By Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D.
July 14, 2008
While there has been increasing attention paid to the linkage between vaccines and autism, practically no attention has been paid to the possible linkage between the flu vaccine and Alzheimer’s. Dr. H. H. Fudenberg has sent me the abstract for an article he co-authored with P. Anderson and Dr. Nicholas Christoff, an oft-quoted pediatric neurologist who practiced medicine at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, City University of New York. The abstract states the following: “Studies were carried out in four cities with affluent populations and with hospitals with four or more neurologists, namely Palo Alto, CA (Stanford Medical School), Bethesda, MD (NIH), Madison, WI (University of Wisconsin School of Medicine), and Evanston, IL (Evanston Hospital). Advertisements placed in local newspapers in early 1987 were used to recruit subjects. The ads stated: ‘Wanted: subjects aged 65-70 in good health and close friends of one or more subjects with Alzheimer’s disease to participate in a double-blind study designed to ascertain whether immunization against influenza reduces the likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease (our postulate was that it might; we did not anticipate an increase).
Three physical and neurologic examinations and memory tests plus complete blood count at entry, repeated five years later. Half the subjects will receive influenza vaccine, the other half placebo.’ Each of the participating neurologists saw 65 potential subjects (12 per year) with no abnormal findings on physical or neurologic exam, nor mal cbcs and SAMA 20s, and a score on the Folstein and Folstein Hopkins MiniMental exam of 23 or greater (100 percent is 30). On average, 800 of the 880 subjects returned at 5 years. The subjects were matched by pairs for age, sex, and years of college and professional school (e.g., medicine 4 years college, 3 years medical school; PhDs 4 years college, and 3 or 4 years of graduate school; dentists and attorneys 3 years of professional school; MBAs 2 years; etc.). At the end of five years (1993-1997) the subjects were re-evaluated. MiniMental scores in 88 of the vaccine group were below 20 (12-19), whereas only 8 of the individuals in the placebo were in that range.” In other words, eleven times the number of people who had the flu vaccine compared to the placebo had a dramatic decline in their MiniMental exam scores. Surely, that should suggest a possible link between the flu vaccine and Alzheimer’s.