(HealthDay News) — The neuropeptide kisspeptin may be effective for treating men with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), according to a study published online in JAMA Network Open.

Edouard G. Mills, MD, PhD, from Imperial College London in the United Kingdom, and colleagues assessed the physiological, behavioral, neural, and hormonal effects of intravenous infusion of kisspeptin-54 (1 nmol/kg/h) for 75 minutes versus placebo in men with HSDD. The analysis included 32 right-handed heterosexual men (mean age, 37.9 years).

The researchers found that on viewing sexual videos, kisspeptin significantly modulated brain activity in key structures of the sexual-processing network on whole-brain analysis versus placebo. Improvements in secondary outcomes included significant increases in penile tumescence in response to sexual stimuli (up to 56% more than placebo) and behavioral measures of sexual desire — most notably, increased happiness about sex.

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“These data suggest that kisspeptin has potential as the first pharmacological treatment for men with low sexual desire,” conclude the authors.

Several authors report ties to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

Abstract/Full Text