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Is There A Link Between Flu Shot And Alzheimer’s

Viruses May Trigger Dementia

Study: Certain Vaccines Linked To Reduced Risk Of Alzheimer’s

“Inflammation has been implicated in dementia, and viral infections could be a triggering factor,” says researcher Timo E. Strandberg, MD, PhD, of the University of Helsinki in Finland, in a news release. “Our findings should be tested in other studies, but if these viruses are involved, there are existing therapies such as vaccination and antiviral drugs that could be used to prevent or treat dementia.”

In the study, which appears in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers tested 383 elderly men and women with heart disease for the antibodies that are produced in response to infection with three common viruses: herpes simplex 1 , herpes simplex type 2 and cytomegalovirus , and followed them for 12 months.

HSV1 causes cold sores, and HSV2 causes genital herpes. CMV is a virus that infects between 50% to 85% of American adults by age 40, but it causes few symptoms and no long-term health problems in most people.

The mental function of the participants was also assessed at the beginning and end of the study.

After testing for the viruses multiple times, researchers found that up to 60% of the participants tested positive for one or more or the viruses. And the more viral exposure, the higher the risk of dementia.

Those who had evidence of infection with all three viruses were 2.5 times more likely to have mental impairment than those with antibodies for less than three of the viruses.

Skipping A Flu Vaccine Increases Risk

Imagine the news that a vaccine that seniors should already be taking each year could affect future cognition.

And regarding infections, a sad detail emerged from the studies. People with dementia have twice the risk of death following infections when compared with those without some form of dementia.

But there was encouraging news in the studies, too. Researchers found that the incidence of Alzheimers disease was reduced by 17% by getting just one flu vaccination. Accounting for individual genes, the risk of Alzheimers for those 65 to 75 was reduced by up to 40% with the pneumonia vaccine. This drives home the increased importance of scheduling a flu vaccine every year for both older and younger adults.

Theres Growing Evidence That Inoculation Confers Significant Protective Benefits

    Covid vaccines enormously reduce the risk of death and hospitalization in those who have been infected by the novel coronavirus. But could they also help protect seniors against dementia and Alzheimers disease? Theres reason to hope so.

    Growing evidence indicates that seniors who get vaccinated against illnesses such as tetanus and even the flu are much less likely to develop Alzheimers, the leading cause of dementia, characterized by a buildup of amyloid plaque and tau tangles in the brain. Scientists dont completely understand why, but many hypothesize that vaccines generate a systemic immune response that can reduce inflammation in the brain, which results in neuron loss and cognitive decline.

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    Two Studies Released At The Alzheimers Association Conference Indicate A Possible Connection Between Flu And Pneumonia Shots With Reducing Or Delaying Cognitive Decline

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    This article is reprinted by permission from NextAvenue.org.

    With vaccines top of mind in the U.S. and across the globe during the coronavirus pandemic, two studies presented recently at the;Alzheimers Association International Conference; 2020, shed new light on how vaccines for flu and pneumonia may lower risk for Alzheimers disease. Both studies were;previewed at AAIC;prior to peer-reviewed journal publication.

    The first study, conducted at the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, was done because previous research had shown a possible connection between vaccines and reducing or delaying;cognitive decline. Until now, no comprehensive analysis had been done on this theory.

    Researchers analyzed a dataset of 9,066 American health records and found annual flu vaccinations correlated to a 17% lower prevalence of Alzheimers with an additional 13% reduction for patients who continued to receive the vaccination over a period of years.

    The research also indicated those who received their first flu vaccine before age 60 had a stronger protective association than those who got it after 70.

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    Family caregivers also benefit from vaccines

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    Making the case for vaccines

    Getting The Flu Shot May Lower Risk Of Alzheimers Disease Research Finds

    Is The Flu Vaccine Different In Different Countries

    With COVID-19 cases rising across the country, health officials are warning of a compounding flu season and urging Americans to get their flu vaccination. So while you may not need another reason to get your shot this year, some new research has found it may also lower your risk for Alzheimers disease and other dementias.;

    Previous research suggested vaccinations may protect against cognitive decline, but there hasnt been a comprehensive study on the flu vaccine and Alzheimers disease. Thats why researchers at the University of Texas used the health records of 9,000 older adults to see if theres a link.

    They found that even getting just one flu shot was associated with a 17% reduction in Alzheimers incidence, while consistently getting the shot created an additional 13% reduction.

    A separate study at Duke University found the vaccine for pneumonia decreased the incidence of Alzheimers by as much as 40% for those who dont carry the risk gene for Alzheimers.

    The studies were presented at the Alzheimers Association international Conference in Chicago this summer.;

    This is exciting research in that it’s pointing to: Could getting a vaccine, that helps prevent infection or other viruses, also contribute to overall brain health? said Amanda Nobrega, programs and services grants manager for the Alzheimers Association of Western New York. And these preliminary studies are kind of pointing in the direction that yeah, that this is a possibility.;

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    Flu Shot May Lower Risk For Alzheimer’s Disease Study Says

    Getting vaccinated to protect against pneumonia and flu may offer an unexpected benefit — a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, new research suggests.

    Two new studies being presented Monday at a virtual conference of the Alzheimer’s Association found a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s in people who got flu and pneumonia vaccines. A third study underscored the importance of prevention, reporting that people with dementia are more likely than others to die if they get serious infections.

    “For people concerned about Alzheimer’s disease, these vaccines may provide an extra protective effect,” said Albert Amran, who is presenting his findings on flu vaccine and Alzheimer’s. Amran is a medical student at McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.

    He and his team looked at a nationwide database of more than 9,000 people over age 60. They found that people who had received at least one flu shot had a 17% reduction in Alzheimer’s disease risk. And those who consistently got their annual flu shot had an even lower risk, Amran said.

    For people between ages 75 and 84, this translated to an almost 6% lower Alzheimer’s risk over 16 years, the researchers noted.

    Amran pointed out that the study can only show a link between vaccines and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

    “Without a clinical trial, we can’t say for sure that there’s a causative effect,” he said.

    More information

    Vaccines And Alzheimers Disease: A Brief History

    One of the earliest antivaccine claims that I ever dealt with was a rather specific claim about the influenza vaccine. I first encountered it when Bill Maher parroted it in an interview with Larry King on Larry King Live, way back in December 2005. I think its useful to recount what Maher said in this exchange:

    MAHER: Im not into western medicine. That to me is a complete scare tactic. It just shows you, you can

    KING: You mean you dont get a you dont get a flu shot?

    MAHER: A flu shot is the worst thing you can do.

    KING: Why?

    MAHER: Because its got its got mercury.

    KING: It prevents flu.

    MAHER: It doesnt prevent. First of all, thats

    KING: I havent had the flu in 25 years since Ive been taking a flu shot.

    MAHER: Well, I hate to tell you, Larry, but if you have a flu shot for more than five years in a row, theres ten times the likelihood that youll get Alzheimers disease. I would stop getting your

    KING: What did you say?

    MAHER: That went better in rehearsal but it was still good. Absolutely, no the defense against disease is to have a strong immune system. A flu shot just compromises your immune system.

    A chiropractor. Of course, the presentation at NVIC had to be recorded by a chiropractor:

    This is an old claim, dating back 24 years!

    And heres a more recent addition since 2005, dated 2006:

    But what about prion disease? And what are prion diseases, anyway?

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    Exploring The Link Between Flu Pneumonia Vaccines And Alzheimers

    According to the Alzheimers Association, past research has suggested that vaccination may be protective against cognitive decline, but there have been no large and comprehensive studies examining the link between flu vaccines and Alzheimers risk.;

    To fill the gap in research, a team from University of Texas combed through medical records of more than 9,000 people age 60 and up.;

    The researchers found that people who received at least one flu shot saw a 17 percent reduction in risk of Alzheimers. For people who got regular vaccinations, their risk dropped another 13 percent.;

    Timing of a vaccination seemed to matter as well. The protective effects of the vaccinations were the strongest for people who received their first vaccine at the age of 60, compared to those who waited until age 70.;

    In a separate study, scientists examined the link between the pneumonia vaccine and risk of Alzheimers in more than 5,000 older adults. People between the ages of 65 to 75 who received the vaccine had a reduced risk of developing Alzheimers of 25 to 30 percent. Those who did not carry a gene that increases risk for Alzheimers had the largest reduction in risk of up to 40 percent.;

    However, the researchers did not find any additional reduction in risk for people who received a flu vaccine as well as a pneumonia vaccine.;

    Is There A Link Between Alzheimers Disease And The Flu Shot

    Health authorities say there is no link between flu vaccine and deaths

    Flu season has arrived. During the 2017-2018 season, over 79,000 people in the United States died from the flu . People over age 65 are at the greatest risk for flu-related complications, accounting for 70% of hospitalizations and 90% of flu-related mortality last year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine every season. But, for one reason or another, many people choose not to get vaccinated. To help you make an informed decision this season, let’s review the myths surrounding flu vaccines and the scientific evidence behind how flu vaccines may be associated with better brain health.

    MYTH: Getting the flu vaccine increases the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

    WHAT THE EVIDENCE SAYS: There is no peer-reviewed scientific evidence supporting this claim, instead, there is evidence to support an association between getting the flu shot and a decreased risk for dementia.

    MYTH: The flu vaccine contains potential toxins.

    WHAT THE EVIDENCE SAYS: Currently available flu vaccines are aluminum-free and over 80% of flu vaccines today contain no mercury at all. Some flu vaccines contain a tiny amount of formaldehyde that is less than 1% of the amount naturally found in people and is safely cleared from the body.

    Mercury: The type of mercury used in vaccines is rapidly removed from the body and is not the kind associated with toxicity.

    MYTH: Everyone gets the same flu vaccine.

    TAKE-HOME MESSAGE

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    Pneumonia Vaccine May Reduce Alzheimers Risk Later In Life

    Another study found that repurposing existing vaccines may be a promising approach to Alzheimers disease prevention.

    Svetlana Ukraintseva, an associate research professor at Duke University, found ties between pneumococcal vaccination with and without an accompanying seasonal flu shot and the risk of Alzheimers disease among more than 5,000 participants from a cardiovascular health study.

    The researchers found that pneumococcal vaccination between ages 65-75 reduced risk of developing Alzheimers by 25 to 30 percent. The largest reduction in the risk of Alzheimers was found among people vaccinated against pneumonia who were non-carriers of a gene known to be tied to a risk for developing Alzheimers.;

    A pneumococcal vaccine, Ukraintseva said, may be a promising candidate for personalized Alzheimers prevention, particularly in non-carriers of certain risk genes.

    Vaccines And Prion Disease

    Before I discuss all these claims, I have to answer the question: What are prions? Prion diseases are more properly referred to as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies and represent a rare form of progressive neurodegenerative disorders that can affect both humans and animals. The most famous prion diseases in animals are bovine spongiform encephalopathy , scrapie, and chronic wasting disease; in humans, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and kuru. These diseases have a long incubation period and produce in the brain characteristic spongiform changes associated with loss of neurons with no inflammatory response. The causative agents for these diseases are prions. According to the CDC:

    The term prions refers to abnormal, pathogenic agents that are transmissible and are able to induce abnormal folding of specific normal cellular proteins called prion proteins that are found most abundantly in the brain. The functions of these normal prion proteins are still not completely understood. The abnormal folding of the prion proteins leads to brain damage and the characteristic signs and symptoms of the disease. Prion diseases are usually rapidly progressive and always fatal.

    The BSE inquirys report calls for vaccines to be investigated as a possible route of transmission. But it concedes that this will be hampered by the fact that systematic records of the action taken in response to BSE in respect of individual medical products are lacking.

    And:

    And:

    And:

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    Viral Infections Linked To Dementia

    Infection With Common Viruses May Increase Dementia Risk

    Aug. 14, 2003 — Certain viral infections may increase the likelihood of mental decline and dementia, especially among older adults with heart disease.

    A new study shows that elderly people with evidence of infection with three common viruses — viruses that cause cold sores, genital herpes, and a mono-like illness — were more than twice as likely to suffer from dementia.

    Researchers say the study adds new evidence to the theory that inflammation, which is part of the body’s natural response to infection, plays an important role in the development of several health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and dementia.

    Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis Encephalitis And Encephalopathies

    Is The Flu Vaccine Different In Different Countries

    With regard to encephalitis, it is necessary to distinguish between acute disseminated encephalomyelitis , encephalitis and encephalopathy. Some neurology texts state that ADEM may be caused by vaccines. Actually, this association is linked mainly to the fact that the old vaccines against rabies, which were derived from animal nerve tissue , namely Fermi and Semple vaccines, could lead to sensitization, not least because of the high number of doses required for post-exposure prophylaxis.

    With regard to the possible association between the vaccine against hepatitis B and encephalitis or encephalopathy, after analyzing the literature the IOM concluded that, from the epidemiological standpoint, there was no evidence of a possible causal association .

    As for the hypothetical association between encephalitis / encephalopathy and the Tdap vaccine, the only two controlled studies considered by the IOM reached conflicting conclusions, but both displayed methodological limitations. Moreover, a study conducted in Italy by Greco et al. was refuted by later research . In addition, a study conducted by Yih et al. on 660,000 patients, within the network of the Vaccine Safety Datalink, found a lower risk of encephalopathy in patients who received the Tdap vaccine than in the control group. Another study by Ray et al. found a lack of evidence of an association between Tdap vaccine or MMR vaccine and encephalitis or encephalopathy .

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    Flu Vaccine May Reduce Risk Of Alzheimers Disease New Study Shows

    People who received at least one flu vaccination were 17% less likely to get Alzheimers disease over the course of a lifetime, according to researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston .

    First author Albert Amran, a fourth-year medical student at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, presented the findings at the 2020 Alzheimers Association International Conference July 27-31. The conference was held virtually due to COVID-19. Senior author of the study was Paul E. Schulz, MD, Rick McCord Professor in Neurology and Umphrey Family Professor in Neurodegenerative Diseases at UTHealth.

    Because there are no treatments for Alzheimers disease, it is crucial that we find ways to prevent it and delay its onset, Amran said. About 5.8 million people in the United States have this disease, so even a small reduction in risk can make a dramatic difference. We began our study by looking for ways we could reduce this risk.

    Amran and Schulz teamed up with a group of researchers at UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics, led by Xiaoqian Jiang, PhD, associate professor, to pinpoint potential factors that could reduce risk.

    Cerner Health Facts® is a database of privacy law-compliant electronic health records from over 600 participating Cerner client hospitals and clinics that is hosted by the School of Biomedical Informatics.

    Media inquiries: 713-500-3030

    Could The Flu Shot Lower Your Risk For Alzheimer’s

    HealthDay Reporter

    MONDAY, July 27, 2020 — Getting vaccinated to protect against pneumonia and flu may offer an unexpected benefit — a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, new research suggests.

    Two new studies being presented Monday at this summer’s virtual Alzheimer’s Association International Conference found a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s in people who got flu and pneumonia vaccines. A third study underscored the importance of prevention, reporting that people with dementia are more likely than others to die if they get serious infections.

    “For people concerned about Alzheimer’s disease, these vaccines may provide an extra protective effect,” said Albert Amran, who is presenting his findings on flu vaccine and Alzheimer’s. Amran is a medical student at McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.

    He and his team looked at a nationwide database of more than 9,000 people over age 60. They found that people who had received at least one flu shot had a 17% reduction in Alzheimer’s disease risk. And those who consistently got their annual flu shot had an even lower risk, Amran said.

    For people between ages 75 and 84, this translated to an almost 6% lower Alzheimer’s risk over 16 years, the researchers noted.

    Amran pointed out that the study can only show a link between vaccines and a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

    “Without a clinical trial, we can’t say for sure that there’s a causative effect,” he said.

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