For the first time ever, erectile dysfunction has been linked to a variation in DNA, a report says.
Scientists say they have identified an area of the genome which increases the risk of impotence. This raises hopes that new therapies will be able to help, or even cure the condition.
A Major Development
The variation was found near the SIM1 gene, which is also thought to play a role in brain development.
No, that means nothing to me either.
“This is a big deal because it provides the long sought-after proof that there is a genetic component to the disease,” said lead researcher Dr Eric Jorgenson, from US health service providers Kaiser Permanente. “Identifying the first genetic risk factor for erectile dysfunction is an exciting discovery because it opens the door for investigations into new, genetic-based therapies.”
Traditionally, erectile dysfunction has been linked to stress, anxiety, being overweight, and drinking too much alcohol, as well as hormonal deficiencies and artery damage. Yet it was also seen as not that simple.
Though a genetic cause was believed to be the case for many, finding an actual location had proved elusive. Without a location, you can’t begin to fix the issue. Now they have found where the problem can come from, they hope to be able to fix it for those who have their problems caused by genetic issues.
The new research, reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, analysed the genetic codes of more than 36,000 American and 222,000 British men.
Co-author Dr Hunter Wessells, from the University of Washington School of Medicine, said: “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.
“Hopefully, this will translate into better treatments and, importantly, prevention approaches for the men and their partners who often suffer silently with this condition.”
A Brighter Future
I think this is great news. Although it is estimated that only a third of people with erectile dysfunction will be helped by this, that is a huge number of people when you look at it.
I am no scientist, so have no idea how long it will be until those clever people can do something to take away this problem from those afflicted with it, but the sooner they can the better.
It will also be of benefit for those whose erectile dysfunction is not caused by the DNA issue. They will get more of an idea of what is actually causing their problems, and can then work on it with tips to stop it like these.
The less people who have this issue the better. Everyone deserves to be happy, and erectile dysfunction is one quick way to cause heartache and relationship issues.
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