Home Health Viagra may slash risk of Alzheimer’s by nearly a fifth, finds study of 250,000 impotent men

Viagra may slash risk of Alzheimer’s by nearly a fifth, finds study of 250,000 impotent men

by Alexander
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Viagra may slash risk of Alzheimer's by nearly a fifth, finds study of 250,000 impotent men

Viagra and other impotence pills can stimulate the brain and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 18 percent, according to one study.

Men who took the little blue erectile dysfunction pills had greater brain activity and were less likely to develop dementia later in life.

Researchers found that the drugs, originally developed to treat high blood pressure, can enter the brain and trigger cellular signals closely related to memory.

Erectile dysfunction is usually treated with phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitor medications, including sildenafil (Viagra, pictured) and tadalafil (Cialis), which increase blood flow to the penis.

Dr Leah Mursaleen, head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: ‚ÄúDeveloping drugs for diseases like Alzheimer’s is an expensive process and can take many years.

“Being able to repurpose drugs already approved for other diseases could help accelerate progress and open new avenues to prevent or treat diseases that cause dementia.”

The study, published in the journal Neurology, analyzed 269,725 men with an average age of 59 who were diagnosed with erectile dysfunction but without memory or thinking problems.

Over five years, those who did not take Viagra or similar medications were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at a rate of 9.7 in 10,000, compared with 8.1 in 10,000 among those who did take the pills.

Those who took more pills seemed to have a correspondingly lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

After adjusting for other risk factors, such as smoking, diet and alcohol consumption, the pills were associated with an 18 percent risk reduction.

Researcher Matthew Adesuyan, from University College London, said: “The results are encouraging and may indicate a new way to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.”

Dr. Ruth Brauer added: “Although we are making progress with new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease that eliminate amyloid plaques in the brain, we desperately need treatments that can prevent or delay the development of Alzheimer’s disease.”

“More research is needed to confirm these findings, learn more about the possible benefits and mechanisms of these drugs, and study the optimal dosage.

“A randomized controlled trial with male and female participants is warranted to determine whether these findings would also apply to women.”

Tara Spiers-Jones, president of the British Neuroscience Association, said: “This study does not conclusively prove that erectile dysfunction drugs reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, but it does provide good evidence that this type of drug deserves further study in the future”.

In addition to helping men perform in the bedroom, Viagra, also known as Sildenafil, has been shown to have other benefits. Last year, a study found that it can help kill tumors of the lung, prostate, stomach and ovaries.

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