April 23, 2024

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Viagra Can Be Used for Prevention and Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

Viagra Can Be Used for Prevention and Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease



Viagra Can Be Used for Prevention and Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease (AD), commonly known as “senile dementia,” is the most common neurodegenerative disease. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease typically exhibit symptoms such as memory loss, decreased learning ability, emotional regulation disorders, and loss of motor skills, making it difficult for them to live independently and imposing a huge burden on families and society.

With the increasing global aging population, the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease is also on the rise. It is estimated that by 2050, the number of patients will increase to 150 million. Therefore, Alzheimer’s disease is also known as the “plague of the 21st century.” This highlights the urgency of developing new strategies for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. “Repurposing old drugs,” that is, using existing approved drugs for new treatment purposes, is a practical alternative that can replace the expensive and time-consuming traditional drug development process.

Sildenafil (commonly known as Viagra) is a drug approved by the U.S. FDA for the treatment of erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension. As early as December 2021, Dr. Feixiong Cheng’s team at the Cleveland Medical Center in the United States published a paper in the journal Nature Aging, which found that sildenafil was associated with a 69% reduction in the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in a large-scale analysis of databases with over 7 million patients, suggesting the potential of sildenafil as a preventive and treatment method for Alzheimer’s disease.

On March 1, 2024, researchers published a study titled “Sildenafil as a Candidate Drug for Alzheimer’s Disease: Real-World Patient Data Observation and Mechanistic Observations from Patient-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neurons” in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The study provides observational data from computational models and real-world Alzheimer’s disease patients, as well as experimental data from Alzheimer’s disease patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neurons, further confirming the potential of sildenafil as a candidate drug for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Viagra Can Be Used for Prevention and Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease

Dr. Feixiong Cheng said that Alzheimer’s disease urgently needs new therapies, and these findings further support the use of sildenafil, an FDA-approved drug, for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. We used artificial intelligence to integrate data from multiple fields, all of which indicate the potential of sildenafil for this devastating neurological disease.

In this latest study, Dr. Feixiong Cheng, director of the Genomic Medicine Center at the Cleveland Medical Center, and his team analyzed millions of de-identified medical insurance claims from two independent patient databases. The results showed that after adjusting for various possible confounding factors, the diagnosis rate of Alzheimer’s disease in people taking sildenafil was reduced by 30% to 54% compared to those not taking sildenafil.

The research team further conducted validation experiments in induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neurons from Alzheimer’s disease patients, which showed that sildenafil reduced the levels of tau protein, which is known to accumulate in Alzheimer’s disease. They also found that neurons treated with sildenafil expressed genes related to cell growth, improved brain function, reduced inflammation, and other known processes that can prevent neurodegenerative diseases associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

These research results demonstrate the feasibility of using computational models to identify potential new candidate drugs quickly and reliably, which is an important step in Alzheimer’s disease drug discovery.

Dr. Feixiong Cheng said that after integrating a large amount of data for computation, the significant impact of sildenafil on human neurons and real-world patient outcomes was observed. We believe that this discovery provides necessary evidence for clinical trials to further explore the potential efficacy of sildenafil for Alzheimer’s disease patients.

Viagra Can Be Used for Prevention and Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

Paper Links:

1. https://www.nature.com/articles/s43587-021-00138-z
2. https://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-alzheimers-disease/jad231391

(source:internet, reference only)


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