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Unformatted text preview: rimed rats, she discovered, were dramatically over
expressing cytokines in response to the second hit (Journal of Neuroscience, 2011). "Their immune system is changed
longterm as a result of the neonatal infection," she says. "And because the immune system impacts brain function, they
are altered behaviorally."
That same pattern appears in many neurodegenerative diseases in humans, she says. "A peripheral infection will
suddenly make mental functions decline sharply, and you can measure concentrations of cytokines in the cerebrospinal
fluid that were previously undetectable."
Inflammation running wild
Other animal studies have further filled in some details. Paul Patterson, PhD, a neurobiologist at the California Institute of
Technology and author of the book "Infectious Behavior: BrainImmune Connections in Autism, Schizophrenia, and
Depression" (2011), explores the origins of mental illness in mice. He's infected pregnant mice with influenza virus and
also stimulated their immune systems in the absence of a pathogen. "When you activate the mothe...
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