothing concerning the effects of overstimulation of
the immune system, especially its long-range effects.
The public must speak out about these issues and demand that politicians cease
legislating laws to create policies that will result in permanent
injury to themselves and their children. For more information on mercury and
brain damage see my website -www.russellblaylockmd.com
under “blog.” You may also want to review my comments on the Simpsonwood
Conference on mercury
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