Recently, a team from the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London discovered that hormones can successfully treat psychosexual disorders. But their discoveries are sometimes so… sexy!
We know that anxiety, stress, and various other factors can lead not only to a decrease in libido but also to sexual dysfunction. Well, that’s where they found the pill – kisspeptin, also known as metastin, can improve activity in those areas of the brain that are associated with sexual arousal and romantic love. (You correctly noticed that the name of the hormone comes from the English word kiss – kiss, it is even written somewhere as KISS-1 – well, there is a protein in the kiss, too, you already know!)
Although the topic seems funny, today we are fully aware that psychosexual disorders are quite serious and, unfortunately, quite common. An ordinary person often suffers from sexual disorders due to daily tension, stress, and depression. Alas, cases, when they are caused by sexual violence or a negative perception of one’s own body, are not uncommon (hence, for example, bulimia and anorexia begin).
A frequent problem is erectile dysfunction, which, obviously, cannot but bother even in its lighter, not always conscious form, such as successfully maintaining an erection for the time required for sexual intercourse.
However, the topic concerns not only men, although we rarely talk about female orgasm as erectile dysfunction, its absence may also be associated with a similar psychosexual disorder. Pain during sexual intercourse and vaginismus can also be due to such.
According to the leading researcher of the work, Professor Valjit Jillo, psychosexual disorder is often found in couples suffering from infertility, because of the stress and anxiety they experience.
“Research in the field of reproductive medicine focuses on biological factors that make conception difficult. They really play a big role, but we should not ignore the role of the brain and emotional signals in this process, which are important and have only been partially studied,” he emphasizes in a publication in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in connection with the discovery. teams.
An injection of the hormone in question, kisspeptin, can cure the symptoms of a psychosexual disorder. This hormone is actually synthesized by the hypothalamus in the brain. Kisspeptin stimulates the synthesis of two other hormones important for the body and its reproductive functions — luteinizing and follicle-stimulating, which, in turn, are associated with the production of testosterone and estradiol. The kissing protein, according to the researchers, is also found in other brain structures, such as the amygdala, which is the main culprit for the emergence of emotional and sexual behavior.
To obtain such results, scientists conducted a double-blind study involving 29 young people with good health. At one stage, the men were injected with either kisspeptin or a placebo and then subjected to magnetic resonance imaging, which showed that the hormone makes the corresponding areas of the brain more active and stimulates sexual arousal and romantic relationships. After taking a placebo, even with attractive sex pictures, such a jump in libido was not registered.
According to scientists, kisspeptin enhances behavioral patterns in the brain associated with sex and romantic love, which gives rise to the search for new treatments for psychosexual disorders.
But that’s not all! According to researchers, the kissing hormone can serve as an excellent remedy for depression therapy. Why?
During the study, the volunteers who were injected with kisspeptin increased the activity of these brain regions involved in the regulation of negative mood when they were shown stressful images and pictures instead of sexual desire. This was not detected by the tomograph when observing images with neutral content. Men received kisspeptin only during the experiment and reported in questionnaires that they felt better.
Naturally, in order to create a new treatment, it is necessary to conduct a number of other studies. However, it is still clear that kisspeptin increases brain activity associated with the formation of sexual and romantic emotions, and improves mood.