Researchers have pinpointed a hormone that may effectively treat psychosexual disorders brought on by anxiety, stress, or other psychological issues.
As reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the hormone called kisspeptin was found to enhance activity in brain areas that are naturally stimulated by romance, and sexual arousal.
Kisspepetin is produced in our hypothalamus, and facilitates the release of two other hormones necessary for the manufacture of testosterone and estradiol, a type of estrogen. Kisspepetin is also present in other brain limbic areas associated with emotions, and reproductive behavior.
“Our initial findings are novel and exciting as they indicate that kisspeptin plays a role in stimulating some of the emotions and responses that lead to sex and reproduction,” says lead investigator Professor Waljit Dhillo, Imperial College London.
This may be good news for people with psychosexual disorder, a condition that makes sexual arousal, or feeling sexual satisfaction, problematic. The disorder may be owed to depression, stress, anxiety, a sexual abuse history, or a person’s negative body-image. Couples with infertility may experience psychosexual disorder because of the stress generated with problems conceiving.
The researchers made their discovery in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving 29 young, healthy males. Each participant, in two study visits, received either a kisspeptin or a placebo injection, and then underwent a functional MRI. During the MRI, investigators monitored the subjects‘ brain activity as they looked at sexual and non-sexual pictures of couples.
Following the kisspeptin injections, men looking at sexual images showed heightened brain activity in areas normally energized by love and sexual arousal. This brain stimulation did not occur following the placebo injections.
“Ultimately we are keen to look into whether kisspeptin could be an effective treatment for psychosexual disorders, and potentially help countless couples who struggle to conceive,” said Dhillo.
Source: Medical News Today
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