The scientists behind the early-stage study, from Imperial College London, are now keen to explore whether kisspeptin could play a part in treating some psychosexual disorders — sexual problems which are psychological in origin, and commonly occur in patients with infertility.
Kisspeptin is a naturally occurring hormone that stimulates the release of other reproductive hormones inside the body.
The work was funded by the National Institute for Health Research, the Wellcome Trust, and the Medical Research Council. The study involved a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in which 29 healthy heterosexual young men were given either an injection of kisspeptin or placebo.
In an MRI scanner, the men were shown a variety of images, including sexual and non-sexual romantic pictures of couples, whilst researchers scanned their brains to see how kisspeptin affected the brain’s responses.
Dr. Alexander Comninos, the first author of the study from the Department of Medicine at Imperial, said
Our study shows that kisspeptin boosts sexual and romantic brain activity as well as decreasing negative mood.
This raises the interesting possibility that kisspeptin may have uses in treating psychosexual disorders and depression which are major health problems which often occur together, but further studies would be needed to investigate this.”
You can read more about the study by clicking below: