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11 October 2018, 03:30 | Edward Lowe
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 United States journal. This risk was independent of known erectile dysfunction risk factors.
They found that guys with abnormalities on their sixth chromosome, found near the SIM1 gene, had a 26 percent increased risk of ED. Researchers ruled out other known risk factors of ED, like excess body weight, as the cause for the problem. The results were validated by studying a database of 222,300 men in Britain.
Researchers from health insurance and medical care company Kaiser Permanente studied the genes of almost 37,000 Americans who volunteered their medical records for the study.
"The next step is to find out how this location in the genome affects the risk of erectile dysfunction", he said. The scientists have long thought that genetics could be somehow connected with erectile dysfunction, but only now they located the exact place where the problematic gene can be found. "In total, managed to identify five single mutations, one way or another associated with erectile dysfunction, only one of which was statistically significant".
In a study presented at the European Society of Cardiology conference in Munich when it had not yet been peer reviewed, the researchers said eating a Mediterranean diet could reduce the risk of a man developing ED. The study found that this location was indeed a risk factor for erectile dysfunction, whether the disorder was defined through clinical diagnoses, prescriptions history, or study participant self-report.
This new insight into ED could be a beacon of hope to the 50 percent of men who do not respond to now available treatments, said Jorgenson.
The portion of DNA responsible for the possible development of erectile dysfunction, was discovered near the SIM1 gene, which is involved in brain development. In this case, it is a variation near the SIM1 gene. "Hopefully, this will translate into better treatments and, importantly, prevention approaches for the men and their partners who often suffer silently with this condition".
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