‘Mental Viagra’ Could Be Used To Treat Sexual Problems in Men

Kisspeptin, aka Mental Viagra, is a hormone secreted in the hypothalamus, which helps release reproductive hormones.

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New research published in the journal JCI Insight tried to explore whether the hormone kisspeptin, aka Mental Viagra, could be used in treating sexual problems in men, which are caused by psychological issues.

Researchers from Imperial College London explores whether the hormone kisspeptin could be utilized in the treatment of men with sexual problems that are psychological in origin, an example being low libido.

Speaking to Technology Networks, co-senior author Dr. Alexander Comninos from Imperial College London said, “It is crucial to better understand the processes involved in attraction in humans so that we can ultimately design safe and more effective treatments for patients with related disorders.”

Kisspeptin is a hormone that is secreted produced in the hypothalamus. The function of this hormone is to facilitate the release of other reproductive hormones, such as luteinizing hormone (LH).

The researchers said they had previously demonstrated the effects of Mental Viagra and found that it can boost sexual arousal. So, they wanted to understand whether it can be used to stimulate the areas of the brain associated with sexual attraction.

The study included 33 heterosexual men between the ages of 18 and 34 with healthy libidos. They were given either kisspeptin intravenously or a placebo from 2018 to 2019 at Hammersmith Hospital.

The researchers looked at the participants’ brain imaging, hormonal tests, and psychometric tests to determine the effects of Mental Viagra on the process of the brain, especially related to smell and facial attractiveness tasks.

Dr. Comninos and his team found that kisspeptin enhanced “attraction pathways in the brain when they smelt the perfume.”

Molly Campbell, Science Writer with Technology Networks asked Dr. Comninos how this “enhancement” is quantified.

The author replied, “This was quantified by examining brain activity (measured by analyzing blood oxygen levels by MRI) in various areas of the brain whilst they [the participants] were smelling the female perfume. We compared this activity whilst they were being infused with kisspeptin to when they were being infused with placebo.”

“The volunteers were unaware of which one they were receiving. By examining which brain areas were enhanced we could generate a map of the various olfactory, reward, motivation and arousal areas involved,” he added.

The researchers also found that kisspeptin enhanced the response to the images in certain regions of the brain related to facial attractiveness tasks.

Dr. Comninos said, “The main region we saw enhancement in was a region at the front of the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex.” This area is known to be involved in the appreciation of aesthetic beauty including faces. The fact that kisspeptin boosted activity here on viewing female faces was really intriguing.”