How did I not hear about this sooner? Maybe I just wasn't paying attention, but one would think that this would have been headline news.
Five months ago, research came out showing an association between Viagra (sildenafil) and Alzheimer's: "sildenafil users were 69% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s over a six-year period than non-users".
The full paper is behind a paywall, but you can read the abstract. The most important line is this:
"The association between sildenafil use and decreased incidence of AD does not establish causality, which will require a randomized controlled trial."
As much as some want to giggle about Viagra, this is an interesting statistical problem. Think about how one would structure a controlled trial.
Remember - sildenafil is prescribed for two reasons:
- Sex (erectile dysfunction)
- High blood pressure (pulmonary arterial hypertension)
- It would be unethical to do a trial with men who have a medical need for sildenafil.
- It would be nearly impossible to maintain double-blind status for any length of time.