clues that drugs similar to Viagra could help prevent dementia | Health info

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(Health Day)

MONDAY, Feb. 14, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Viagra-like drugs may do more than rejuvenate sex life: A new study suggests erectile dysfunction drugs may also help treat vascular dementia.

The drugs are designed to increase blood flow to the penis to treat erectile dysfunction. British researchers therefore decided to test whether we called tadalafil (Cialis) may also increase blood flow to the brain in older people with narrowing of the cerebral arteries. This narrowing can cause vascular dementia and strokes.

“Narrowing of the cerebral arteries is a common contributor to cognitive decline in older people and currently has no cure,” said lead researcher Dr Jeremy Isaacs, consultant neurologist at St. George’s Hospital, University of London. .

In the study, some participants received a single dose of tadalafil, while others received an inactive placebo. Their cerebral blood flow was recorded using a special type of MRI.

Although there was no significant difference in cerebral blood flow between the two study groups, participants over the age of 70 showed increased flow in the white matter of the brain, the most important area. for vascular dementiaaccording to results recently published in the journal Alzheimer’s and dementia.

These Phase 2 clinical trial results suggest the value of further investigation into tadalafil’s effectiveness in treating vascular dementia in older adults, the researchers said.

“This was a landmark study in which we attempted to reverse the reduction in cerebral blood flow characteristic of this condition,” Isaacs said in a St. George press release. “Although we did not find a significant effect after a single dose of tadalafil, we cannot exclude the possibility of benefits from longer term use, for which further research is needed.”

Tadalafil belongs to the same group of drugs as sildenafil (Viagra) and vardenafil (Levitra), which are also used to treat erectile dysfunction. Tadalafil was selected for this trial because it stays in the bloodstream longer and there is evidence that it can enter the brain better.

Lead investigator Dr Atticus Hainsworth said Viagra-like drugs deserve further investigation for possible use in dementia.

“Repurposed drugs have the increased benefits of a shorter development time, known safety profile, and low cost once their original patent expires,” said Hainsworth, Cerebrovascular Diseases Reader. at St. George’s. “We hope that further investigations will prove fruitful and provide new options for clinicians treating dementia.”

SOURCE: St. George’s, University of London, press release, February 8, 2022

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