Regular flu vaccination appears to prevent dementia. In Germany alone, this can make a difference to 40,000 people a year.
true study Supports an interesting hypothesis: According to this, regular flu vaccinations can lead to a lower risk of dementia. A large population consisting of more than 120,000 US veterans with a mean age of 75.5 years (±7.3) was examined. Only 3.8% of females, 91.6% have white skin. The medical files of study participants were analyzed between September 1, 2009 and August 31, 2019. The inclusion criterion was that patients included in the analysis had not had a diagnosis of dementia two years prior to study start and at the time of inclusion in the study.
Dementia: the effects of covariates not taken into account
The subjects were then categorized into groups based on whether and how many influenza vaccinations they received during the study period. Then it was analyzed to see how many people had a file mental illness A new event (defined according to the presence of the corresponding ICD-9/ICD-10 codes in the medical records of the course). The effect of covariates such as age, race, gender, marital status and insurance status—all factors that influence the risk of dementia—was taken into account, and the frequency of visits to the doctor was analyzed in order to reduce potential bias in early detection.
Overall, the median observation period was 80 months for the vaccinated and 81 months for the non-vaccinated. 15,933 study participants developed dementia during this phase. The analysis showed that use of influenza vaccines was associated with a lower risk of dementia. However, the effect was only seen if more than six influenza vaccinations were administered during the observation period. In this survey, the risk of developing dementia was significantly reduced by vaccinations by 12 percent (HR: 0.88).
Influenza vaccination: 40,000 Germans die from dementia each year
“This effect is not insignificant. With about 330,000 new cases of dementia in Germany each year, regular influenza vaccinations can save approximately 40,000 people from being diagnosed with dementia each year. However, it must be emphasized that this is a retrospective assessment, on the Although a retrospective evaluation, although carefully performed, has no demonstrative character but can only show an association Several association studies already exist, not only on influenza vaccines, but also on influenza vaccinations. diphtheria or tetanus. Experimental studies have also suggested a link between vaccinations and a lower risk of dementia. The hypothesis resulting from the current study can also be proven pathophysiologically, surrounded by data from animal experiments,” explains DGN dementia expert Professor Richard Dowdell, Essen.
Vaccination increases microglia activity
To put it simply, the authors explain it this way: Vaccines lead to increased activity microglia, quasi-immune cells of the brain. They identify pathogenic substances and waste and decompose them. Animal experiments have shown that increased activity of microglia after vaccination leads to this beta-amyloid increasingly deteriorating. when Alzheimer’s disease Beta-amyloid accumulates, is deposited there between nerve cells like an envelope and damages neurons.
The basic idea of many Alzheimer’s treatments is to smuggle beta-amyloid out of the body before the protein causes brain damage. If future studies now show that frequent flu shots have exactly this effect and break down beta-amyloid, it would be a breakthrough for treating dementia. Available data indicates this, but it is not yet conclusive. The observed positive effect of vaccinations on the risk of developing dementia may also be due to the fact that people who receive regular vaccinations also live healthier and therefore have a lower risk of developing the disease. So now we need more future studies to unambiguously clarify the link,” Doodle concluded.
Vaccinations: Don’t just discuss the risks
“There is currently a lot of discussion about the potential risks of vaccination, in general, but particularly in relation to vaccination against SARS-CoV-2. But there are not only potential risks, but also potential additional benefits of vaccination that have not yet been mentioned in the discussions. To make an informed decision, everything should be considered if possible,” confirms DGN Secretary General Professor Peter Berlett.
Image source: Robina Wermeijer, Unsplash
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