We've almost made it through one of the worst flu seasons we've seen in a decade. If you happened to suffer through a bought of the flu, you may have noticed something after you recovered. You may have noticed that your memory didn't seem as strong as it did prior to the illness. As it turns out, there's growing evidence that the flu can harm your brain.
A new study published in The Journal of Neuroscience found that the flu can change the structure and function of the hippocampus. The hippocampus controls your memory, particularly your long-term memory, your emotions, and your spatial navigation. What's more, the damage the flu causes can cause these problem to last for a month after the infection.
This surprised the researches since the flu is a respiratory disease. They didn't say if the damage to the brain came because of the oxygen impairment or the virus itself. They also didn't know if the damage could last long term. But they did notice the infection activated the brain's immune cells for an extended period of time. It also altered the expression of genes implicated in disorders such as depression, autism, and schizophrenia. The researchers said their findings suggest that some strains of the flu may pose a threat to healthy brain function.
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This gives even greater importance to avoiding the flu every winter. Most medical professionals will tell you to get a vaccine to avoid the flu. But this study seems to confirm previous studies suggesting that getting multiple flu vaccines over a number of years can cause long-term damage to the brain. So flu vaccines won't solve the problem.
Instead, focus on natural remedies, such as vitamin D, EpiCor , and elderberry. This study also suggests you need to take action to protect your brain after you have the flu. So once you've recovered from the flu, make sure you take a brain supplement, such as Advanced Memory Formula, to help your brain recover from any damage the flu does to it.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening, ND.