LThe study involved 355 subjects (228 men and 117 women) with Parkinson’s disease. Among men who were sexually active, researchers found lower rates of apathy, depression, and problems with memory or attention, as well as less fatigue.
No such association was measured in women, possibly because the study had fewer participants than participants.
European researchers say in the European Journal of Neurology that this is the “first longitudinal prospective study” to observe such an association. They believe that this should prompt specialists to periodically question their patients about their sex life.
“We could say to ourselves, this is ‘proof’ that if we [promeut] regular sexual activities will reduce Parkinson’s disease, but that’s not what the study shows, commented Professor Louis-Éric Trudeau, from the department of pharmacology and physiology at the University of Montreal. What we can learn from this at the moment is that among the patients who have a less severe form of Parkinson’s disease, who have less severe symptoms, these people generally have more regular sexual activity, so these are people who are in better health. ”
All the more so, he recalls, that the participants in this study who had more regular sexual activity also had a lower level of medication for Parkinson’s disease, “which also indicates to us that they are in a less severe disease state ”.
We should therefore see everything through the other end of the telescope: subjects do not necessarily owe their best health to their sexual activity; they may owe their sexual activity to their better health.
“We cannot exclude that these people from the start are people who have more regular sexual activity and that it protected them from the start, and there finally they have Parkinson’s disease which is less severe,” recalled Mr. Trudeau. This is also technically possible, but this study does not allow us to say so. “
Such a possibility would fit well in the general literature which shows that regular physical activity helps to minimize the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease; and in physical activity one can include sexual activity, he continues.
“But obviously, what has been shown in improving the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, it takes very vigorous physical activity and that we do very regularly for still substantial durations, he concluded. A little ten or fifteen minutes here and there is not enough. “