Monday, 22 October, 2018

Erectile Dysfunction: Men Could Be Predisposed Via Genetics

The discovery of a gene variant could lead to new impotence therapies The discovery of a gene variant could lead to new impotence therapies
Kristen Harrington | 11 October, 2018, 15:33

The scientists from medical care and health insurance company Kaiser Permanente selected the medical records of men who are suffering from erectile dysfunction.

Geneticist Eric Jorgenson, who is the lead author of the study, said this is "an exciting discovery" which could lead the way in exploring new therapies that target genetics.

Scientists say they've located the first well-documented genetic abnormality that increases a man's risk of impotence, a discovery that could lead to new treatments, according to a study published on Monday in a USA journal. The findings in the GERA cohort were then verified in a cohort of 222,358 men from the U.K. Biobank.

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Men with erectile dysfunction (ED) have trouble getting or maintaining an erection to have satisfactory sexual intercourse, according to the U.S. Department of Health. Because the erectile dysfunction risk locus showed enhancer activity and interacted with the SIM1 promoter, the erectile dysfunction risk locus likely influences the expression of the SIM1 gene, turning it on and off when needed, the study suggests. On average, one in five men has the genetic abnormality, a number that rises with age, according to a 2007 study in the United States.

According to study co-author Dr. Hunter Wessells, "This study points to a new research direction for erectile dysfunction that could help us identify other key genetic variants that trigger the disease and lead to investigations to better understand the precise mechanisms by which they operate".

Obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease all have genetic components and are also linked to erectile dysfunction.

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If you've ever experienced erectile dysfunction, you're not alone.

Lead researcher Dr Eric Jorgenson, from U.S. health service providers Kaiser Permanente, said: "Identifying this SIM1 locus as a risk factor for erectile dysfunction is a big deal because it provides the long sought-after proof that there is a genetic component to the disease". However, these treatments might include side effects such as infection, headaches, and muscle pains. Poor body weight, cardiovascular health, a lack of exercise and many other things can all predispose men to erectile dysfunction (ED).

Scientists now want to explore how such variation affects risk of the condition, he said.

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Jorgenson also added that discovering a biological explanation could shed light on developing new treatments.

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