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Viagra May Fight Diabetes 2015-03-18
The findings are based on new animal studies at Henry Ford Hospital that found Viagra (sildenafil) effectively eases diabetic peripheral neuropathy — a painful and potentially life-threatening nerve condition that is a common complication of diabetes, affecting as many as 70 percent of patients.
The study, published online in the Public Library of Science journal PLOS ONE, echoes earlier studies that have found Viagra may ease nerve pain by improving blood supply to the sciatic nerve.
"Generally, young diabetic animals with an early stage of peripheral neuropathy are used to investigate various drug treatments," said Lei Wang, M.D., the Henry Ford neuroscientist who led the new research. "But patients with diabetes who are enrolled in clinical trials often are older and have advanced peripheral neuropathy.”
Dr. Wang said a battery of nerve and function tests performed on the mice "revealed that sildenafil markedly improved sensory function starting at six weeks after treatment compared with saline-treated diabetic mice. These data indicate that sildenafil improves neurological function even in middle-aged mice with long-term diabetic peripheral neuropathy."