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HomeLifestyleViagra and Cialis May Reduce Risk of Alzheimer's Disease in Men

Viagra and Cialis May Reduce Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease in Men


Viagra and Cialis May Reduce Risk of Alzheimer's Disease in Men

Men who take medications to treat erectile dysfunction may also reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. fake images

Men who take medications to treat erectile dysfunction may also reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers in the United Kingdom found an association between phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, the group of drugs that includes Viagra and Cialis, and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s, the most common type of dementia.


The studymade in the Faculty of Pharmacy, University College London, evaluated the medical records of nearly 270,000 men newly diagnosed with erectile dysfunction, who had no thinking or memory problems and whose average age was 59 years. The researchers tracked these patients for an average of five years and adjusted the data to account for their smoking status. , alcohol consumption and other factors that could influence the chances of developing Alzheimer’s. The results, published this week in the journal Neurology, found that men who took ED medications were 18% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than those who did not.

What’s more, the men who were issued the largest number of prescriptions throughout the study they had the greatest risk reduction.

“This is an exciting starting point,” study co-author. Ruth Brauer, Ph.D.says Fortune, while highlighting that “an association does not mean a causal effect.”

How Viagra Can Protect Against Alzheimer’s

PDE5 It works by relaxing the blood vessels. These PDE5s are approved in the US to treat erectile dysfunction and were all included in the study:

  • sildenafil (Viagra)
  • tadalafil (Cialis)
  • vardenafil (Levitra)
  • avanafil (Stendra)

“However, these drugs showed in animal models that vasodilation or relaxation of blood vessels extended to the brain,” says Brauer, referring to a 2019 review in the magazine Behavioral brain research. “These animal models show that increasing cerebral blood flow could actually have a neuroprotective effect.”

Brauer and his colleagues felt similar observational studies until now performed on humans They were inconclusive and wanted to make their own contribution to the investigation. While the team’s results are promising, Brauer says additional studies are needed, particularly randomized controlled trials.

The researchers had to make a key assumption in their analysis: that the men who were prescribed the drugs took them as directed.

“We can only see who is prescribed medication. We have no information about who picks up the prescription at the pharmacy and we don’t know who actually takes it,” says Brauer. “If you are brave enough to go to your GP and ask for PDE5 inhibitors, you will be very motivated to take these medications. So we assume that the prescriptions translated into use.”

Can women take erectile dysfunction drugs to prevent Alzheimer’s?

PDE5s are not approved for use in women in the U.S. Additionally, it would be unwise for healthy women to take such drugs without any guaranteed benefit, Brauer says.

Still, Brauer envisions future trials that would include patients of all genders who are already experiencing mild cognitive impairment, with the hope that PDE5 drugs will slow the rate of decline. Men with no history of erectile dysfunction would be a key part of that equation.

While the UCL researchers were able to take into account patients’ socioeconomic status, other factors, such as patients’ physical activity, were difficult to measure, Brauer says.

Noting that “ethnicity is poorly recorded in UK GP records,” Brauer adds that studying a more racially and ethnically diverse cohort of patients would also help scientists better understand the association between PDE5 and the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.



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