Study reveals an unexpected link between the flu vaccine and dementia

Study reveals an unexpected link between the flu vaccine and dementia
Study reveals an unexpected link between the flu vaccine and dementia

A study reveals an unexpected relationship between the flu vaccine and dementia A new study has found that getting the flu vaccine every winter can significantly reduce the risk of developing dementia.

The vaccine reduced the chances of developing a severe case by 14%. But this only appears to work when patients have had the doses for at least six consecutive years.

Scientists believe that vaccines gradually strengthen the aging immune system to the point that it can prevent the underlying damage to the brain that causes dementia.

There hasn’t been much progress in treatment decades, but scientists now believe that vaccines such as the flu shot could play an important role in reducing the number of sick people.

Scientists from Saint Louis University School of Medicine in the United States tracked nearly 70,000 people aged 60 or older. They monitored the number of those who received the annual flu vaccination and whether they developed dementia later.

The results, published in the journal Vaccine, revealed little difference between those who did not receive a vaccine and those who have been vaccinated annually for the past four or five years. But once they reached six or more years of age, the risk decreased by an average of 14%.

Scientists said there was no indication that influenza infection causes dementia. Instead, the benefit comes from getting a vaccine later in life.

Animal studies suggest that vaccines such as the flu shot increase the activity of immune system cells in the central nervous system that are responsible for repairing damage that can lead to dementia.

The scientists explained: “Influenza vaccines could be a cheap and low-risk way to intervene against dementia.”

Dr Rosa Sancho, from Alzheimer’s Research UK, described the findings as intriguing, adding: “Understanding why this happens is a stimulating avenue for further research.”

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Study reveals unexpected link flu vaccine dementia

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