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Scientists discover how a brain enzyme controls sexual desire in men

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The results of the new study could lead to deliberate control of male sexuality, which today is affected by numerous external factors.

It’s called Aromatase and it’s an important brain enzyme responsible for transforming testosterone into estradiol. The latter is a very important type of estrogen for the control of reproductive function in both sexes.

To determine how brain aromatase influences male sexual activity, researchers from the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, Maryland in the United States and the Northwestern Medicine Laboratory, Illinois grew male mice that lacked the enzyme.

In laboratory conditions, the animals reduced their sexual activity by 50% despite having much higher levels of testosterone in their blood than other rodents.

Lead researcher Dr Serdar Bulun adds that under normal conditions, male mice always chase females in search of the sexual act. But if you remove the aromatase “their sexual activity is significantly reduced.” The mice that could not produce aromatase anywhere in the body, including the brain, showed no sexual activity at all.

“Male mice partially lost interest in sex. Estrogen has functions in both males and females. Testosterone has to be converted to estrogen to boost sexual desire in males,” says one of the study authors, Dr. Hong Zhao.

The study authors believe their findings suggest that “sexual behaviour can be modified by inhibiting or enhancing the activity of the brain enzyme aromatase.” This knowledge could potentially lead to new treatments for sexual desire disorders.

According to scientists, it is possible to use drugs to attack aromatase and control a man’s sexual desires. For example, hypoactive sexual desire disorder, more commonly known as low sexual desire, is a fairly common condition. Low sex drive is a common side effect of many widely used medications.

On the other hand, doctors can also treat hyper-sexual disorder or compulsive sexual desire using an existing aromatase inhibitor. However, a side effect of this treatment is osteoporosis, a type of bone disease in which the bones become weak and may break.

The researchers hope that the results of the new study will help guide the development of new selective drugs that block only the brain’s aromatase promoter region without side effects.

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