Viagra Could Prove Beneficial in Treating Muscular Dystrophy

On Monday, a research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that Viagra, which is used by many to rectify erectile dysfunction, could also prove beneficial for alleviating heart symptoms of muscular dystrophy.

The study was carried out by Joseph Beavoa of the University of Washington and colleagues at the University of North Carolina. They tested Viagra on mice, which were engineered genetically to suffer condition similar to Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The researchers found out that the drug improved their functioning of heart.

The researchers wrote, "Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a progressive and fatal genetic disorder of muscle degeneration. Patients with DMD lack expression of the protein dystrophin as a result of mutations in the X-linked dystrophin gene".

Although, the researchers didn’t come to know that how Viagra improved the working of heart in mice, but they said that the findings could be tried as a therapy for muscular dystrophy.

Pfizer Inc markets Viagra for erectile problems and under the brand name Revatio, it is sold as a treatment for a heart condition known as pulmonary hypertension. The drug belongs to a class of PDE5 inhibitors that help increasing flow of blood.

The researchers suggest that PDE5 inhibitors could not cure DMD solely, but could prove beneficial if given in combination with other medications.