Patients with erectile dysfunction (ED) might benefit from a daily dose of udenafil to improve cognition, depression, and somatization – as well as ED.
Past research in animal models has suggested that phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors could improve cognitive function. In a pilot study, researchers from the Catholic University of Korea found that men who took 100 mg of udenafil daily saw improvements in ED, cognition, and somatization. However, this study was non-randomized and did not include a placebo control group.
In this study, the researchers sought to address these limitations and build on their previous findings.
Sixty men with ED began the double-blind, placebo-controlled study; forty-nine completed it. They ranged in age from 40 to 70 years with a mean age of 60 years. On average, they had been experiencing erectile difficulties for about 16 – 18 months.
The study lasted for eight weeks. At baseline, the men completed the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) along with a number of standard questionnaires designed to assess depression, cognition, and somatization.
Half of the men were assigned to take either a 50 mg daily dose of udenafil or a placebo. At a one-month follow-up point, the men’s erectile function was again assessed with the IIEF. After another month, the men again completed the baseline questionnaires.
The researchers found that the men who took udenafil had improved erectile function after two months, with a mean increase in IIEF scores of 6.08 points, compared to a mean of 2.20 for the placebo group.
The men in the udenafil group also had better scores on measurements of general cognition, depression, and somatization.
In addition, better erectile function was correlated with improvements in depression, general cognition, and frontal executive function.
The researchers said they could not “provide a clear physiologic mechanism” for the improvements in the udenafil group. However, they did point out some possible explanations. For example, improved erectile function could have given the men greater self-confidence, which might have alleviated some of their depression.
“Treatment of ED should be considered a component of therapy for men with depression and ED,” they wrote.
They added that “measurement of cerebral blood flow and cerebral metabolism with comprehensive neuropsychometric assessment is essential to determine the precise mechanisms of the cognitive-enhancing effects of PDE5 inhibitors in humans,”
The study was published last spring in the International Journal of Impotence Research.
International Journal of Impotence Research via Medscape
Shim, Y.S., et al.
“Effects of Daily Low-dose Treatment with Phosphodiesterase Type 5 Inhibitor on Cognition, Depression, Somatization and Erectile Function in Patients with Erectile Dysfunction”
(Full-text. March/April 2014)