Vaccines and Brain Inflammation | International Medical
Council on Vaccination
Harold E Buttram, MD and Catherine J Frompovich
Harold Buttram, MD
June 1, 2011
Inflammation is a biochemical process resulting from pathogens, irritants, or
damaged cells. It should not be compared to infection, although inflammation can
result from infection. A cascade of biochemical events propagates and matures
the inflammatory response, involving the local vascular system, the immune
system, and various cells within the injured tissue.  [Emphasis added]
Several diseases have their origin in the inflammatory process: Alzheimer’s , coronary artery disease [3-
6], and cancer. [7-9] Other disorders with which inflammation is associated include acne vulgaris, asthma,
autoimmune diseases, chronic prostatitis, glomerulonephritis, hypersensitivities, inflammatory bowel disease,
pelvic inflammatory disease, reperfusion injury, rheumatoid arthritis, transplant rejection, vasculitis, interstitial
cystitis. Inflammation, therefore, is well known in the etiology of disease.
Furthermore, inflammation is a protective attempt of the organism to remove harmful stimuli and is achieved
by the increased movement of plasma and leukocytes (especially granulocytes) to initiate healing. 
Encephalitis is an acute inflammation of the brain, usually associated with meningitis. Some symptoms
associated with encephalitis include fever, drowsiness, fatigue, and convulsions. The primary diagnostic
procedure is a lumbar puncture with removal of cerebrospinal fluid for culture and microscopic analysis.
Another aspect of encephalitis known as Rasmussen’s encephalitis causes chronic inflammation with
infiltration of T lymphocytes into the brain leading to atrophy and epilepsy.
Several viruses including polio, chicken pox, and West Nile are capable of causing encephalitis.
And, an allergic reaction to vaccinations , as per the National Institutes of Health, also can cause
encephalitis with brain swelling. Encephalitis was included as one of the vaccine injuries to be compensated
for under the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. 
Vulnerabilities of the Infant Brain, Uniquely Susceptible to Lipid Peroxidation
By way of explanation, the term “lipid peroxidation” refers to lipid degradation resulting from free radical
generation from a series of pro-inflammatory chain reactions, which can be very damaging if the process is
prolonged. “Free-radicals” in turn refer to atoms with unpaired electrons, resulting in heightened instability
and reactivity. The end result of abnormally prolonged lipid peroxidation may be abnormal brain
inflammation with secondary brain edema (swelling).
Of all the organs of the body, the brain is the most susceptible to oxidative degradation, commonly referred
to “lipid peroxidation.” Although an infant’s brain receives 15 percent of normal cardiac output, it utilizes
nearly 25 percent of the body’s oxygenation.  As elevated oxygen levels in the environment bring
increased risk of explosions or fire, comparable physiological risks exist in the brain. In addition to being a
highly oxygenated organ, the human brain has heightened vulnerability to harmful peroxidation because the
brain has by far the highest fat content of any organ of the body with membrane lipids constituting 60
percent of the solid matter.  In addition, both brain and retina contain a relatively high percentage of the
omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) [10-20] and arachidonic acid (ARA) that
serve as a primary building block of the membranes of these structures. DHA and ARA are high in
energetics, but they are far more unstable and vulnerable to pro-inflammatory peroxidation (oxidative lipid
degradation) than saturated fats. [13-22]
In essence, the brain might be compared with highly inflammable dry grass or brush enclosed in an area with
elevated oxygen levels, needing only a spark to set off a conflagration of inflammatory lipid peroxidation. In
all likelihood, vaccine adjuvants provide this spark far more often than generally realized.
The Pourcyrous Study: A Major Milestone in Medical History
A study on primary immunization of 239 premature infants with gestational ages of less than 35 weeks by M.
Pourcyrous et al. (Journal of Pediatrics, 2007)  was conducted to determine the incidence of cardiorespiratory
events and abnormal C-Reaction Protein (CRP) elevations associated with administration of a
single vaccine or multiple vaccines simultaneously at or about two months of age. The vaccines given were:
DTaP (Infanrix), Hib (ActHIB), HBV (Engerix-B), IPV (Inactivated-IPOL™), and PCV7 (Prevnar).
CRP is a standard blood test indicator for body inflammation, which in the present study would represent
brain inflammation. CRP levels and cardio-respiratory manifestations were monitored for three days following
immunizations in a neonatal intensive care unit sponsored by the University of Tennessee. Elevations of
CRP levels occurred in 70 percent of the infants administered single vaccines and in 85 percent of those
administered multiple vaccines, 43 percent of which reached abnormal levels.
As the Pourcyrous study noted,
A plausible explanation for variation in the magnitude of CRP responses to immunization may
be attributed to viral versus bacterial antigenic stimulation, minor variability in the quantity of
antigens in different vaccine lots, the multiple antigenic component of a vaccine, the presence
and the quantity of aluminum adjuvant, genetic polymorphism or to decrease immunologic
responses in some preterm infants. 
Overall, 16 percent of infants had potentially lethal vaccine-associated cardio-respiratory events with
episodes of apnea (cessation of breathing) and/or bradycardia (abnormal slowing of the pulse).
Intraventricular (brain) hemorrhages occurred in 17 percent of those receiving single vaccines and in 24
percent of those receiving multiple vaccines.
Pourcyrous, et al. further indicated that
Other investigators also have reported on cardiorespiratory events following immunization with
DTaP-based multivalent vaccines or when DTaP was given simultaneously with other vaccines.
Omenaca et al. after excluding from their study infants with chronic illnesses and using only
one lot of combination vaccine, observed cardiorespiratory events in 42% of infants with BW
[body weight] <1000 g. 
Furthermore, the Pourcyrous study noted that the DTaP vaccine was associated with the highest incidence
of cardio-respiratory events in those infants given a single vaccine.
1. Brain inflammation as indicated by elevated C-Reactive Protein tests.
2. Brain swelling (edema) as one of the cardinal signs of inflammation.
3. Potentially lethal cardio-respiratory events.
4. Brain hemorrhages.
The Pourcyrous study also raises a question. Why were the brain hemorrhages in the Pourcyrous study
intraventricular rather than subdural, the latter almost invariably being attributed to Shaken Baby
Syndrome/Non-Accidental Injury (SBS/NAI) in hospital emergency rooms in the absence of a known major
accidental trauma. The answer is that the Pourcyrous study was performed on preterm infants, some born
less than 30 weeks term, in whom intraventricular hemorrhages are known to be characteristic. This may be
due, at least in part, to the infant brain/skull interactions at different stages of development. In preterm
infants the skull would be highly flaccid, providing little if any resistance to a swollen (edematous) brain.
Early animal studies have shown that brain inflammation frequently ensues following vaccines and is also
commonly associated with brain hemorrhages.[26-28] In term infants, in contrast to preterm births, the inner
surface of the skull presents a relatively firm surface, and when brain inflammation and swelling take place
from vaccines, it would require very little swelling for the outer surface of the brain to impact against the inner
surface of the skull and, tourniquet-like, cut off the passive outflow of blood from the subdural venous
network. With cranial arterial blood coming in at much higher pressures, this would predictably cause a
precipitous rise in intra-cerebral venous pressure, the true cause of many subdural hemorrhages.
According to a report by W. Squier and J. Mack (2009) , most childhood subdural hemorrhages are
identified in infants 0-4 months of age, a time when the subdural compartment consists of 10-15 layers of
loosely arranged flake-like cells with fluid between them and few intercellular junctions.  Under these
highly permeable conditions it is predictable that a rapid surge of intracerebral venous pressure would force
blood from the subdural venous network into these loosely connected subdural membranes, the true cause
of many subdural hemorrhages now being erroneously attributed to Shaken Baby Syndrome/Non-Accidental
Proinflammatory Vaccine Adjuvants
Vaccine adjuvants are substances added to vaccine formulations during the manufacturing process that are
designed to boost and prolong the overall immunological responses to vaccines. This results in a priming of
the brain’s immune cells, the microglia and astrocytes, followed by intense microglial and astrocyte reactions
with each successive series of vaccination. As reviewed by Viera Scheibner, PhD, there are three general
classes of adjuvants:
1. Aluminum: Aluminum phosphate, Aluminum hydroxide, Aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate, and Aluminum
2. Various oils including Freund’s emulsified oil, mineral oil, emulsified peanut oil (adjuvant 65), and
squalene (shark oil),
3. Bacterial products including Bordettella pertussis (whooping cough), Mycobacterium (tuberculosis),
cholera toxin, and others.  Adjuvants in various vaccines are listed on vaccine package inserts. 
In what may be the most comprehensive review to date on the pathophysiology of adverse vaccine reactions,
neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock has compiled a mass of evidence that repeated stimulation of the brain’s
immune system results in intense reactions of microglial and astrocyte cells, which serve as the brain’s
immune system, with each successive series of vaccinations. This is primarily the result of vaccine
adjuvants that are added expressly for immune stimulation purposes. [33-35]
In explanation, microglia and astrocytes are first-line immunological responder cells located in the brain that
defend against foreign infectious invaders. Normally this response, such as to a viral infection, is of limited
duration and harmless to the brain. However, when microglia and astrocytes are over-stimulated for
prolonged periods, which vaccine adjuvants are designed to bring about, this extended activation can be
very destructive to the brain causing inflammation and/or bleeding.
Because of the critical dependence of the developing brain on a timed sequence of cytokine, and excitatory
amino acid fluctuations, according to Blaylock, sequential vaccinations can result in alterations of this critical
process that will not only result in synaptic and dendritic loss, but abnormal (nerve) pathway development.
When microglia are excessively activated by vaccines, especially chronically, they secrete a
number of proinflammatory cytokines, free radicals, lipid peroxidation products, and the two
excitotoxins, glutamate and quinolenic acid, which may become proinflammatory and highly
destructive when activated for prolonged periods. [Emphasis added]
This process was suggested as the principle mechanism resulting in the pathological as well as clinical
features of autism.
As a potential connecting link between vaccines, brain inflammation, and autism, Diana Vargas and
colleagues (2005)  examined the brains from autopsies of 11 autistic patients ranging in ages from 5 to
44 years, in which they found the presence of extensively activated microglia and astrocytes (the brain’s
immune cells) along with proinflammatory cytokines.
Normally dormant, the microglia and astrocytes can become very destructive when overstimulated for
prolonged periods of time, which vaccine adjuvants are designed to bring about. As with the Pourcyrous
study, it was the first study of its kind, clearly documenting a significant association between autism and brain
For many years two forms of aluminum, aluminum hydroxide and aluminum phosphate, were the only
compounds specifically authorized by the FDA to be used as vaccine adjuvants. These virtually insoluble
aluminum compounds serve to dramatically boost and prolong the immune reaction to the vaccination by
prolonged activation of the macrophagic immune sub-system in some people. [33-45] Currently four forms
are used in vaccines according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Because vaccine adjuvants are designed to produce prolonged immune stimulation, they pose a particular
hazard for the nervous system. Studies have shown that immune activation following vaccination can last up
to two years, which means that destructive over-stimulation of microglia may also be primed for this length of
time or even longer. In addition, it is known that aluminum accumulates in the brain and that this
accumulation is associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and with Gulf War Syndrome. [43-45]
As pointed out by L Tomljenjovic and CA Shaw:
“Aluminum is an experimentally demonstrated neurotoxin and the most commonly used
vaccine adjuvant. Despite almost 90 years of widespread use of aluminum adjuvants, medical
science’s medical understanding of their mechanisms of action is still remarkably poor. There
is also a concerning scarcity of data on toxicology and pharmacokinetics of these compounds.
In spite of this, the notion that aluminum in vaccines is safe appears to be widely accepted.”
Experimental research, in contrast, clearly shows that aluminum in adjuvant form…carries a risk for
autoimmunity, long-term brain inflammation and subsequent neurological complications and may thus have
profound and widespread adverse health complications. 
Unlabeled Peanut Oil
In a newly released book, The History of the Peanut Allergy Epidemic , Heather Fraser thoroughly
documents how highly allergenic peanut oil came to be used in vaccinations without being listed on the
package insert. With her background as a historian and mother of a child that required repeated
hospitalizations for severe peanut allergy, Ms. Fraser wrote from personal knowledge and experience.
The first use of peanut oil in vaccines was reported in 1964 by The New York Times, which announced that
pharmaceutical giant Merck had begun to use a new vaccine ingredient that promised to extend immunity
against influenza, polio, and other illnesses.  When injected into the muscle, the oil was gradually
metabolized by the body providing a sustained release of the other ingredients and producing 13-fold higher
levels of antibodies than had formerly taken place from aqueous vaccine formulations. 
In the 1970s and 1980s, following modifications of the original adjuvant 65-4, the use of peanut oil in
vaccines became common practice. [49-51]
As tabulated by Heather Fraser, it was during this time period that the incidence of peanut allergies began to
rise in exponential proportions, as did the incidence of Guillain-Barré Syndrome. 
Toxic Environmental Chemicals and the Work of Rachel Carson
In the 1960s Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring sent a shudder through our nation’s spine as she quietly warned
of growing environmental havoc brought about by our advancing technology, largely involving hundreds of
petrochemical-derived products (pesticides, etc.), which are fat-soluble and therefore of foremost danger to
the brain and nervous system. Although there has been some recognition of the dangers from these
chemicals, there appears to be little awareness that toxic environmental chemicals of commercial origin may
be replacing infectious microorganisms as the primary threat to human health and life on this planet. 
One research area in which these dangers are being graphically demonstrated is in animal studies reporting
losses of cerebellar neurons and Purkinje cells resulting from alcohol and/or OXR-saporin administration.
Vitamin C and Cardiovascular Disease
As reported by TE Levy in “Vitamin C and Cardiovascular Disease” (Townsend Letter, 2011) , the author
makes the case that atherosclerotic coronary artery disease begins with severe depletion of vitamin C in the
intima (connective tissue and collagen) of the coronary arterial wall. In the degenerative state of
atherosclerosis, there is always a loss of the gel-like nature of the arterial basement membrane.
As described by Levy:
“The proliferative state of atherosclerosis comprises the longest or most extended phase of
plaque development. Once the basement membrane has lost its gel-like nature, the
endothelial cell layer has become more porous, and the sieve-like nature of its collagen mesh
has lost much of its integrity, there is a steady invasion of blood solutes like calcium, lipids,
fats, and even pathogenic microbes with their associated toxins. Such microbes often, but not
invariably, originate from dental foci.”
If the above information is applied to the area of brain inflammation, with pro-inflammatory vaccine adjuvants
rapidly depleting vitamin C, which is already marginal in a large portion of our society , we have a ready
explanation for the 70 percent elevations of C-Reactive Protein with single vaccines and 85 percent
elevations with multiple vaccines. For these reasons the Pourcyrous study will remain incomplete until
plasma vitamin C levels are also tested following vaccines as a part of the study.
As the Pourcyrous study points out, cardio-respiratory events occurred within 48 hours in preterm infants
vaccinated while in hospital, indicating that there were no Shaken Baby Syndrome nor Non-Accidental Injury
incidents that could influence those cardio-respiratory events, which parents apparently also can experience
at home after children are vaccinated and for which they seek hospital emergency room treatment for their
Vaccines, Vitamin C Depletion, Brain Inflammation, and the Current Epidemic of
As described above, it is well established that chronic tissue inflammation tends to be associated with tissue
destruction and/or malignant degeneration. The section on cardiovascular disease by TE Levy showing a
correlation between tissue degradation of coronary arteries and vitamin C depletion provides a major
advancement in our understanding that has long been stressed by earlier pioneers in this field. Although
scientific research into the potential therapeutic role of vitamin C for degenerative diseases remains in its
infancy, some things are already known including studies showing that hydroxylation (oxidation) of proline
and lysine into procollagen is carried out by the enzyme prolyl hydroxylase, which requires vitamin C as a
Although lacking in meaningful NIH-sponsored vaccine safety tests to date, there is a substantial body of
circumstantial evidence that vaccines are causally related to the current childhood autism epidemic, the sum
total of which shifts the balance into “more likely than not within a reasonable degree of medical certainty.”
Several autism-free zones exist in the United States in what is otherwise a sea of childhood autism.
Most prominent among these are Amish communities in Pennsylvania and Ohio where parents rarely
vaccinate their children. The only exceptions were several vaccinated children that were adopted. 
“Analysis finds Evidence of Autism in Many Vaccine Injury Cases”  For years, government health
officials and most other medical authorities have dismissed the idea that autism might be linked to
childhood vaccines; and the special court set up by Congress to compensate people hurt by vaccines
has denied thousands of claims over the past decade by parents who have contended that their
children developed autism because of their inoculations. But a new report in a New York law school
journal, the Pace Environmental Law Review,  could re-ignite the often-inflammatory debate over
the issue. Based on a sampling of cases in which plaintiffs won settlements or awards in vaccine court,
the authors found that many of the victims demonstrated evidence of autism even though—as a legal
tactic—their lawsuits emphasized other injuries. Of the 170 cases the report’s authors examined, 32,
or 19 percent, provided documented evidence of autism or autism-like symptoms. The evidence in
some included that the court found evidence of autism or “autism-like symptoms”… or that third-party
medical, educational, or other court records confirmed an autistic disorder.
Fox Morning News, 11 May, 2011, 8:27AM: (Fox25/MyFoxBoston.com): Congress will hold hearings
Thursday about a possible link between childhood autism and vaccination—a thought that many
thought had been put to rest earlier this year when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
released a study suggesting that research does not point to an association between the two. But
released a study suggesting that research does not point to an association between the two. But
according to information discovered in documents by safeminds.org, at least 83 families received
federal compensation for vaccine-related injuries, and each of these 83 children suffered from autism.
Few are aware of the fact that the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines were administered
separately for a number of years in the USA with only slight increases in the incidence of childhood
autism prior to the introduction of the MMF vaccine in 1979. It was only following the introduction of
this triple vaccine that the incidence of childhood autism showed a sharp and dramatic increase. [63-
Gross Deficiencies in State-of-the-Art Vaccine Safety Tests
During the Congressional Hearings on Vaccine Safety (1999-Dec. 2004) an FDA panel was repeatedly
asked, “Where are your (safety) studies?” The panel could only reply with unsatisfactory answers such as,
“They would be very expensive.” However, it was not until January 14, 2009 that it became evident that the
avoidance of meaningful vaccine safety studies has long been an established policy by the National Institute
of Health, the primary federal agency responsible for funding health research in the United States, as
reported by the autistic support group, Age of Autism:
January 17, 2009
National Autism Association on IACC Removal of
Vaccine Safety Research, A Press Release from
The National Autism Association:
“Washington, DC – In an unprecedented move on Wednesday, Jan. 14th, the Interagency
Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) removed previously approved vaccine safety research
from the Strategic Plan for Autism Research objectives. With apparent backing from the CDC
representation, committee chair and HIMH director Tom Insel implied that vaccine research
conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would constitute a conflict given the
involvement of Health and Human Services with ongoing autism cases filed in the federal
vaccine court. The committee’s action is in direct opposition to the majority of its public
members who support vaccine research, and to the Congressional directive of the Combating
Autism Act of 2006 (CAA) which specifically called for research into potential links between
vaccines, vaccine components, and the autism spectrum disorder.
“ ‘In addition to the CAA’s mandate for vaccine research, the legislation specifically called for
the establishment of key research activities to arrive from meaningful public involvement and
advice through the IACC which includes both government and private representatives.
“ ‘Ignoring the Congressional mandate for investigation to links between vaccines and the
development of autism is a slap in the face to both Congress and the citizens of this country’,
said National Autism Association board chair and parent Lori Mellwain. ‘Even the most basic
studies comparing health outcomes of vaccinated vs nonvaccinated populations are
consistently ignored despite the increasing support for them from legislatures, physicians, and
“ ‘Dr. Insel’s observation that the NIH is incapable of conducting conflict-free research
supports what a growing number of parents believe,’ commented Ms. Mellwain. ‘While the
motivation for refusing to allow this critical research to go forward is likely more related to fear
of what such studies would reveal, it is clear that the system managing our vaccine program is
corrupt beyond repair and needs a complete overhaul.’” 
Based on these revelations, the claims of health authorities that there is no proof of a relationship between
vaccines and autism has been technically correct, but this is only because the tests which could prove such
a relationship have been systematically and knowingly avoided by the NIH and other government health
agencies over a period of many years, which is confirmed by the above declaration by the National Autism
However, since the U.S. Congressional Hearings on Vaccine Safety, 1999-December, 2004, which found
gross deficiencies in vaccine safety testing, steadily increasing numbers of highly reputable studies have
been appearing in the medical literature indicating that significant harm may be taking place from current
childhood vaccine programs. The Pourcyrous study cited above  is offered as a prime example.
Safety Recommendation for Parents Who Choose or are Mandated to Vaccinate Their
Children, Based on Guidelines of the Autism Research Institute
1. Never vaccinate a sick child, even if just a runny nose from a viral infection, as all viruses are
immunosuppressive, rendering the child more vulnerable to adverse vaccine reactions.
2. Never allow more than two vaccines per visit; avoid all combination vaccines.
3. Administer vitamin C before and after each vaccination, ideally in doses of 500 mgs every four hours
during waking hours. Also give vitamin A in standard doses.
4. All forms of sugar should be avoided for several days before and after vaccines, as sugar has been
shown to diminish the protective activities of the immune system by depressing white blood cells’ ability
to destroy bacteria. 
The Pourcyrous study confirms cardio-respiratory events occurred within 48 hours of vaccination for preterm
infants in a hospital neonatal intensive care unit where no other conditions such as Shaken Baby Syndrome
(SBS) or Non-Accidental Injury (NAI) presented. That study also indicates a standard medical test, CReactive
Protein, can be used to check for and confirm inflammation associated with brain trauma resulting
from vaccine adverse reactions such as cardio-respiratory events.
The roles of prenatal dietary vitamin C and birth trauma also must be considered in infant brain anomalies
instead of Shaken Baby Syndrome or Non-Accidental Injury that hospital emergency room doctors are quick
to give as diagnoses in infants who suffer adverse vaccine reactions, especially when no physical trauma is
present on the body.
On vaccine package inserts, cardio-respiratory events such as those documented in the Pourcyrous study,
e.g., apnea, bradycardia, gastroesophageal reflux, hemorrhage / inflammation of the brain, and oxygen
desaturation, must be listed under contraindications or adverse reactions.
Vitamin C blood levels can be helpful in determining post-vaccination brain inflammation occurrences.
Furthermore, the importance of proper vitamin C levels is suggested as possible prevention for cardiorespiratory
events post-vaccination in both preterm and term infants. Vitamin C correlates directly with
prenatal nutrition and the pregnant mother’s diet being nutrient rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.
International Medical Council on Vaccination │www.vaccinationcouncil.org
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