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Studies link Viagra to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, but experts reserve

New research published in the journal Nature aging Identified the association between the use of the popular erectile dysfunction drug Viagra and the reduction of cases of Alzheimer’s disease. This is not the first time that a beneficial association between Viagra and Alzheimer’s disease has been proposed, but clinical trials are needed to investigate the causal relationship.

A new study led by Feixong Cheng, a genomic medicine unit at the Cleveland Clinic, was not aimed at specifically investigating Viagra. Instead, the main purpose of this study was to establish a new methodology for screening existing drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Chen’s team focuses on the potential of drugs that interact with toxic amyloid and tau proteins commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as a larger network of genes and proteins known to be associated with the disease. I matched.

“Recent studies have shown that the interaction between amyloid and tau contributes more to Alzheimer’s disease than it does,” says Chen. “Therefore, we hypothesized that drugs targeting the intersection of amyloid and tau endophenotype molecular networks should have the greatest potential for success.”

Over 1,600 FDA-approved drugs were screened and sildenafil (commonly known as Viagra) stood out as the best candidate. Next, researchers examined health insurance data from more than 7 million people to determine the actual link between Viagra use and a reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.

Surprisingly, the analysis found that Viagra users were 69% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who did not take Viagra. Subsequent studies in the stem cell laboratory have shown that Viagra can promote brain cell growth and reduce certain pathological signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

This study is not the first to show that Viagra may be reused as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Last year’s compelling research Researchers at Harvard University have provided plausible evidence that the drug can reduce the accumulation of toxic proteins associated with the disease.

Catherine Hall of the University of Sussex says the new study is certainly interesting, but it’s unclear how Viagra could be specifically treated for Alzheimer’s disease in its current form. Hall suggests that Viagra is unlikely to be deployed as a daily Alzheimer’s disease prophylaxis, so the results of these studies may be better used as inspiration for developing new therapies. Suggests.

“Is it possible to treat everyone with sildenafil for years before they are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, or does this cause more problems than it solves?” Hall asks. “It may be better to study the pathways that mediate these beneficial effects of sildenafil and then encourage lifestyle factors (eg exercise) that can be shown to reduce risk in the same way. . “

Other researchers question whether this study detects a true causal link between Viagra use and Alzheimer’s disease. Tara Spires-Jones of the University of Edinburgh says Alzheimer’s disease is known to reduce a person’s libido. Therefore, in the early stages of an illness with diminished libido, it may even be less likely to look for a prescription for erectile dysfunction.

Jack Autumn of the University of Tasmania reflects this limitation and says that a large array of lifestyle variables can explain the association between Viagra and the low rate of Alzheimer’s disease, despite the hypothetical mechanism proposed by the new study. I’m pointing out.

“For example, walking slowly is associated with an increased risk of diagnosing dementia,” says Auty. “Walking fast isn’t because it prevents dementia, but because walking speed correlates with health. Now replace walking with sex life. In previous studies, people with early signs of Alzheimer’s disease Therefore, the use of sildenafil may be a false correlation – also known as red herring. ”

Chen is realistic about the limits of his team’s research. He proposes further clinical studies to further investigate whether there is a causal link between Viagra and Alzheimer’s disease. But also, the new methodologies developed in the study for screening existing drugs apply to other brain disorders.

“Our findings only establish an association between sildenafil use and a reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, so we are currently trying to test the causal relationship and confirm the clinical benefits of sildenafil for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. We are planning mechanical and phase II randomized clinical trials, “Cheng adds. “We also predict that other neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis will also have approaches to accelerate the drug discovery process.”

New research published in journal Nature aging..

sauce: Cleveland Clinic



https://newatlas.com/health-wellbeing/viagra-alzheimers-treatment-nature-aging-study/ Studies link Viagra to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, but experts reserve

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