Summary: According to a new longitudinal study, sexual activity was associated with lower motor and non-motor disabilities, as well as improved quality of life, in men with Parkinson’s disease.
New research published in the European Journal of Neurology indicates that an active sexual life is linked with lower disability and better quality of life in men with early Parkinson’s disease.
The analysis included a subgroup of 355 patients from the PRIAMO (PaRkinson dIseAse non MOtor symptoms) study, who were followed for two years.
The findings should prompt specialists who treat patients with Parkinson’s disease to periodically inquiry about their patients’ sexual life. Additional studies are needed to confirm the study’s findings in men and to explore whether such a relationship occurs in women with Parkinson’s disease.
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Background and purpose Data suggest a relationship between sexual dysfunction, mainly erectile dysfunction in men, and worse disease progression in Parkinson’s disease (PD). There is scant evidence on the correlates of sexual activity in PD patients. By involving a subgroup of 355 patients from the PRIAMO (Parkinson Disease Non Motor Symptoms) study, the present 24‐month longitudinal prospective analysis aims to demonstrate that the presence of active sexual life is associated with disease progression in early PD.
Methods and results Multivariable mixed‐effect logistic regression models showed that gastrointestinal symptoms [odds ratio 0.56, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.39–0.82, P = 0.003] and apathy (odds ratio 0.42, 95% CI 0.29–0.63, P < 0.001) were less likely to be associated with sexual activity in men. Analysis also demonstrated that sexual activity in men was associated with lower motor disability (coefficient −2.881, 95% CI −4.732 to −1.030, P = 0.002), better quality of life (coefficient −24.196, 95% CI −44.884 to −3.508, P = 0.022; coefficient 0.083, 95% CI 0.023–0.143, P = 0.006) and lower depression scores (coefficient −1.245, 95% CI −2.104 to −0.387, P = 0.004). No association was shown in women.
Conclusions This is the first prospective longitudinal study involving a large cohort of PD patients suggesting that sexual activity is associated with lower motor and non‐motor disability as well as with better quality of life in men. These findings should prompt movement disorders specialists to periodically inquiry about their patients’ sexual life.
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