Regular sex can help ease symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
Regular sex can help ease symptoms of Parkinson’s disease because it improves patients’ quality of life, study finds
- Researchers analysed and monitored 355 sexually active patients for two years
- Patients with an active sex life reported lower motor and depression scores
- Roughly one in 500 people in UK suffer from the incurable Parkinson’s disease
Engaging in regular sex can help ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and is linked with a better quality of life, according to the world’s first study of its kind.
Researchers analysed 355 patients suffering from the early stages of Parkinson’s disease and monitored them over a two year period.
Roughly one in 500 people in the UK suffer from Parkinson’s disease and it’s believed that two people every hour are told they have it.
There is no cure for the disease but medication and physical therapy are believed to help ease symptoms.
Researchers analysed 355 patients suffering from the early stages of Parkinson’s disease and monitored them over a two year period. Stock picture
Parkinson’s disease is a condition in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years.
The 3 main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are:
- Involuntary shaking of particular parts of the body
- Slow movement
- Stiff and inflexible muscles
A person with Parkinson’s disease can also experience a wide range of other physical and psychological symptoms including depression and anxiety.
Parkinson’s disease is caused by a loss of nerve cells in part of the brain called the substantia nigra. This leads to a reduction in a chemical called dopamine in the brain.
It’s thought around one in 500 people are affected by Parkinson’s disease.
Most people with Parkinson’s start to develop symptoms when they’re over 50, although around one in 20 people with the condition first experience symptoms when they’re under 40.
Men are slightly more likely to get Parkinson’s disease than women.
Source: NHS UK
Patients who had an active sex life reported less motor problems and lower depression scores throughout the study conducted by Salerno University in Italy and Imperial College London.
While the study didn’t prove that sex causes fewer symptoms, researchers say that it is clear that sexual activity is linked to a reduction in symptoms and a milder disease progression in men.
Because of this authors from the PRIAMO study group suggest that doctors treating patients with Parkinson’s disease should enquire about their patients’ sex life.
Women were underrepresented in the study, because in order to partake in it a patient had to have been sexually active within the previous year and many women weren’t.
Dr Beckie Port, research manager at Parkinson’s UK, wrote on her blog: ‘From reducing symptoms, to improving memory and supporting you to stay fit, healthy and well, exercise is known to have many benefits.’
Past research has found that sex can help improve immune systems, lower blood pressure and can even increase life expectancy.
Daiga Heisters, a specialist Parkinson’s disease nurse, told the Times she tells her patients: ‘Put your sports kit on and get hot and sweaty with activities such as tennis, running and cycling. Or you could try sex.’
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