Flu vaccination may protect against Alzheimer's disease
A flu vaccine appears to protect older people from Alzheimer's disease. According to a recent study, the risk of disease after vaccination is reduced by 40% for up to four years.
Researchers at the University of Texas compared the risk of Alzheimer's disease in people who had previously had a flu shot and those who had not, in a large national sample of American adults. Their results can be read in the journal "Journal of Alzheimer's Disease".
A new study should confirm previous research
Two years ago, the team identified a possible link between flu vaccination and a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease. The new study now included a much larger sample of participants.
The effects of flu vaccination on Alzheimer's risk were examined in 935,887 vaccinated and 935,887 unvaccinated people. The average age of participants was 73.7 years and 56.9% were female.
Vaccinated people were less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease
During a four-year follow-up, it was found that approximately 5.1% of people vaccinated against the flu developed Alzheimer's disease. For unvaccinated participants, on the other hand, the figure was 8.5%, the researchers report.
Flu vaccination reduces Alzheimer's risk for several years
According to the author of the study, Dr. Avram S. Bukhbinder Apparently, vaccination against influenza in the elderly reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease for several years.
"The strength of this protective effect increased with the number of years a person received an annual flu shot - in other words, the rate of development of Alzheimer's disease was lowest in those who regularly received the flu vaccine. flu vaccine every year,” the doctor explained in a press release.
The results of the study indicate a protective effect of the flu vaccine against the development of Alzheimer's disease, but the underlying mechanisms still need to be investigated further, emphasizes Bukhbinder.
Other vaccines also appear to protect against dementia
"Since there is evidence that various vaccines may protect against Alzheimer's disease, we assume that this is not a specific effect of the flu vaccine," adds the study author, Paul E. Schulz.
The link is probably more that the vaccination causes flu consequences such as e.g. B. prevents pneumonia, which in turn can activate the immune system in a way that contributes to Alzheimer's disease.
Consistent with this hypothesis, previous studies have found a reduced risk of dementia associated with various vaccinations in adulthood, including vaccinations against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, poliomyelitis, tuberculosis and shingles (this is i.e. shingles), the research team said.
A similar effect may also be detectable with COVID-19 vaccines. It would be interesting to analyze whether there is such a link between vaccination against COVID-19 and the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, explains Bukhbinder. (as)
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This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.
Sources:Avram S Bukhbinder, Yaobin Ling, Omar Hasan, Xiaoqian Jiang, Yejin Kim et al. : Risk of Alzheimer's Disease After Influenza Vaccination: A Claims-Based Cohort Study Using Propensity Score Matching; in: Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (published 06/13/2022), Journal of Alzheimer's DiseaseUniversity of Texas Health Science Center at Houston: UTHealth Houston study: Flu vaccination related to 40% Reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease (published 06/24/ 2022), University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.