Erectile Dysfunction Treatment Could Offer Relief For Alzheimer’s Disease Patients, Study Shows

In Education

Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic have discovered that sildenafil (Viagra), known for treating erectile dysfunction, may have potential in treating Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia.

Viagra drug could be repurposed for AD

The report presents findings from computational models, insurance data, and observations of Alzheimer’s patients’ brain cells. It references sildenafil, the active ingredient in drugs like Viagra and Revatio.

Lead researcher Dr. Feixiong Cheng said that the findings support the case for repurposing an already FDA-approved medication as an innovative remedy for Alzheimer’s, a condition urgently requiring fresh therapeutic approaches. Cheng said they employed artificial intelligence to amalgamate information from various fields all pointing towards sildenafil’s promise in combating this debilitating neurological ailment.

Alzheimer’s currently impacts over six million Americans, with diagnoses expected to triple in the future. There’s an urgent call for swift development of prevention and treatment methods. Drug repurposing, employing existing drugs for new therapeutic purposes, offers a practical solution to the expensive and lengthy traditional drug discovery process.

In a continuation of previous research, Dr. Cheng and his team from the Cleveland Clinic Genome Center conducted an analysis using large datasets of anonymous insurance claims. They found that patients taking sildenafil had a significant reduction (30 to 54 percent) in Alzheimer’s disease diagnoses compared to those not taking the drug, even after adjusting for various factors.

Sildenafil reduces neurotoxic tau proteins in brain of AD patients

The research indicates that sildenafil reduces neurotoxic tau proteins in the brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients. Additionally, it stimulates genes linked to cell growth, enhanced brain function, reduced inflammation, and other processes that may protect against neural degeneration in Alzheimer’s disease.

This study shows the viability of computer models for swiftly and reliably identifying new drug candidates, particularly in Alzheimer’s research, marking a substantial advancement in drug discovery for the disease.

Dr. Cheng finds it gratifying to observe the effects of sildenafil on human neurons and real-world Alzheimer’s patient outcomes after computational data integration. These findings suggest the necessity of clinical trials to explore sildenafil’s potential efficacy in treating Alzheimer’s disease.

Mobile Sliding Menu