Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills

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"...Unfortunately, MSG is not the only taste enhancing food additive known to cause damage to the nervous system. In fact, there is a whole class of chemicals that can produce very similar damage—they all share one important property. When neurons are exposed to these substances, they become very excited and fire their impulses very rapidly until they reach a state of extreme exhaustion. Several hours later these neurons suddenly die, as if the cells were excited to death. As a result, neuroscientists have dubbed this class of chemicals “excitotoxins”...." - Introduction, p.xx. Page images (black on white) re-engineered from Internet Archive pdf. Original page warp largely left as-is.

Author(s): BLAYLOCK, Russell L.
Edition: 2
Publisher: Health Press
Year: 1997

Language: English
Commentary: Page images (black on white) with ocr text layer; laboriously re-engineered (without addressing most page warp) from the colour Internet Archive compressed pdf at https://archive.org/details/excitotoxinstast0000blay and https://libgen.is/book/index.php?md5=E5FE5422B7E8886F3C8AD67E59C020DB
City: Santa Fe, NM
Tags: acetylcholine, algae, ALS, Alzheimer's, antioxidant, Aspartame, aspartate, blood-brain barrier, calcium channel, cystein, dementia, excitatory amino acids, FASEB, Huntington’s, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hypoglycemia, lipid peroxidation, magnesium, mitochondria, monosodium glutamate, kainate, MSG, NAC, nervous system, neurodegenerative, neurotoxin, Nutrasweet, Parkinson's, free radicals, stroke, taurine

Excitotoxins - Front Cover
[illustration: The Brain]
Title Page
Printer's Imprint
Half-title (2)
1. A Crash Course In How The Brain Works
[Fig.1-1: Lobes of the Brain]
The Interior Of The Brain
[Fig.1-2: The Brain: Grey Matter and White Matter]
[Fig.1-3: Location of Basal Ganglion Deep in the Brain]
[Fig.1-4: Fibers Connecting Various Brain Regions]
The Brain Stem: The Gateway To The Brain
[Fig.1-5: Hypothalamus Controlling the Pituitary Gland]
The Master Gland And Its Control
The Electrochemical Brain
[Fig.1-6: A Neuron: dendrite, cell body, axon; Glutamate receptors]
Synaptic Transfer Of Information
[Fig.1-7: The Synapse]
Putting It All Together
The Blood Brain Barrier: Protecting The Brain
[Fig.1-8: The Blood-Brain Barrier]
2. Very Special Amino Acids
[Fig.2-1: Electron Transport System]
[Fig.2-2: Electron Transport System produces most cellular energy: free radicals]
What Is An Amino Acid?
Table 2-1: Classification of Amino acids
A Lock And Key
[Fig.2-3: The Lock and Key Theory]
[Fig.2-4: The Lock and Key Theory applied to the glutamate receptor]
[Fig.2-5: Distribution of glutamate neuron fibers in the brain]
[Fig.2-6: Extensive Glutamatergic Nerve Pathways Within the Brain]
3. Exciting Cells To Death
Excitotoxins: Too Much Of A Good Thing
[Fig.3-1: Circumventricular Organs of the Brain]
Excitotoxins And The Developing Brain
How Excitotoxins Work
[Fig.3-2: How the brain controls glutamate concentrations around the neuron]
[Fig.3-3: Death of neurons characteristic of MSG, aspartate and other excitotoxins]
[Fig.3-4: Second messenger system of the brain]
[Fig.3-5: How calcium activates destructive reactions within the neuron]
[Fig.3-6: Schematic demonstration of free radical damage to the neuron]
Excitotoxins And Brain Cell Energy
[Fig.3-7: pumps handling excess calcium buildup within the cell]
Analyzing Research Data
4. Effect of Excitotoxins on the Developing Brain
[Fig.4-1: A Typical Neuron and its Extensive Dendrite Tree]
[Fig.4-2: migration of neurons from the inner germinal layer to the cortex during embryonic development]
[Fig.4-3: Extensive Connections of Nerve Fibers to a Single Neuron; Plasticity of the Brain]
The Malleable Brain: Plasticity
[Fig.4-4: Typical Neuron: dendrite with dense synaptic buttons -vs- few synaptic buttons]
Protecting The Developing Brain
[Fig.4-5: Maternal glutamate and aspartate blood levels may enter the baby’s brain]
Excitotoxins In Food And The Pregnant Woman
Endocrine Effects Of Excitotoxins: Hormones
[Fig.4-6: Mouse hypothalamus before and after dosing with glutamate]
[Fig.4-7: Glutamate a major neurotransmitter for control system of hypothalamus hormones causing pituitary gland to release its hormones]
Do Children Get Enough Excitotoxins In Their Diets To Cause Problems?
[Fig.4-8: Levels of plasma glutamate in mice and in humans]
[Fig.4-9: hypothetical plasma concentration of glutamate required to destroy neurons in the child hypothalamus]
Truth In The Sciences
5. Creeping Death: The Neurodegenerative Diseases
Neurological Time Bombs
Designer Drugs: The Big Surprise
Paralysis Agitans: Parkinson’s Disease
[Fig.5-1: Nigrostriatal System]
[Fig.5-2: Small silent stroke allows excitoxins to by-pass the blood-brain barrier]
Table 5-1: Electron Transport Chain
[Fig.5-3: Pigmented cells of the substantia nigra a principal site of injury in Parkinson’s disease]
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Lou Gehrig’s Disease
[Fig.5-4: Spinal cord, anterior horn cell: neurons destroyed in ALS]
Huntington’s Chorea
[Fig.5-5: Huntington's Disease typical findings]
[Fig.5-6: Nuclei Affected by Huntington’s Disease]
6. Alzheimer’s Disease: A Classic Case Of Excitotoxin Damage
The Effect Of Normal Aging
[Fig.6-1: Two microscopic bodies frequently seen in cases of Alzheimer’s disease]
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Microscopic Changes Seen In Alzheimer’s Disease
Excitotoxins And Alzheimer-Specific Proteins
Memory Loss In Alzheimer’s Disease
[Fig.6-2: Cross-section of temporal lobe with neurons showing extensive damage in Alzheimer’s disease]
What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease?
[Fig.6-3: damage to Meynert nucleus thought to cause the memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease]
The Hit Men Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Other Connections To Excitotoxins
[Fig.6-4: areas of the brain most sensitive to excitotoxin damage, also damaged in Alzheimer’s disease]
Energy: The Key To Brain Protection
[Fig.6-5: The brain requires enormous amounts of energy to survive]
Getting Glucose To The Brain
[Fig.6-6: The Glucose Transport System]
[Fig.6-7: When neurons have abundant energy supplies, they are very resistant to glutamate toxicity]
Failure Of The Gatekeeper: The Blood-Brain Barrier
[Fig.6-8: typical capillary from a woman with Alzheimer’s disease; nodular appearance and multitude of “holes” in the vessel wall]
Domoic Acid: Mussel Madness
Magnesium And Alzheimer’s Disease
Cysteine: Another Candidate For Neurodegenerative Diseases
What Do Animal Studies Tell Us About Humans?
What Should Those With Alzheimer’s Disease Do?
7. Other Neurological Disorders Related To Excitotoxins
Excitotoxins And Brain Injury
Strokes: Ischemia-Anoxia
[Fig.7-1: Stroke affecting one hemisphere of the brain with dead and injured brain cells; high concentrations of glutamate]
AIDS Dementia And Excitotoxins
Aspartame, Brain Tumors And The FDA
8. Update
Part I. Pharmaceutical Agents
Nutritional Protection
Reducing “Bad” Eicosanoids: Enter the Zone
Omega 3-fatty acids
Effects of aging on the brain: Free radicals
Protecting Our Neurons From Free Radicals
N-Acetyl L-Cysteine (NAC)
Single antioxidant vitamins vs multiple vitamins
Excitotoxins as free radical generators
Directly stimulating mitochondrial energy production
Coenzyme Q10 plus niacinamide
Acetyl L-carnitine
Further Improving Brain Function Nutritionally
Phosphatidylcholine (Lecithin)
Dihydro-ergot compounds (Hydergine)
DMAE (Deanol)
Stabilizing The Blood-Brain Barrier
Aipha-lipoic acid: Is it a miracle nutrient?
Clinical Studies with Alpha-Lipoic acid and DHLA
Part II. What Did The FASEB Report Really Say?
More Evidence
Appendix I: Hidden Sources Of MSG
Index For Chapter 8. Update
About The Author
Rear Cover