Loss of libido? Kisspeptin takes care of increasing it

Loss of libido? Kisspeptin takes care of increasing it

Stress, tiredness, low self-esteem, listlessness. There can be billions of reasons that lead a person to a drop in libido. But today, both men and women who experience it are reassured by two studies coordinated by researchers from Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare Nhs Trust and both published in the Jama Network Open journal. According to the new results, in fact, the administration of a specific hormone would be enough to restore and increase sexual desire in those with a drop in libido.

How it works

Both clinical trials, randomized and double-blind trials focused on kisspeptin, a naturally occurring hormone that stimulates the release of other sex hormones within the body. Already studied and known to improve the responses to sexual stimuli in men with normal libido, kisspeptin and its effects have now been studied for the first time in women and men with Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD), a condition characterized by the total or partial absence of sexual desire and fantasies, which affects about 10% of women and 8% of men worldwide and which can have a devastating psychological and social impact. “Low sex drive can be distressing and, therefore, lead to Hsdd. This can have a serious negative impact on relationships, mental health and fertility,” says Alexander Comninos, an expert at Imperial College London. “Although it is relatively common, treatment options in women are limited, carry significant side effects and in some cases can even be harmful. In men, on the other hand, there are still no authorized treatments today ".

Men and women

Specifically, the two studies involved 32 pre-menopausal women (19-48 years) and 32 men (21-52 years) with HSD, who are underwent MRI scans, blood tests, and behavioral tests. In the first study, the female study, the researchers found that kisspeptin made participants "feel sexier" and boosted brain activity in the hippocampus, a key area implicated in female sex drive. Furthermore, the more kisspeptin activated the posterior cingulate cortex (another important brain region) in response to attractive male faces, the less sexual aversion the participants reported. In the second study, in men, the researchers observed the same positive arousal and attraction effects of kisspeptin, which, similar to the women's clinical trial, significantly enhanced brain activity in key regions of the sexual brain network.

Possible applications

Findings, therefore, that pave the way for the development of potential kisspeptin-based treatments for women and men who have low libido and suffer from Hsdd. “Our two studies provide the first evidence that kisspeptin is a potentially safe and effective therapy for both women and men with low sexual desire,” stresses the researcher. “In men, we also demonstrated that kisspeptin can have positive effects not only in the brain but also in the penis, by increasing its stiffness.” Kisspeptin, adds the expert, was well tolerated by both women and men with no side effects reported, a crucial aspect for the development of a drug. "We now plan to continue investigations to hopefully realize the potential of this therapy in psychosexual disorders, sexual problems that are psychological in origin, such as low libido."

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