The flu vaccine can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 40%.

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According to a new study, people who have received at least one dose of the flu vaccine are 40% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease over four years.

The study, signed by scientists at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston, compared the risk of disease incidence between people already vaccinated and unvaccinated against the influenza virus in nearly two million of people aged 65 and over. In addition to the good sample, the study also has a good range, including a decade, between 2009 and 2019.

Flu vaccination in older adults “reduces the risk” of developing Alzheimer’s disease over several years, and this possible protective effect increases with the number of years a person has received an annual vaccine, the report said. one of the signatories of the study, Avram Bukhbinder, in a press release. .

The researchers felt that future research should assess whether this vaccine is also associated with the rate of symptom progression in patients who already have Alzheimer’s dementia.

Previous studies had already found a decreased risk of dementia associated with previous exposure to several vaccines in adulthood, including tetanus, polio and herpes, in addition to influenza and other vaccines.

The study, published in the scientific journal Alzheimer’s Disease Journalanalyzed two matched groups, each consisting of 935,887 people, one vaccinated against influenza and the other not.

Participants were followed for four years and at follow-up visits, it was found that about 5.1% of flu-vaccinated patients developed Alzheimer’s disease, compared to 8.5% of unvaccinated patients.

These results, according to the team, “highlight the strong protective effect of the influenza vaccine also against Alzheimer’s disease. However, the mechanisms underlying this process require further study.”

Study leader Paul Schulz said that “since there is evidence that multiple vaccines can protect against Alzheimer’s disease, we believe this is not a specific effect of the vaccine against Alzheimer’s disease. influenza”.

The immune system is complex and some disorders, like pneumonia, can activate it in ways that make Alzheimer’s disease worse, but others can do it differently, and one of them protects against this disease, a he added.

“Obviously,” he said, “we need to know more about how the immune system worsens or improves the outcome of this disease.” Various studies have already established a link between a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease and various habits, such as coffee consumption and intellectual exercise. It is important to note that these studies, including Schulz’s, point to things happening together, without committing to the causal relationship between them. The habit of taking vaccines in an elderly person may be correlated with other characteristics which would be the true causes of the protective effect.

Also, as time passes since the introduction of the Covid-19 vaccine and more follow-up data becomes available, Bukhbinder said it would be useful to investigate whether there is a similar association between it and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. . It is important to note that, among the vaccines produced and used on a large scale against Covid, only Coronavac uses the traditional technology which is also used in the annual flu vaccines.

The exact causes of Alzheimer’s disease remain a mystery, as do the causal mechanisms in habits and treatments that can reduce the risk of developing it. One hypothesis being studied is that people who develop this type of dementia, which affects memory, have a dysfunction of a brain protein called beta-amyloid.

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