Could Viagra Help Prevent Alzheimer's?

6 months ago 104
PR Distribution
By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Dec. 6, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Viagra, a cause agelong utilized to dainty erectile dysfunction, whitethorn treble arsenic a imaginable limb against Alzheimer's disease, a caller survey suggests.

Looking astatine information connected much than 7 cardinal Americans, researchers recovered that those taking the cause were 69% little apt to make Alzheimer's, erstwhile compared to non-users.

Then, successful laboratory experiments, the investigators showed that the medicine seemed to people portion of the underlying illness process successful Alzheimer's.

Still, the findings should not nonstop anyone moving to the doc for a Viagra prescription, the researchers cautioned.

But they bash reason for clinical trials to trial the cause against Alzheimer's, said elder researcher Feixiong Cheng, of Cleveland Clinic's Genomic Medicine Institute.

Viagra, sold generically arsenic sildenafil, was approved implicit 20 years agone for treating erectile dysfunction. Sildenafil was aboriginal approved nether a antithetic marque sanction (Revatio) for pulmonary hypertension, a signifier of high humor pressure affecting the lungs.

The cause works by inhibiting a macromolecule called phosphodiesterase-5, which successful crook allows humor vessels to unbend and widen, improving humor flow.

But phosphodiesterases besides beryllium successful the brain, Cheng said. And caller laboratory probe has suggested sildenafil whitethorn inhibit the abnormal macromolecule buildup that is simply a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. In laboratory mice engineered to person an Alzheimer's-like condition, sildenafil has shown enactment against those proteins, and boosted representation and brain-cell formation.

The caller findings, published online Dec. 6 successful the diary Nature Aging, bolster the lawsuit for studying the cause arsenic an Alzheimer's treatment, Cheng said.

If that happens, sildenafil would articulation a increasing database of approved drugs that researchers anticipation to "repurpose" arsenic treatments for Alzheimer's.

Medications for conditions ranging from diabetes to precocious humor unit to cancer are already being investigated for that precise purpose, said Dr. Howard Fillit, founding enforcement manager of the nonprofit Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation.

The instauration was among aggregate funders of the existent study, the superior 1 being the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Fillit agreed that the findings should assistance determination sildenafil into Alzheimer's trials. Ultimately, helium said, everyone believes it volition instrumentality aggregate approaches, and combinations of medications, to conflict a illness arsenic analyzable arsenic Alzheimer's.

"We'll request aggregate therapies to people the antithetic ways that things spell incorrect successful the encephalon successful Alzheimer's," Fillit explained.

Repurposing approved medications has evident advantages implicit starting from scratch to make caller therapies. Approved drugs person a known information way record, and they tin beryllium brought to trials comparatively quickly, with little expense.

Of course, Fillit said, determination has to beryllium a rationale for choosing which drugs to repurpose.

For the latest study, Cheng's squad started with the premise that drugs affecting 2 proteins — amyloid and tau — would person the top imaginable against Alzheimer's. The illness is marked by an abnormal clumping of those proteins successful the brain, commonly known arsenic plaques and tangles.

Research has shown, Cheng said, that the enactment betwixt amyloid and tau is much important than either unsocial successful the Alzheimer's process.

His squad screened implicit 1,600 approved medications, utilizing familial and different biologic data, and yet landed connected sildenafil arsenic the champion campaigner arsenic a imaginable Alzheimer's therapy.

Next they utilized wellness security claims from implicit 7 cardinal Americans to spot whether sildenafil users were astatine little hazard of Alzheimer's. And connected average, they were 69% little apt to beryllium diagnosed with the encephalon illness implicit six years, versus non-users.

The reduced hazard was seen among radical with bosom disease, precocious humor unit oregon diabetes — each hazard factors for dementia — arsenic good arsenic radical without those conditions, Cheng said.

Sildenafil users adjacent had a little Alzheimer's hazard erstwhile compared against radical connected the humor unit cause losartan oregon the diabetes medicine metformin — some presently nether survey for battling dementia.

Finally, successful experiments with cells taken from Alzheimer's patients, the researchers recovered that sildenafil seemed to inhibit tau and enactment encephalon compartment growth.

"This supports the behaviour of a objective trial, and past we'll person an answer," Fillit said. "We won't cognize until we person trials."

And though astir existent sildenafil users are men, those trials should see some sexes, Cheng's squad pointed out.

For now, Fillit said radical tin assistance support their encephalon wellness done manner choices, including regular exercise, eating a steadfast diet, not smoking and getting conditions specified arsenic precocious humor unit and diabetes nether control.

"That's bully not lone for your heart, but your brain, arsenic well," helium said.

More information

The Alzheimer's Association has much connected Alzheimer's risk reduction.

SOURCES: Feixiong Cheng, PhD, adjunct staff, Genomic Medicine Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Ohio; Howard Fillit, MD, founding enforcement director, main subject officer, Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation, New York City; Nature Aging, Dec. 6, 2021, online

Read Entire Article