Swine flu jab and narcolepsy may be linked by autoimmune response
Vaccine may have caused narcolepsy by triggering the production of antibodies which destroy a sleep-regulating part of the brain, a new study suggests
Scientists appear close to pinpointing why a swine flu vaccine given to six million people in Britain triggered the devastating sleep disorder, narcolepsy, in rare cases.
The Pandemrix vaccine, made by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and which was recommended by the UK government to high-risk groups during the 2009-10 swine flu pandemic, was withdrawn after medical records showed a spike in the number of cases of narcolepsy presenting in doctors’ surgeries.
But until now it has not been clear why the jab caused the chronic illness, which involves uncontrollable daytime sleepiness, in around one in 55,000 recipients.