Viagra reverses nerve disease: Study
Last Updated: Sunday, May 22, 2011, 00:00
  

London: Anti-impotence drug Viagra drastically reduces symptoms of multiple sclerosis - which affects the brain and spinal nerve cells - in animal models, says a study.

The research by Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB) in Spain shows that a practically complete recovery occurs in 50 percent of the animals after eight days of treatment.



Researchers are hopeful of clinical trials with patients, given that the drug is well tolerated and has been used to treat sexual dysfunction in some multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, reports the journal Acta Neuropathologica.



MS is the most common chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system comprising the brain and the spinal cord and one of the main causes of disability among young adults, according to an UAB statement.



The disease can cause a variety of symptoms - changes in sensation, muscle weakness, abnormal muscle spasms, or difficulty moving; difficulties with coordination and balance; problems in speech or swallowing, visual problems, among others.

There is currently no cure for the disease, although some drugs have proven effective in fighting symptoms and preventing it from progressing.



A research team from the UAB Institute of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, directed by Agustina Garcia, along with another led by Juan Hidalgo, Garcia`s counterpart, has studied the effects of a treatment using sildenafil, sold as Viagra, in an animal model of multiple sclerosis.



Researchers demonstrated that a daily treatment with sildenafil after disease onset quickly reduced clinical signs, with a practically complete recovery in 50 percent of the cases after eight days of treatment.



Scientists observed how the drug reduced the infiltration of inflammatory cells into the white matter of the spinal cord, thus reducing damage to the nerve cell`s axon and facilitating myelin repair.



IANS


First Published: Sunday, May 22, 2011, 00:00



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