Anxiety can be a driver of sexual dysfunction in men. A new study reveals that there may be an effective treatment for both, in the form of a hormone called kisspeptin.
a man and a woman lying on a bed
The researchers suggest that kisspeptin could reduce anxiety and increase sexual behavior in men.
Sexual dysfunction is defined as low sexual satisfaction resulting from physical or psychological problems.
In men, common forms of sexual dysfunction include erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and sexual desire reduction.
In the United States, there are an estimated 30 million people with erectile dysfunction. It is estimated that about one in three men in the United States suffer from premature ejaculation at some point in their lives.
For many men, anxiety can trigger sexual dysfunction. Some men worry about erectile response and maintenance, which can have negative consequences on sexual function. others may be concerned about their body image, or may be subject to psychological stress due to work, money or health problems
The new study suggests that increasing the activity of the kisspeptin hormone in a specific area of ??the brain could potentially reduce anxiety in humans and boost sexual behavior.
The co-author of the study, Daniel Adekunbi, of King’s College London in the UK, and his colleagues are due to present their findings today at the annual conference of the Society for Endocrinology, held in Harrogate, UK.
Kisspeptine, anxiety and sexual behavior
Kisspeptin is a hormone produced by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus.
Named after Hershey’s “Kisses” chocolate – because of the first hormone gene discovered by a team of researchers in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where the product is made – kisspeptin is known for its essential roles in puberty and fertility.
The hormone interacts with the receptors of the pituitary gland, which is connected to the bottom of the hypothalamus. This triggers a signaling cascade that feeds the production of sex hormones, testosterone and estradiol.
Previous research by Dr. Adekunbi and his team has revealed that nerve cells, or neurons, that respond to kisspeptin are also present in the amygdala, a region of the brain that plays a role in the treatment of emotions.
Specifically, the team identified these neurons in the medial posterodorsal region of the amygdala (MePD). This is an area closely related to the reaction to pheromones, chemicals that can alter behavior, including sexual behavior.
Reduced anxiety, increased social behavior
To reach their conclusions, the researchers manipulated kisspeptin sensitive neurons in the MePD of male mice.
The team used a series of drugs to activate or deactivate these neurons in rodents. Their anxiety and social and sexual behaviors were monitored in response.
The study found that when kisspeptin sensitive neurons were activated, male mice exhibited fewer anxiety indicators, were more willing to interact socially with other mice, and paid more attention to mice. females.
Additional studies are needed to confirm the results, but Dr. Adekunbi and his team believe that their findings are promising for a new treatment for anxiety-related sexual dysfunction in men.
“In men, anxiety-related disorders are associated with sexual dysfunction,” notes Dr. Adekunbi.
“The results of our study suggest that activation of MePD kisspeptin neurons coordinates sexual preference and copulation anxiety, indicating that amygdala kisspeptin functionally promotes maximum reproductive success in humans. . “
“We can assume that kisspeptin can modulate sexual orientation, but this requires further confirmation,” said Dr. Adekunbi. “[T] he work that is planned to silence the neurons of the MePD kisspeptin may give some idea of ??this, for example, when the neurons are inactivated, will the male mouse prefer to interact with a male mouse rather than female?”