Sildenafil is already approved by the FDA to treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension. According to a recent MedicalXpress article, the drug is now a candidate to treat and prevent Alzheimer’s disease as well. A new study, published in Nature Aging, used an algorithm to determine if any FDA-approved drugs could be potential therapies for Alzheimer’s disease. After sifting through a database of over 7 million patients, the team found that sildenafil was associated with 69% fewer incidences of the neurodegenerative disease.
The team behind the study took it a step further and developed a brain cell model that mimics an Alzheimer’s patient. In it, they observed that sildenafil increased brain cell growth and cut down on hyperphosphorylation of tau proteins, which can cause neurofibrillary tangles. This could shed light on how the drug can affect physiological changes caused by the disease.