Low sexual satisfaction predicts future memory loss

An investigation that has analyzed data from more than 800 men when they were between 56 and 68 years of age has discovered that a reduction in the sexual satisfaction and erectile function was associated with a memory loss later. This is the first study to look at the long-term evolution of sexual health and cognition, and its results point to new potential risk factor for developing cognitive impairment.

The work has been led by Penn State researchers, who studied the relationship between physical changes – for example, microvascular changes that influence erectile function – and psychological changes, such as decreased sexual satisfaction, to determine how they all relate. them with cognition. They examined the changes that begin to occur in midlife because this stage of life is a transition period in which decreases in erectile functioncognition and sexual satisfaction.

“What was unique about our approach is that we measured memory function and sexual function at each point in the longitudinal study so we could see how they changed together over time,” said Martin Sliwinski, professor of human development and family studies. at Penn and co-author of the study. “What we found connects with what scientists are beginning to understand about the link between life satisfaction and cognitive performance”. The findings have been published in the journal Gerontologist.

“We are showing that sexual satisfaction is also important for our overall health and quality of life”

“Scientists have found that if you have low satisfaction in general, you are at increased risk of health problems such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and other stress-related problems that can lead to cognitive decline,” Sliwinski explained. who adds that “Improvements in sexual satisfaction may actually lead to an improvement in memory function. We tell people to exercise more and eat better food. We are showing that sexual satisfaction is also important for our overall health and quality of life.”

Erectile function, key to identify cognitive impairment

Using data from surveys completed by 818 men who participated in the Vietnam-era Twin Aging Study, the researchers examined the cognitive changes they experienced over 12 years—from 56 to 68—using neuropsychological tests, such as tests of memory and processing speed. To measure their erectile function and sexual satisfaction they used the International Index of Erectile Function, a self-reported assessment of male sexual health. The researchers then built a statistical model to understand how the three variables changed as these men aged.

“Sexual health research has historically focused on quantifiable facets of sexuality, such as the number of sexual partners or the frequency of sexual activity,” said Riki Slayday, a Penn State doctoral candidate and lead author of the study. “What we were interested in was the perception of that activity, how someone feels about their sex life, and how that influences cognitive function, because multiple people could be physically in the same situation, but experience completely different levels of satisfaction.” .

The results showed that decreased erectile function and sexual satisfaction were associated with memory decline, something that, in the opinion of the researchers, points to a connection between psychological and physical health. “When we mapped the relationship over time, we found increases or decreases in erectile function and sexual satisfaction that were associated with concurrent increases or decreases in cognitive function,” Slayday said. “These associations were maintained after adjusting for demographic and health factors, which tells us that there is a clear connection between our sex life and our cognition”.

Previous studies have found a link between microvascular changes and changes in erectile function over time, and Viagra (sildenafil), which is used to combat erectile problems, was originally developed to treat cardiovascular conditions. , Sliwinski explained, so the connection between vascular health and erectile function is well understood.

Therefore, it is important to continue investigating the possible connections between erectile function and other aspects of health. Improving monitoring of erectile function as a key sign of health may help identify people at risk of suffer cognitive decline before the age of 70concludes Slayday.

Source: www.webconsultas.com

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