Your Brain’s Special Immune Cell—the Microglia
For a long time no one considered the effect of repeated vaccinations on your brain. This was based on a mistaken conclusion that your 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 your brain directly—and more importantly, your brain’s own special immune system can be activated by vaccination.
In order to understand this, you must first understand that your brain has a special immune system that operates through unique cells called microglia. These tiny cells are scattered throughout your brain, lying dormant and waiting to be activated by a variety of stimuli. Vaccines are a very powerful activating agent for microglia.
Numerous studies have shown that when your immune system is activated, your brain’s immune cells are likewise activated.
This occurs by several pathways, which are beyond the scope of this discussion. The more powerfully your immune system is stimulated, the more intense is your brain’s reaction. Prolonged activation of your body’s immune system likewise produces prolonged activation of your brain’s immune system. The latest studies reveal that pathological activation can continue for months, years, or even decades. Therein lies the danger of our present vaccine policy.
What Happens When Your Brain’s Immune System is Activated?
Once activated, your brain’s immune cells (microglia) begin to move about your nervous system, like amoebae, secreting numerous immune chemicals (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. But the vaccine has tricked your body into believing there are!
Your microglia also secrete two chemicals that are very destructive to your brain cells and their biological processes: Glutamate and quinolinic acid. These chemicals are called excitotoxins—chemicals that cause exaggerated and continuous stimulation of your brain, thereby damaging your neurons. Microglia also dramatically increase free radical generation. Studies have shown that glutamate and quinolinic acid can rise to very dangerous levels in your brain following viral and bacterial brain infections.
The problem with so many vaccines is that your brain’s immune system is constantly activated and re-activated. This means your brain will be exposed to large amounts of excitotoxins, as well as cytokines, on a continual basis.
Your Immune System’s Collateral Damage, or “Bystander Injury”
Studies involving people with neurodegenerative disorders, such as autism, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease, have shown high levels of cytokines and excitotoxins in the nervous system. These destructive chemicals, as well as the free radicals they generate, cause a process called “bystander injury”—kind of like throwing a bomb into a crowd. Not only will some be killed directly by the blast, but those far out along the explosion radius will be killed by flying shrapnel.
Normally, your brain’s immune system activates quickly and then promptly shuts off to minimize the bystander damage. But vaccination won’t let the microglia shut down.
In infants and young children, the damage is compounded by the fact that their brains are still developing—as are their immune systems. For example, before birth, infants’ immune systems are designed to withstand being rejected by their mothers’ body, since a baby is seen as a “foreign body” by his mother’s immune system. Mother Nature has designed the fetal immune system specifically for that situation. And it isn’t immediately transformed upon birth—it takes time. Dr. Blaylock discusses this at length in his article about the dangers of excessive vaccination during brain development..
Studies confirm that babies do not respond to vaccines in the same way as adults, even by one year of age.
In your child’s developing brain, immune over-activation has been shown to be particularly damaging to the amygdala and other limbic structures. In essence, what is lost is that which makes us social human beings, able to function in a complex world of ideas and interactions—and this is what is lost with autism. What we see is a vicious cycle of immune activation, excitotoxin and cytokine excretion, and free radical production. The latter starts the cycle all over again.
The “Priming” of Your Brain’s Immune System
Certain children appear to have a higher risk for developing autism than others, for a variety of reasons. Their immune systems are more easily “primed.” Many of these children develop infections at a higher rate than less vulnerable children, which may be due to a hidden developmental immunodeficiency. For example, many physicians treating autistic children have noted a higher incidence of ear infections. Many of these children then end up with Candida infections as a result of antibiotic treatment. Also, cytomegalovirus is a powerful virus that commonly infects newborns and small children, especially if they are immunosuppressed.
Any of these infections will “prime” the microglia, shifting these normally resting cells into overdrive. Microglia can also be primed by:
Heavy metal toxicity
Exposure to excitotoxins in the environment, such as pesticides, fluoride, mercury, and aluminum, and MSG
Central nervous system trauma
Once primed, if microglia are stimulated again within weeks or even months, they generate extremely high levels of free radicals, lipid peroxidation products, inflammatory cytokines and two potent excitotoxins, glutamate and quinolinic acid. All it takes is the insult of ONE more vaccine, or ONE more infection, and the stage is set for the autism cascade.
Studies have shown that this is the MAJOR mechanism for both viral and vaccine-related brain injury.
I should note here that microglial activation is not limited to autism. Activation of microglia has been found to be a factor in a growing list of diseases, including:
Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Microglial activation is also a major player in many types of brain disease, and vaccines are a powerful trigger for it.
The “Gift” that Keeps On Giving
Vaccines are different from natural infections in that vaccines cause brain immune stimulation for very prolonged periods. With a natural infection, your immune system quickly clears the infection and then shuts down the immune reaction (activated microglia), allowing repair of the damage done. This shutting down of the microglia is very important. There is evidence that, with repeated and excessive vaccine-triggered immune stimulation, the microglia do not shut down—which is what the Vargas study showed. Chronic activation can lead to significant damage to a number of brain microstructures, especially synaptic connections and dendrites, according to Dr. Blaylock.
With some 26 inoculations within the first year of a child’s life, most of these will be spaced within one to two months of each other, which means the priming and activation cycle of the microglia will be virtually continuous. A baby might be born “already primed” if his mother got a flu shot while pregnant. Vaccines assault your child’s immune system from multiple angles:
Antigens, such as pertussis toxin and live measles virus, can trigger runaway immune and inflammatory responses.
Preservatives such as Thimerosal, which is 49 percent ethyl mercury. Many of the symptoms of autism are similar to those of mercury poisoning.
Aluminum (found in most vaccines) and other adjuvants (MSG, MRC-5 cellular protein, lipopolysaccharide or LPS, squalene, and various antibiotics), added to prolong immune stimulation. Heavy metal levels have been found to be elevated in the blood and urine of autistic individuals.
Bacterial and viral contaminants (and their particulate matter) contained in vaccine serum.
Human DNA contaminants in vaccines (related to new methods of vaccines preparation).
Mercury, aluminum and other heavy metals are powerful activators of microglial activity in VERY small concentrations. Mercury causes glutamate to accumulate in your brain by inhibiting the agents that clear it out. The excess glutamate is taken up by astrocytes, magnifying excitotoxicity and mitochondrial energy loss. Astrocytes are the sites of greatest mercury accumulation in your central nervous system, and microglia are the second most abundant sites of mercury accumulation.