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Stroke

Viagra May Trigger Growth of New Brain Cells

16 years, 1 month ago

2120  0
Posted on Nov 10, 2003, 11 p.m. By Bill Freeman

The male impotence drug Viagra could help stroke victims by triggering the growth of new brain cells, say researchers from the Henry Ford Health Science Center in Detroit. After experiments on rats revealed that the drug enabled rats with stroke to regain muscle function and coordination by prompting the growth of new brain cells and blood cells.

The male impotence drug Viagra could help stroke victims by triggering the growth of new brain cells, say researchers from the Henry Ford Health Science Center in Detroit. After experiments on rats revealed that the drug enabled rats with stroke to regain muscle function and coordination by prompting the growth of new brain cells and blood cells.

Study results showed that untreated animals exhibited minimal growth of just 178 square millimetres (mm2). However, those who received a 5-milligram (mg) dose of Viagra for six days after stroke was induced grew 541 mm2 of new brain cells and those given a daily 2mg dose of the drug grew 237 mm2 of new cells. Thus indicating that treatment with Viagra could more than double the growth of new brain cells. As well as the increased growth of new brain cells, researchers also found that Viagra treated rats had new blood vessel growth and an increase in the number of synapses - structures that enable brain cells to communicate with each other.

Further tests on the animals showed that those treated with the impotence drug were able to walk better, had improved co-ordination, and "did better on all indices of neurological function." Study leader Dr. Michael Chopp believes that Viagra "should work for all neurodegenerative diseases," including Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. He estimates that human clinical trials of the treatment could start within a year.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.reutershealth.com on the 11th February 2002

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