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Men with ED May Have Higher Risk of Parkinson’s Disease

Men with ED May Have Higher Risk of Parkinson’s Disease

Men with erectile dysfunction (ED) could be more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease, according to a recent study in the Journal of Clinical Neurology.

Risk could be even higher for men who have diabetes or high blood pressure in addition to ED, the researchers found.

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder caused by inadequate supplies of dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved with body movement. When a person has Parkinson’s, dopamine-producing neurons in the brain shut down. The resulting decline in dopamine leads to stiffness, tremors, poor balance, and a slow gait.

Parkinson’s can impair the autonomic nervous system. This system controls body functions that people normally don’t think about, like digestion and blood pressure. The autonomic nervous system is involved with erections, too. A man doesn’t need to “tell” his body to have an erection. Instead, he is sexually stimulated by something - a touch, a smile, an erotic voice – and an erection begins.

Researchers from Taiwan considered the role of the autonomic nervous system in both ED and Parkinson’s. They wanted to know how common Parkinson’s was in men with ED.

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