Having a flu jab every winter may significantly reduce the risk of dementia.
Researchers from St. Louis University School of Medicine in the US tracked nearly 70,000 people aged 60 or over, monitoring how many had the annual flu vaccine and whether they subsequently developed dementia. Their findings showed that once they had received the flu vaccine for six years or more, their risk of dementia dropped by an average of 14 percent.
Further studies suggest that the flu vaccine increases the activity of immune system cells in the central nervous system that are responsible for repairing damage that can lead to dementia.
Britain faces an epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia because of an ageing population and numbers are forecast to rise from around 800,000 currently to more than 1.2 million by 2040.