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Drugs for impotence can be used to treat senile dementia

25 December 2014, 09:00

Tadalafil (a drug similar in action to Viagra), according to experts, can help prevent senile dementia. Tadalafil improves blood circulation in the brain, dilates blood vessels, which favorably affects the condition of patients with dementia, which is caused by problems with the vessels (this form of senile dementia ranks second among the milestones of dementia species).

As you know, the vessels in the brain in some people lose their elasticity with age and become thicker. In this state, the vessels are unable to fully supply the brain with blood, which ultimately leads to nutrient deficiency and oxygen deficiency. Such problems occur in about 70% of people in old age.

At the University of St. George, a group of researchers planned to study the effect of Tadalafil on volunteers over 50 years old with problems with memory and blood vessels.

The research team will analyze the flow of blood to the brain before and after Tadalafil administration.

As it became known, specialists intend to give small doses of the drug to the participants of the experiment, a group taking a placebo will also be created.

Drugs for improving erectile function (for example, sildenafil - an active substance of the known drug Viagra), as shown by earlier studies, have a positive effect in the treatment of gastroparesis and pulmonary arterial hypertension.

But at the University of South Wales, a group of researchers said that this drug worsens the eyesight in patients.  

Sildenafil degrades the work of the enzyme, which is extremely important for the transmission of a light signal from the retina to the brain.

Particularly harmful effects of Sildenafil are for people with pigment retinitis and hereditary eye diseases that lead to blindness.

People with normal heredity may have a gene that causes retinitis pigmentosa, but most do not even know it. But such a mutation happens in every 50 people.

Pigment retinitis occurs as a result of mutation in the genes that produce the enzyme PDE6. People who have two copies of altered genes are most likely to develop the disease.

In a new research project, specialists studied the effect of a single dose of sildenafil on the body of rodents with normal heredity and with a mutation of genes.

As a result, it was noted that temporary visual impairment occurred in mice with normal heredity, while the effect after taking the drug persisted longer, compared with rodents with gene mutations.

Also, experts noticed that in the eyes of rodents began the process of early cell death.

As a result, sildenafil leads to degeneration in rodents who were carriers of retinal disease.

Among the side effects often observed increased sensitivity to light, problems with color perception, blurred vision, so it is important to take this moment into account when prescribing Viagra to patients.

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Medical expert editor

Portnov Alexey Alexandrovich

Education: Kiev National Medical University. A.A. Bogomolets, Specialty - "General Medicine"

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