disease Alzheimer’s disease More than 6 million people suffer from it in the United States alone, and worldwide the number is rising due to an aging population. That is why scientists from different institutions and countries are conducting research in an attempt to find treatments that stop, prevent or cure this disease.
A recent study by the Center for Academic and Scientific Research UTHealth Houstonhave linked certain vaccines to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease in adults over 65 years of age. This is a vaccine against tetanus And diphtheria, with or without whooping cough (Tdap/Td) Shingles (HZ), better known as shingles; And Pneumococcus.
A study that was recently published in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, led by co-authors Christopher Harris, Program Manager, Department of Neurology, McGovern School of Medicine at UTHealth Houston. Paul E. Schultz, The lead author of the paper was Rick McCord Professor of Neurology at the McGovern School of Medicine, MD.
The new results come just over a year after Schultz’s team published another study in the journal that showed that people who received at least one flu vaccine they were 40% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than their unvaccinated peers.
“We were wondering if the detection of flu was specific to the flu vaccine. flu. These data showed that several additional adult vaccines were also associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Schultz, the Amfrey Family Professor of Neurodegenerative Diseases and director of the Center for Neurocognitive Disorders at the McGovern School of Medicine. We and others have suggested that the immune system it is responsible for the dysfunction of brain cells in Alzheimer’s disease. Our findings suggest that vaccination has a more general effect on the immune system, which reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.”
A group of researchers who completed Yaobing Lingg, PhD student, McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics at UTHealth Houston; and Avram Buchbinder, MD, graduate of medical school, conducted a retrospective cohort study that included patients who had not had dementia during a two-year retrospective period and who were 65 years old at the start of the eight-year follow-up. period. They compared two similar groups of patients by comparing propensity scores, one vaccinated and one unvaccinated, with Tdap/Td, HZ or pneumococcal vaccine. Ultimately, they calculated the relative risk and absolute risk reduction for developing Alzheimer’s disease.
“This study highlights the critical role that large-scale observational datasets play in biomedical research,” Ling said. “It is particularly encouraging to see consistent results across multiple large-scale health databases,” he said.
“Using state-of-the-art data analysis models and a large claims database subscribed to by the McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics, we have gained valuable insight into which vaccines can protect against Alzheimer’s disease and potentially develop prevention strategies more effective,” said Xiaoqian Jiang, Ph.D., co-author of the study, who chairs the Christopher Sarofim Family Chair in Biomedical Informatics and Bioengineering at the McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics.
Patients who received Vaccine Tdap/Td they were 30% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than their unvaccinated peers (7.2% of vaccinated patients versus 10.2% of unvaccinated patients).
Similar HC vaccination was associated with a 25% reduction in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (8.1% of vaccinated patients versus 10.7% of unvaccinated patients).
For pneumococcal vaccinethere was an associated risk reduction of 27% (7.92% of vaccinated patients versus 10.9% of unvaccinated patients).
In comparison, according to Schultz, three new anti-amyloid antibodies used to treat Alzheimer’s disease slow the progression of the disease by 25, 27 and 35 percent.
“We hypothesize that the vaccine-related reduction in Alzheimer’s risk is likely due to a combination of mechanisms,” Buchbinder said. “Vaccines can change the way the immune system responds to the accumulation of toxic proteins that contribute to Alzheimer’s disease, for example, by increasing the efficiency of immune cells in clearing toxic proteins, or by “tuning” the immune response to these proteins so that “collateral damage” is reduced to nearby healthy brain cells. Of course, these vaccines protect against infections such as shingles, which can contribute to neuroinflammation.”
The researchers recently explored the possible mechanisms in a paper published in Human Vaccines and Immunotherapys.
Buchbinder said the study provides unique information about the potential impact of certain vaccine technologies on protection against Alzheimer’s disease.
Tdap vaccine protects against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough, while the Td vaccine protects against the first two. Adults need a booster shot of Td or Tdap every 10 years to maintain a high level of protection against tetanus and diphtheria, serious bacterial infections that commonly affect the mucous membranes of the nose and throat.
HZ protects against shingles, a reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus in the body that causes a painful rash. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The CDC recommends that adults aged 50 and over, and those aged 19 and over with weakened immune systems due to illness or therapy, get two doses of the shingles vaccine called Shingrix.
However, the vaccine against pneumococcus protects against pneumonia, meningitis, sinus infection, blood infection, and middle ear infection. Pneumococcal disease is common in young children, but older people are at higher risk of severe disease and death; therefore, the CDC recommends pneumococcal vaccination for all children under 5 years of age and all adults over 65 years of age.
“This study highlights how important it is for patients to have easy access to routine adult vaccinations,” Harris said. “Over the past two years, the field of Alzheimer’s disease has expanded significantly, especially with the recent FDA approval of drugs against amyloid antibodies. However, the safe administration of these drugs requires an expensive infrastructure. In contrast, vaccines for adults are widely available and are already regularly administered as part of the vaccination schedule. Our results are a win for both Alzheimer’s prevention research and public health in general, as this is yet another study demonstrating the value of vaccination.”