Vaccinations Do Not Increase The Risk Of Developing Multiple Sclerosis

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Vaccinations Do Not Increase The Risk Of Developing Multiple Sclerosis
Vaccinations Do Not Increase The Risk Of Developing Multiple Sclerosis

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Vaccinations do not increase the risk of developing multiple sclerosis

A large new German study found vaccines are not a risk factor for multiple sclerosis. In contrast, the results, published in the journal Neurology, show a strong association between higher vaccination rates and a lower likelihood of developing the disorder.

Vaccinations do not increase the risk of developing multiple sclerosis
Vaccinations do not increase the risk of developing multiple sclerosis

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A large new German study found vaccines are not a risk factor for multiple sclerosis. Conversely, the results, published in the journal Neurology, show a strong association between higher vaccination rates and a lower chance of developing the disorder.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease that damages the central nervous system (CNS) by destroying the sheath of nerve fibers. Experts believe that MS is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system in a similar way as it defends itself against external threats such as viruses and bacteria. More than 2.3 million people worldwide suffer from MS. MS can affect people at any age, but it usually develops between the ages of 20 and 50, with women three times more likely to develop MS than men. MS symptoms are unpredictable and vary, depending on where the CNS damage occurs. People with MS usually experience fatigue, numbness, blurred vision, balance and coordination problems, and speech problems. They also have difficulty with memory and concentration.In rare cases, the disease can cause blindness and paralysis.

Researchers at the Technical University of Munich examined data from more than 200,000 people on vaccinations and diagnosed diseases, including data on 12,262 people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The studied patients received vaccinations against chickenpox, measles, mumps, rubella, influenza, meningococcal infection, pneumococcal infection, human papillomavirus, tick-borne encephalitis, and hepatitis A and B. Then the scientists evaluated the possible links between diagnosed MS and vaccinations received within 5 years prior to diagnosis.

"The results did not indicate that vaccination is a risk factor for MS," the authors argue. The researchers analyzed data from control groups comparing people with and without MS. They also compared patients with MS with patients with two other autoimmune diseases: Crohn's disease and psoriasis.

The results showed that in the 5 years prior to diagnosis, patients who developed MS received fewer vaccinations than those who did not develop MS. The results were correct for all vaccines that the scientists studied, but the most pronounced were for vaccinations against influenza and tick-borne encephalitis.

The researchers speculate that one reason for this link may be that people who develop MS notice its symptoms long before they are diagnosed, and may avoid vaccinations to avoid overwhelming their immune systems. Another possible reason is that vaccinations somehow prevent the immune system from attacking the central nervous system. The authors call for further research to investigate this effect.

“In any case, given the large amount of data analyzed, we can conclusively state that there is no evidence that vaccination increases the likelihood of MS,” the authors argue.

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