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Are Flu Shots Linked to Alzheimer's Disease?

by Matt Kudish, Alzheimer's & Dementia Expert
January 12, 2012

Question: I have heard flu shots increase the risk of Alzheimer’s? Is this true?

Answer:

There is currently no hard evidence or published research linking flu shots with Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, several mainstream studies link flu shots and other vaccinations to a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease and overall better health. 

Flu shots do have some risk associated with them, as does the flu itself. For healthy young people the flu has a tiny risk of any long lasting effects. For older people, however, the risk of more serious effects after getting the flu are higher. The decision of whether or not to get a flu shot is one that should be made with your doctor after evaluation all of the risks of both the treatment and the disease

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Matt Kudish, LMSW, is Vice President, Director of Education, Outreach and Caregiver Services at the Alzheimer’s Association, New York City Chapter. In this role, Matt oversees the Chapter’s 24-hour Helpline and Care Consultation programs, as well as comprehensive education and training initiatives throughout the five boroughs.

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