Oxford Study Says Viagra Improves Brain Blood Flow, May Help Prevent Dementia

Oxford Study Says Viagra Improves Brain Blood Flow, May Help Prevent Dementia

Oxford Study Says Viagra Improves Brain Blood Flow, May Help Prevent Dementia.

Oxford Study Says Viagra Improves Brain Blood Flow, May Help Prevent Dementia

Scientists have found that Sildenafil, popularly known by its brand name Viagra, has the capability to increase blood flow in both large and small brain vessels.

This study, conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford, suggests that the drug may have benefits beyond treating men suffering from erectile dysfunction.

Sildenafil has been shown to enhance blood flow to the brain and improve the function of blood vessels in individuals at high risk of vascular dementia.

Vascular dementia is a condition that significantly impacts cognitive functions, including judgment and memory, due to reduced blood supply to the brain that affects and damages brain tissue.

The findings, published in the journal Circulation Research, indicate a potentially pivotal step in the fight against dementia.

The study revealed that Sildenafil could increase blood flow in both large and small brain vessels, as measured by ultrasound and MRI scans. It also improved the blood flow response to carbon dioxide, indicating enhanced cerebrovascular function.

Additionally, the research found that Sildenafil, along with cilostazol, lowered blood vessel resistance in the brain. However, Sildenafil was noted to cause fewer side effects compared to cilostazol, particularly less incidence of diarrhea.

“This is the first trial to show that Sildenafil gets into the blood vessels in the brain in people with this condition, improving blood flow and how responsive these blood vessels are,” said Dr. Alastair Webb, Associate Professor at the Wolfson Centre for Prevention of Stroke and Dementia at Oxford University.

He highlighted that these factors are associated with chronic damage to the small blood vessels inside the brain, one of the most common causes of vascular dementia.

“This demonstrates the potential of this well-tolerated, widely-available drug to prevent dementia, which needs testing in larger trials,” Dr. Webb added.

The report noted that vascular dementia currently lacks specific therapies and that chronic damage to the small blood vessels in the brain also contributes to 30% of strokes and 80% of brain bleeds.

The OxHARP trial involved 75 participants who had experienced a minor stroke and showed signs of mild to moderate small vessel disease.

Each participant was given Sildenafil, a placebo, and cilostazol—a similar drug—over a three-week period. To evaluate the effects of the drugs, the study employed cardiovascular physiology tests, ultrasound, and functional MRI scans.


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