Viagra can now threat or prevent Alzheimer disease

Viagra can now threat or prevent Alzheimer

The erectile dysfunction drug, Sildenafil, also known as Viagra can now be used to threat or prevent Alzheimer diease (AD). Viagra (also used to treat high blood pressure_, has promised to treat or prevent Alzheimer’s disease (AD). According to researchers, sildenafil users were 69-percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than non-sildenafil users. The new research adds to evidence that this well-known drug might help reduce the risk of degenerative conditions. Dementia is a syndrome in which there is deterioration in cognitive function beyond what might be expected from the usual consequences of biological aging. 

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disease and the most common form of dementia. Dementia is not a specific disease. Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. 

Although dementia mainly affects older people, it is not an inevitable consequence of aging. More than 55 million people live with this disease worldwide, and nearly 10 million new cases are recorded each year. Dementia has physical, psychological, social, and economic impacts on people living with dementia and their carers, families, and society; Dementia results from various diseases and injuries that primarily or secondarily affect the brain. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and may contribute to 60-70% of cases. Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the fifth-leading cause of death among Americans age 65 and older. Official death certificates recorded 121,499 deaths from AD in 2019.

The study

The study led by Cheng included more than seven million patient databases. Within that, 69% of their cases showed decreased effects of Alzheimer’s due to the drug sildenafil, also known as Viagra.

“We found individuals who take Viagra or sildenafil have a significantly reduced likelihood for Alzheimer’s disease,” said Cheng.

Which now brings their studies to the next step.

“Yeah, I think the next step is we are highly active to planning, phase two, you know, clinical trial randomised clinical trial,” said Cheng.

There are usually three phases in clinical trials. Each takes six months to a year, sometimes even more, before the drug can be approved and distributed.

“So I think we may probably get a result in the next two or three years if we’re lucky,” said Cheng.

Due to their approach using FDA-approved drugs, the process may go faster and be different from other Alzheimer’s medications that are already approved.

“Yeah, I think right now you have like five drugs approved by FDA to treat Alzheimer’s disease, but these kinds of treatment are just more symptom-based therapeutics,” said Cheng.

Cheng is optimistic and believes Viagra could be their answer.

“I think Alzheimer’s disease in the future is treatable or that, you know, we probably come out of the drug or effective medication in the next few years,” said Cheng.

But only time and more trials will tell.

Cheng also foresees their approach helping with other neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease.

Lifestyle changes that might reduce Alzheimer’s risk

A study published in June 2020 found that following at least 4 out of 5 healthy lifestyle behaviors could reduce dementia risk by 60 percent.

The behaviors were:

  • being physically active
  • not smoking
  • consuming light to moderate amounts of alcohol
  • eating a high-quality diet
  • being mentally active

The high-quality diet researchers recommend is the plant-based Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet.

“This observational study provides more evidence on how a combination of modifiable behaviors may mitigate Alzheimer’s disease risk,” Dr. Richard J. Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging, said in a statement.

The bottom line so far

A new study finds that Sildenafil, a drug FDA approved to treat high blood pressure and erectile dysfunction, may reduce the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 69 percent.

Experts say the study had severe limitations and only shows an association with reduced risk.

They also say that simple lifestyle changes, like not smoking and keeping physically active, could significantly reduce the risk of dementia.

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