Scientists are to explore whether drugs usually used to treat erectile problems by expanding blood vessels could become the next major way to tackle the dementia epidemic.

Experts led by Atticus Hainsworth at St George’s, University of London, will explore whether tadalafil, which is a drug in the same class as Viagra, could help prevent vascular dementia by increasing blood flow to the brain.

Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia and is often caused by damage to the small blood vessels of the brain leading to reduced blood flow to brain tissue. This blood vessel damage, known as small vessel disease, is seen in the brains of 50-70% of elderly people. 

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