New Study Pinpoints Gene That Could Lead to Erectile Dysfunction

Until recently, the cause of erectile dysfunction has been up for debate. For some men, the cause comes down to diet and stress, while others may have underlying health issues such as diabetes or heart problems that is affecting blood flow. Some men may even experience erectile dysfunction as a symptom of performance anxiety, or simply the pressure to perform well sexually for their partner. A new study however, claims to have pinpointed a gene that could be at the root of erectile dysfunction. Targeting this gene can help researchers and doctors find better solutions for the millions of men who suffer with these symptoms.

According to Discover Magazine, Kaiser Permanente funded this study, which was published in early October in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study, which looked at over 36,000 men, focused on an area of DNA which “interacts with a gene known as SIM1”. The SIM1 gene is known to effect sexual arousal in men—it is unsure if this gene does the same for women. According to the article, when this area of the DNA is mutated, it can subsequently affect the SIM1 gene and potentially cause symptoms of erectile dysfunction in men.

Varying health conditions were taken into account, including men’s weight and lifestyle habits, or if they have diabetes or any other cardiovascular issues. The conclusions of the study however, show that the impact of SIM1 is constant despite all of these health factors. This constant shows “that the same genetic factors are at play in men who experience the condition differently.” The goal of the study, according to PNAS, was to dive deeper into the “etiology of erectile dysfunction.” Ideally, more insight into this offers more room for developing new drugs and drug therapies that can target these focus areas of DNA, honing in on the root of the problem.

Until then, traditional medications as well as simple lifestyle changes can improve conditions of erectile dysfunction. Speak to one of KwikMed’s U.S. licensed physicians to see which ED medication is best for you: