2 Your Health: Erectile dysfunction, pulmonary hypertension drug linked to reduced risk for Alzheimer’s Disease, study shows

2 Your Health

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A new study from Cleveland Clinic has found that sildenafil, which is an FDA approved drug for erectile dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension, could potentially help prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease.

“We think that this data really shows a potential link or association between sildenafil and a reduced likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease,” explained Fiexiong Cheng, PhD, researcher for Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Cheng said they started by looking at 1,600 different FDA-approved medications to see which could be an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

They were then able to identify sildenafil as the best drug candidate. He said they reviewed a database of more than seven million patients over a six-year span and determined that sildenafil-users were 69% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Cheng said more research still needs to be done, but it appears the drug may help increase brain cell growth and decrease the development of a specific protein related to Alzheimer’s disease.

“In our study, we saw a stronger association in men compared to women. I think one possibility or limitation was women had a much smaller sample size compared to men. So, we really need to verify the efficacy or clinical benefit in women when we do the randomized clinical trial,” said Dr. Cheng.

He said it is important to understand this research is in the very early stages.

The public is not advised to go out and try to get a prescription for sildenafil to help prevent or treat Alzheimer’s disease.

He said they plan to conduct a clinical trial in the near future.

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