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 U.S. journal.
Men who have the copy of the genetic variant have a 26 percent higher risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) compared to those who do not.
The study, "Genetic variation in the SIM1 locus is associated with erectile dysfunction", will be published the week of October 8 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. According to the new study, the genetic variant Jorgenson and his colleagues identified alone accounts for 2 per cent of the risk.
The average population risk is of one in five men, according to a 2007 study in the United States, but the ratio increases sharply with age. The scientists from medical care and health insurance company Kaiser Permanente selected the medical records of men who are suffering from erectile dysfunction.
Researchers believe a variation near the SIM1 gene nay explain why some men have the condition. The association was replicated in the U.K. Biobank sample, providing strong confirmation of the findings.
Scientists were able to locate the first well-documented genetic abnormality that could increase the risk of a man having an erectile dysfunction.
Researchers have identified a genetic variant that is partially responsible for erectile dysfunction, a development that could help improve treatment, according to a study published Monday in a U.S. journal. Guys completed sexual health surveys, and the team looked at whether participants were diagnosed with erectile dysfunction or received treatment for the condition. 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. "It is possible that we can use this genetic region as a key to identifying neurons that affect sexual function specifically", said Jorgenson. Poor body weight, cardiovascular health, a lack of exercise and many other things can all predispose men to erectile dysfunction (ED). "Hopefully, this will translate into better treatments and, importantly, prevention approaches for the men and their partners who often suffer silently with this condition".