The immune system, usually known for protecting our body from external threats, plays a vital role in maintaining brain health. The immune system may cause problems in brain cells that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. When toxic proteins build up in the brain, the immune system’s response may unintentionally contribute to the beginning of cognitive decline (per the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation). Thus, vaccines can have a crucial role in preserving brain health. Recent studies suggest that these preventive measures not only protect against infectious diseases but may also have a positive effect on cognitive health. By regulating the immune response, vaccines could stop the chain of events that cause cognitive disorders.
For instance, a 2022 cohort study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that individuals who had undergone at least one flu vaccination exhibited a 40% decreased probability of developing this type of dementia compared to those who had not been vaccinated. Another study published in 2023 in the same publication included patients aged at least 65 years who were free of dementia for two years before an eight-year follow-up period. This research discovered that those who had received the Tdap/Td (tetanus and diphtheria, with or without pertussis) vaccine had a 30% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s, shingles vaccination was linked to a 25% reduced risk, and pneumococcal vaccination was linked to a 27% decreased risk.