Hidden Invaders

Infections can trigger immune attacks on kids’ brains, provoking devastating psychiatric disorders.

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At 7 years old, Paul Michael Nelson was the kind of quiet, brilliant kid you were likely to find in Silicon Valley — captivated by Legos, self-taught in origami, loving and sweet. But on March 2, 2009, he woke up in the middle of the night, monstrously changed. He tore up the flooring in his bedroom. He got hold of a knife and stabbed holes through his door. He began speaking a strange language no one could understand. He tried pulling his teeth out. He barked like a dog. His parents hus...
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