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Huge Study Finds That Viagra Could Lower Alzheimer’s Risk By 69%

A new study has found the little blue pill could be far more valuable than just a simple cure to men’s problems downstairs.

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Viagra, the little blue pill, has long been known as simply a “boner pill” – a quick, if temporary, fix to erectile dysfunction in males that helps blood circulate to the genitals.

However, a new study from the U.S. published in Nature Aging has found that users of the medication sildenafil – the generic name for the Viagra brand – can dramatically reduce the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease by about 69 percent.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of age-related dementia, impacting hundreds of millions of people across the globe. However, there has been no known effective treatment for the neurodegenerative disease – at least not yet.

Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic used a large gene-mapping network integrating genetic and other data to find which FDA-approved drugs could effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease. Through their tests, they found that drugs targeting both amyloid and tau – the two key proteins impacted by Alzheimers – worked better than those targeting one or the other.

“Sildenafil, which has been shown to significantly improve cognition and memory in preclinical models, presented as the best drug candidate,” said Feixiong Cheng, who spearheaded the study.

The researchers then compared the outcome Alzheimer’s disease for sildenafil users and non-users by relying on a database of information from over 7 million people in the United States.

They found that users of the drug were nearly 70 percent less likely to develop the neurodegenerative disease after six years.

Researchers also used a lab model to show that sildenafil encouraged brain cell growth and targeted tau proteins, showing how the drug could mitigate brain changes related to the disease.

“Being able to repurpose a drug already licensed for other health conditions could help speed up the drug discovery process and bring about life-changing dementia treatments sooner,” Alzheimer’s Research UK director of research Susan Kohlhaas told the Guardian.

The Cleveland team plans to conduct further research to confirm the clinical benefits of sildenafil for Alzheimer’s patients.

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