Viagra Could Be The Cure For Alzheimers Disease

US experts who have been investigating the impotence pill Viagra's effects on the brain, says it may be an effective therapy for Alzheimer's disease.


Viagra Could Be The Cure For Alzheimers Disease

Cell culture experiments indicate that the medication is targeting many of the proteins that accumulate in this kind of dementia.

Additionally, the Cleveland team analysed a database of 7 million patients and discovered that males who took the medicine had a decreased chance of Alzheimer's disease.

Additional research is necessary, the authors write in the journal Nature Aging.

According to experts, this kind of work is intriguing since repurposing an existing medicine may be faster, easier, and less expensive than discovering and creating a fresh new cure.

Source - Roche

Viagra, also known as sildenafil, was first developed as a heart medication due to its primary function of increasing blood flow via the relaxation or widening of blood vessels.

Doctors then found that it had a similar impact elsewhere in the body, including the arteries of the penis, and it was successfully developed into a medication for erectile dysfunction.

However, scientists believe it may have more applications. Sildenafil is already prescribed to men and women for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension.

And scientists are now researching if it may benefit patients at risk of developing vascular dementia – the second most frequent type of dementia after Alzheimer's – which happens when the brain's blood supply is disrupted.

Now, experts think it may also benefit those suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Although the specific cause of this type of dementia is unknown, physicians do know that unusual protein deposits accumulate in the brains of those who suffer from it.

The Cleveland scientists found:

  • In laboratory trials of human tissue, high dosages of the medicine (more than a person would ordinarily take) enhanced brain cell proliferation and decreased protein buildup.
  • Sildenafil users were less likely to acquire Alzheimer's disease than those who did not use the prescription, according to six years of personal medical data involving more than 7.23 million people.

Lead investigator Dr Feixiong Cheng said, “Because our findings only establish an association between sildenafil use and reduced incidence of Alzheimer's disease, we are now planning a mechanistic trial and a phase II randomized clinical trial to test causality and confirm sildenafil's clinical benefits for Alzheimer's patients.

UK brain research expert Prof Tara Spires-Jones, from the University of Edinburgh, said: “More work will be needed to know whether this drug can indeed lower risk for Alzheimer's disease.

While these data are interesting scientifically, based on this study, I would not rush out to start taking sildenafil as a prevention for Alzheimer's disease."

Dr Jack Auty, lecturer in the Medical Sciences at the University of Tasmania, said: “In the field of Alzheimer's disease research, we have been excited by many drugs over the years, only to have our hopes dashed in clinical trials. I will be following this research group and the research around sildenafil closely."

Source – BBC

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