Thursday, June 23, 2011
Restless Legs Syndrome and Erectile Dysfunction
A poster was presented at the annual Sleep meeting in Minneapolis involving research about restless legs syndrome (RLS) and erectile dysfunction (ED). Researchers studied 11,000 men with an average age of 64 years old and without ED, diabetes, or arthritis. The results showed that men with RLS were about 50% more likely to develop ED, even after controlling for age, weight, smoking status, antidepressant use, and other chronic diseases. Also, the more frequently the men experienced RLS symptoms, the more likely they were to develop ED. Researchers do not know why RLS and ED are linked, but some theorize that low dopamine levels could be involved. It is believed that low dopamine can contribute to RLS. It would be interesting to study whether medications that improve RLS that affect the brain's dopamine system can also improve ED.