Viagra Users Are 69% Less Likely to Develop Alzheimer’s, According to New Study

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You may want to think twice next time you see someone reaching for the little blue pill. A new study has identified Viagra as a useful drug in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, according to researchers at the Cleveland Clinic.

Specifically, sildenafil, or the generic name for Viagra, was found to be associated with 69% less incidence of Alzheimer’s in 7 million patients observed.

“Sildenafil … has been shown to significantly improve cognition and memory in preclinical models,” said Dr. Feixiong Cheng, the lead researcher in the study.

Around 13.8 million Americans will develop Alzheimer’s by 2050 if there is no new treatments or cure – which led Cheng and his team to investigate FDA-approved drugs and how they may play a role in whether patients developed Alzheimer’s.

Sildenafil proved to be the most effective, and users of the drug were 69% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than nonusers after six years of follow-up.

The team determined sildenafil targeted both amyloid and tau in the brain, both of which are present in the brains of those who suffer from Alzheimer’s.

They also discovered that “sildenafil use reduced the likelihood of Alzheimer’s in individuals with coronary artery disease, hypertension and type 2 diabetes, all of which are comorbidities significantly associated with risk of the disease,” Cheng said.

The team now plans to embark on randomized clinical trials involving a placebo control in order to come to a more conclusive determination on sildenafil’s efficacy.