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Sexually Active Men Might Have Milder Parkinson’s Symptoms, Study Suggests

About 56% of the entire group was sexually active at the first assessment. This figure decreased to 54% and 51% at the second and third assessments, respectively. Throughout the study, men were twice as likely to be sexually active than the women who participated.

Men who were sexually active tended to have fewer gastrointestinal symptoms and less apathy compared to men who were not sexually active. They also had fewer motor disabilities, a better quality of life, and a lower likelihood of depression.

Sexually-active men were also less likely to be treated with the drug L-dopa, a finding that “[reflects] a milder motor impairment and disease progression,” the authors wrote.

Still, almost half of the men reported erectile dysfunction (ED) and orgasm difficulties at every assessment visit.

While the findings seemed encouraging for men, the same results were not found in women. It’s possible that men and women experience non-motor symptoms differently, the authors explained, adding that women might not discuss their sexual health as much as men do. Also, there were fewer women in the study.

The results might prompt doctors to ask Parkinson’s patients about sexual activity, the authors said. They recommended further study about Parkinson’s disease and sexuality in both men and women.

Resources

European Journal of Neurology

Picillo, M., et al.

“The PRIAMO study: active sexual life is associated with better motor and non‐motor outcomes in men with early Parkinson's disease”

(Full-text. First published: July 2, 2019)

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ene.13983

Medscape Medical News

Hughes, Sue

“Active Sex Life Linked to Reduced Parkinson's Symptoms in Men”

(July 8, 2019)

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/915317

Parkinson’s Foundation

“Movement Symptoms”

https://www.parkinson.org/Understanding-Parkinsons/Movement-Symptoms

“Non-Movement Symptoms”

https://www.parkinson.org/Understanding-Parkinsons/Non-Movement-Symptoms

“What is Parkinson’s?”

https://www.parkinson.org/understanding-parkinsons/what-is-parkinsons

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