Another Reason to Get the Flu Shot, Study Finds It May Decrease Risk of Alzheimer’s
ISLAMABAD, APRIL 23 (Online): restExperts are learning about how getting certain vaccines may decrease your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
• Two new studies have found that the flu shot and pneumonia vaccine may protect people from Alzheimer’s disease.
• Experts aren’t sure why vaccines may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
• Past research suggests the widespread inflammation caused by these infections could impact brain health.
There’s another good reason to get your flu shot each year. Two new studies have found that the flu shot and pneumonia vaccine may protect people from Alzheimer’s disease.
The evidence, which was presented at the virtually-held Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in July, suggests that people who got at least one flu shot cut their risk of Alzheimer’s by about 17 percent, and those who regularly get vaccinated against the flu had an even lower risk of developing the disease.
The new findings disprove the long-standing myth that the flu shot could give some people Alzheimer’s.
People with dementia have a greater risk of dying from an infection, by about three-fold, compared to those without dementia. Their increased risk of mortality from an infection further highlights the importance of vaccinating this group.
“Adding to the evidence dispelling the myth that flu shots may cause Alzheimer’s disease, two studies presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference again found a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease associated with influenza and pneumonia vaccinations,” said Dr. Scott Kaiser, a geriatrician and the director of Geriatric Cognitive Health for Pacific Neuroscience Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center.
The first study, which came out of the University of Texas, set out to understand if vaccinations provide some degree of protection against Alzheimer’s.
The researchers looked at the health records of over 9,000 people aged 60 and older and found that people who received one flu vaccination had a 17 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Those who got two or more flu shots had an additional 13 percent lower risk.
The second study was conducted by researchers from Duke University and the University of North Carolina. They looked at the health records of over 5,000 people ages 65 and up and found that people who got a pneumonia vaccine before age 75 were about 25–30 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
According to the researchers, the findings suggest the pneumococcal vaccine may be a promising Alzheimer’s prevention tool.