2 studies find flu shot can help prevent Alzheimer's disease later in life

If you avoid getting flu shots because you're young and healthy, there's a new reason to get one.

New research shows flu shots may prevent more than just the flu, and they could help you keep your memory later in life.

Two studies were presented at the International Alzheimer's Conference.

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Health professionals say it could minimize your risk of dealing with both the flu and COVID-19 and help keep hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.

They show yearly flu vaccines could help prevent viral infections.

It's those infections that inflame pathways, triggering memory decline.

The study suggests the following:

  • At least one flu vaccination was associated with a 17% reduction in Alzheimer's incidence. More frequent flu vaccination was associated with another 13% reduction in Alzheimer's incidence.
  • Vaccination against pneumonia between ages 65 and 75 reduced Alzheimer's risk by up to 40% depending on individual genes.
  • Individuals with dementia have a higher risk of dying (6-fold) after infections than those without dementia (3-fold).

The study shows the best benefits were seen in people who started getting flu shots at an early age.

You can read more details on the studies at alz.org.

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