A new study conducted at the University College London School of Pharmacy spanned five years and included almost 270,000 men with an average age of 58 who were diagnosed with erectile dysfunction. These men did not suffer from cognitive problems at the beginning of the study. About 55% of the men took drugs such as Viagra and Cialis, which work by dilating blood vessels.
The research findings revealed that among men treated with drugs for erectile dysfunction, the rate of dementia cases was 120% lower compared to those who were not treated with these drugs. Those who received the most medication prescriptions, taking a larger amount of the medication per month at the correct dose, were at the most reduced risk of dementia. The researchers explained that the findings do not show that the drugs themselves reduce the risk of dementia, but may mark a new research direction in which the mechanisms of dementia and the possible effect of the drugs that dilate blood vessels on the brain will be examined.
Dr. Kobi Reisman, a specialist in urology and sexual therapy, and the director of the European Academy of Sexual Medicine, explained that previous laboratory studies indicated that drugs such as Viagra have a role in blocking inflammatory processes and the formation of deposits in the brain that cause Alzheimer’s. There are also studies that have demonstrated antioxidant activity of these drugs, which have a positive effect on blood vessels.
Dr. Reisman emphasized that Viagra and similar drugs are not a treatment for Alzheimer’s, and while the current study is significant, more research is still needed to understand the mechanism in depth. However, it is clear today that there is a connection between erectile dysfunction and human health. For example, among about 70% of men with erectile dysfunction, heart disease will appear within five years.