October 4, 2023

▷ Great health: influenza vaccination can reduce the risk of dementia / possible ...

▷ Great health: influenza vaccination can reduce the risk of dementia / possible …

22.09.2021 – 14:42

Great direct healthy

Dortmund (OTS)

Influenza vaccination protects against infection with the influenza virus as well as from severe cycles of the disease. BIG Direct Health Insurance points out a possible additional benefit: regular vaccination can significantly reduce the risk of developing dementia. This was confirmed by a US study of more than 120,000 US veterans with an average age of 75.5 years. The German Society of Neurology (DGN) classifies this effect of reducing the risk of dementia by 12 percent as “not insignificant.” Says Professor Dr. Richard Dowdell, Food.

The study should take into account that it is a retrospective evaluation – that is, retrospectively. Although it scores a large number of participants in the study and its careful implementation, it is still devoid of any evidence, but can only show an association, according to Professor Dowdell. There are already several association studies on dementia, not only on flu vaccines, but also on diphtheria or tetanus vaccinations. According to DGN, pilot studies have also indicated a link between vaccinations and a lower risk of dementia.

The ‘brain’s immune cells’ are activated

Why vaccination can prevent dementia can be explained simply as follows: Vaccines lead to increased activity of microglia, the “brain’s immune cells,” so to speak. They identify pathogenic substances and waste and decompose them. This includes beta-amyloid. In Alzheimer’s disease, beta-amyloid builds up, depositing between nerve cells as an outer layer and damaging them.

This is exactly where many Alzheimer’s treatments come in, which want to smuggle beta-amyloid out of the body. If repeated flu shots had exactly this effect and were to break down beta-amyloid, “it would be a huge advance in treating dementia,” says Professor Dowdell. However, more extensive studies are necessary.

Draw attention to potential additional benefits

“Every year, there are similar calls for people to take advantage of the flu vaccine. This time we want to draw attention to a potential additional benefit that few people know about. But the main goal of the flu vaccine is to protect against a severe course of the disease, which already affects the elderly and the sick. People can be fatal,” says Peter Kaech, CEO of BIG direkt health.

Flu and COVID-19 risk groups are similar

The groups most at risk of serious illness are very similar to influenza and COVID-19. Therefore, the Standing Committee on Immunization (STIKO) recommends influenza vaccination for the following groups of people:

  • All persons over 60 years of age,
  • All pregnant women from the fourteenth week of pregnancy or with previous diseases
  • People with increased health risks as a result of an underlying condition (such as chronic disease of the respiratory system, heart or circulatory system, liver or kidney disease, diabetes or other metabolic disease, chronic neurological disease, or HIV)
  • Residents of retirement homes or elderly care
  • Persons who, as a possible source of infection, can endanger people at high risk who live in or care for the same household.

Important: STIKO does not advise against influenza vaccination for other people. Therefore BIG bears the costs of influenza vaccination for all insured persons regardless of who belongs to an at-risk group.

More information about the study is available here:

The press release of the German Society of Neurology can be found here.

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About BIG directkt health

BundesInnungskrankenkasse Gesundheit – BIG direkt health for short – was founded in Dortmund in 1996. The big idea behind BIG: Health insurance couldn’t be more straightforward. This is intended to be consistent online orientation and service with new quality and very fast. BIG offers modern communication channels to fit the digital lifestyle of approximately 520,000 policyholders nationwide. Several additional services and an attractive rewards program are other major advantages. BIG direkt health is based in Berlin, its head office is located in Dortmund and an important administrative location is in Aachen. BIG employs approximately 910 people in its operational locations, and on-site counseling is provided in 16 branches.

You can find more information about the company at: www.big-direkt.de

Media contact:

Bettina Kiwit
Head of Corporate Communications
[email protected]
Box 0231.5557-1016 Mobil 0151 18568532

Original content from: BIG direkt health, transmitted by aktuell . news