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The Nation

A hormone in the final stages of clinical testing may provide a powerful boost to the immune system of the elderly and help to protect them from influenza and pneumonia, two major killers of the aged, scientists said. Dr. William B. Ershler of the University of Wisconsin told the Senate Committee on Aging that two clinical tests of a hormone preparation called Thymosin Alpha One has significantly improved the effectiveness of flu vaccine among the elderly. Ershler said a deficiency in the immune system of the elderly was caused by a decline in the function of the thymus gland, which was traced to shortage of a hormone called thymosin.


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