Viagra could help fight against Alzheimer's disease, study finds

A new study has found a correlation between the use of Viagra and the decreased chances of developping Alzheimer's disease.

A recent American study has found that men who use Viagra—a popular erectile dysfunction medication—are 69% less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease.

The researchers from the Cleveland Clinic are not sure whether or not a causal relationship exists between the two, which has now prompted them to test their findings in a clinical trial. Lead investigator Dr Feixiong Cheng explained:

Because our findings only establish an association between sildenafil use and reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, we are now planning a mechanistic trial and a phase II randomised clinical trial to test causality and confirm sildenafil’s clinical benefits for Alzheimer’s patients.

What is Alzheimer's disease?

Alzheimer's disease is a disorder that affects the brain by slowly killing memory and thinking skills that eventually leads to an inability to perform even the simplest of tasks. At the onset of the disease, memory problems are the most typical indicator of the disorder. At its worst, Alzheimer's will prevent the person afflicted to carry out everyday tasks such as driving, cooking, or even constructing sentences.

According to research from The Alzheimer's Society, in 2019, 850,000 people were living with dementia—Alzheimer's being the most common cause for dementia—in the UK alone. In other words, 1 in every 14 people over the age of 65 suffered from deteriorating mental abilities. It is estimated that by 2040, there will roughly be 1.5 million people suffering from dementia in the UK.

How many people are using Viagra today?

Viagra, also known under sildenafil, is being used now more than ever. With erectile dysfunction no longer being as stigmatised in modern society, more and more younger men have admitted to battling with ED.

In the UK alone, NHS digitial figures have revealed that in 2016 almost three million prescriptions for viagra had been given out, compared to just a little over a million in 2006.

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