Over 6 million people in the United States are affected by Alzheimer’s disease, and the prevalence is continuously rising as the country’s aging population grows. Past studies have shown that systemic immune responses to several infections like tetanus, influenza, and polio can have a lasting effect on the brain. This could lead to an increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases, especially among the old.
Therefore, preventing or reducing inflammation caused by microbes may be a sensible tactic to postpone or lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. According to studies, older adults who have received several adult vaccinations have demonstrated lower risks of having dementia than those who haven’t.
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that results in a gradual loss of memory, thinking skills, and eventually the ability to carry out even the most basic tasks.
Although the precise causes of Alzheimer’s disease are unknown, a combination of inherited, environmental, and lifestyle factors are considered to impact the illness’s start and progression.
The symptoms are mild at first and become more severe over time. Common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include memory loss, language problems, and impulsive or unpredictable behavior.
In a study led by Paul E. Schulz, MD, a Professor of Neurology at McGovern Medical School, and Avram S. Bukhbinder, MD, a graduate of UTHealth Houston’s McGovern Medical School, the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in a sizable nationwide sample of US adults 65 and older was examined. It was discovered that receiving an annual flu shot lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in older persons.
To put it another way, people who continuously had the flu vaccination every year had the lowest rate of Alzheimer’s disease, and the strength of this protective impact grew as the number of years a person received the flu shot increased.
The study, a retrospective cohort analysis, included 935,887 patients who had received the flu vaccine and 935,887 patients who had not.
After four years, it was shown that only 5.1% of flu vaccine recipients had Alzheimer’s disease. Meanwhile, during the follow-up period, Alzheimer’s disease had manifested in 8.5% of the unvaccinated patients.
According to Bukhbinder and Schulz, these findings highlight the flu vaccine’s potent defense against Alzheimer’s disease. However, further research is needed to understand the underlying mechanics of this process fully.
There is potential for leveraging this knowledge to develop treatment regimens that could halt and prevent the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in senior people. This discovery may lead to a deeper understanding of the disease process of Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease places a heavy cost on both sufferers and the medical system, with over 6 million people diagnosed with the condition globally. The results of this study may hold the key to preventing and reducing the progression of the disease. The study would also act as a structure for additional investigation into the control of this illness.