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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Viagra may prevent Alzheimer’s – study

The erectile dysfunction drug could ward off cognitive decline, new research suggests

Sildenafil, the generic name for Viagra, may not only treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension, but also ward off cognitive decline, according to research published by the Cleveland Clinic Genome Center earlier this month.

The authors of the study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease on March 1, found that those who took sildenafil were 30% to 54% less likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers used real-world patient data from the MarketScan Medicare Supplemental database (2012-2017) and the Clinformatics database (2007-2020) to arrive at the conclusion.

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The research was focused on those taking sildenafil or four comparator drugs, including bumetanide, furosemide, spironolactone, and nifedipine. Comparators are existing marketed drug products, or new drugs in development, including placebo versions. Gender, age, race, and concurrent diseases of the patients were factored in.

The study concluded that the use of sildenafil was associated with reduced likelihood of Alzheimer’s relative to the control drugs. The results also showed that the drug activates genes in neurons that affect cell growth, improves brain function and reduces the risks of inflammation.

“We used artificial intelligence to integrate data across multiple domains which all indicated sildenafil’s potential against this devastating neurological disease,” said Feixiong Cheng, director of the Cleveland Clinic Genome Center, who led the study.

Similar conclusions about sildenafil were made by researchers from University College London earlier this year. The study, published in the journal Neurology last month, included nearly 270,000 men who were diagnosed with erectile dysfunction and had no cognitive problems at the beginning of the research work. Those taking the drugs were 18% less likely to develop the dementia-causing condition.

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