Should Viagra Be Considered a Preventative Therapy for Alzheimer’s?

Senior citizen woman squatting down and placing hands senior man’s knees

Interesting research1 was recently released supporting the association between Viagra use and lowered risk of Alzheimer’s disease. We have all heard of Alzheimer’s and its devastating effects. Caused by the buildup of amyloid plaque and tangles of tau proteins in the brain, Alzheimer’s affects over 6 million people and is getting worse, with estimates of up to 16 million sufferers by 2050. Alzheimer’s slowly strips away cognitive abilities, rendering patients unable to recognize the closest family members or remember recent events. It is a devastating diagnosis that can affect not only the sufferer but also the caretaker and their loved ones.

Interestingly, regular doses of Viagra (Sildenafil) may be protective of the brain, reducing the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s by increasing the growth of neurites and decreasing tau phosphorylation. Plenty of research remains to be performed, as we do not know exactly what causes these effects. After all, it also stands to reason that improved blood flow, the basis of Viagra’s benefit, would have beneficial effects on the brain, too.
In addition, readers of this website understand that blood flow throughout the body decreases as we age. Lifestyle habits, including obesity and sedentary lifestyles, worsen this. Lifestyle issues have caused several health epidemics, ranging from cardiovascular disease to, you guessed it, worsening Alzheimer’s rates. Viagra and other PDE5 inhibitors can maintain higher blood throughput in the body. One could say they even have anti-aging properties.2

Should Viagra Be Considered a Prophylactic Drug in the Fight Against Alzheimer’s?

There is certainly plenty to be excited about when it comes to the role of Viagra and the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. While the drug has shown some preliminary benefit, we do not have enough evidence to say with any certainty that it should be used as a preventative measure. However, many patients find themselves taking the drug to improve their erectile function, and clearly, doing so may have secondary benefits.

Does Cialis Have the Same Effect?

While the study was performed using Viagra/Sildenafil in particular, we can assume that Cialis or tadalafil would have a similar effect. The half-life of Cialis is much longer, showing benefits of up to three days at a time. As such, there’s reason to think Cialis may be more effective. Or at least, it would not have to be taken as often as Viagra.
Ultimately, we look forward to seeing additional well-constructed studies on the possibility of PDE5 inhibitors being used as a preventative option for Alzheimer’s. For now, they remain best used as a safe and effective medication for erectile dysfunction.

Please speak to a men’s health and urological specialist like Dr. Engel to learn more.

References:

1https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/viagra-associated-reduced-risk-alzheimers-disease
2Golshiri K, Ataei Ataabadi E, Brandt R, van der Pluijm I, de Vries R, Danser J, Roks A. Chronic Sildenafil Treatment Improves Vasomotor Function in a Mouse Model of Accelerated Aging. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Jun 30;21(13):4667. doi: 10.3390/ijms21134667. PMID: 32630010; PMCID: PMC7369923.

PROUD TO BE PART OF PRIVIA MEDICAL GROUP

Urologic Surgeons of Washington is a proud member of Privia Medical Group. The best doctors in our community have joined together to form Privia Medical Group (PMG), a multi-specialty, high-performance medical group that puts patients first. Our physicians are united by the mission of providing better, more coordinated care for their patients.

UROLOGIC URGENT CARE
Urology Urgent Care

Urologic Urgent Care

Every patient that would otherwise have gone to a generic urgent care for their urologic can now be seen at a specialist-level urologic urgent care with same-day appointments.

Online Appointments Learn More
DISCREET ONLINE ED MEDICATIONS
ED Medications

Discreet & Convenient ED Medication Online

Take advantage of exceptional prices on generic ED medication while avoiding the pharmacy and anonymous websites. Available for same-day pick-up.

(202) 223-1024 Learn More