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Sex and dementia: What great erections in old age have to do with a healthy head

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Sex and dementia: What great erections in old age have to do with a healthy head

According to analyzes by the market research institute IQVIA, 1.5 million packs of “Viagra”-type sexual enhancers were sold over pharmacy counters in Germany in 2022. Only 1.5 million: five years earlier, in 2017, there were 1.9 million. The erection drug seems to have had its best time.

The men who forego it may not have realized until now that they are missing out on much more than just magnificent erections: As British researchers from University College London have now shown, the active ingredient sildenafil is surprisingly effective in protecting risk groups from this to develop Alzheimer’s disease. The main thing is that you take enough of it.

There are currently a total of 17 preparations in Germany that contain the substance. The effect of sildenafil wears off after about five hours, but for some users this is not enough and they prefer Tadalafil (“Cialis”). This means you can spend up to 36 hours as you wish. The fact that it is gaining more and more fans could also explain the decline in sildenafil consumption.

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Both substances start at the same point in the metabolism and are therefore likely to have similar side effects: the current study analyzed both. It was published in the journal Neurology and initially searched a medical database for men over 40 who were diagnosed with erectile dysfunction. You have difficulty getting an erection or maintaining it long enough to ejaculate.

Between 2000 and 2017 there were 269,725 cases in the register to which this was the case. The researchers led by Matthew Adesuyan, a pharmacologist at University College London, then examined how many were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s dementia in the following years. That was 1119 test subjects.

From this and from the data on who consumed how many sexual enhancers, they concluded: These substances can prevent a surprisingly large proportion of dementia.

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Sildenafil blocks an enzyme in the cells that line blood vessels. The substance thereby acts on the signaling cascade that expands the blood vessels. Sildenafil was originally developed for high blood pressure patients. If your veins and arteries expand, not only your blood pressure drops, but also your risk of a heart attack or a blocked blood vessel. During the first treatments it was found that in men the blood vessels in the penis also react and become hard because blood flows into the erectile tissue due to the same signaling cascade.

The more Viagra, the less dementia

One of the messenger substances that gives this signal and that accumulates during sildenafil treatment is called cyclic guanosine monophosphate, or cGMP for short. Dementia researchers have already become aware of the substance: there is too little of it in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients; the less cGMP a dementia patient has, the faster their mental deterioration occurs, researchers from Pamplona, ​​Spain, reported in 2015.

Now the London pharmacologists suspect that the protective effect of erection therapy is based on exactly this. The active ingredients also pass through the blood-brain barrier and ensure that the organ no longer suffers from a cGMP deficiency in the brain. As a result, the blood supply in the head could also improve, and nerve cells that would otherwise die could survive.

The effect on potency drug users is not only clear, it also clearly depends on the dose. The more often the men in the database boosted their virility pharmacologically, the better protected they were against Alzheimer’s.

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All potency drug users taken together were 18 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than men who didn’t use them. The long-term erection aid Tadalafil performed slightly worse, only preventing 14 percent of all Alzheimer’s cases, while sildenafil managed 19 percent.

With one to ten packs over an observation period of around five years, the protective effect was 10 percent; men who consumed 11 to 20 packs had 30 percent less dementia. Intensive users who were prescribed 21 to 50 packs benefited the most; in the end, they only had half as many Alzheimer’s cases. If you want to be safe with Nunmer, you would have to use around 10 packs per year.

What is not clear with the new study: whether the sexual enhancers only delay the symptoms of the neurodegenerative disease or whether they can also prevent them for life.

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The potency drugs helped particularly significantly in the test subjects who also had the highest risk of Alzheimer’s disease: men over 70 and men with high blood pressure and diabetes. Both groups are particularly likely to have erection problems at the same time, but the older ones in particular do not necessarily take erection drugs and sometimes simply forego sex due to lack of opportunity or because they no longer feel particularly keen.

In view of this data, we can only urgently advise you not to simply give up on the bed thing: Just like a pharmacological effect, it would also be conceivable that it is not the potency drug itself that protects against mental decline, but what it comes with is possible for him: lots of sex, orgasms and the corresponding happiness hormones.

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The study was funded by Great Britain’s national health service, the NHS: The service that organizes health care for the British would now like to repurpose the potency drugs as dementia therapy because a large proportion of Alzheimer’s diseases could be prevented this quickly and easily. Health economists predict the numbers will triple in the coming decades. According to a calculation by the specialist magazine “Lancet Public Health”, around 57 million people worldwide are currently affected, and by 2050 there will be 157 million. Current medications can only slow down the disease, not prevent it.

In Great Britain, but also Poland, Switzerland, Ireland and Norway, men who now want to take the blue tablets more often have a big advantage: the active ingredient is already available without a prescription. In Germany, such applications have always been rejected.

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