Parkinson’s disease is a condition that causes the brain to become progressively more damaged over time, said the NHS. You could be at risk of the neurodegenerative condition if you develop these sexual symptoms.
Parkinson’s is caused by a loss of nerve cells in a specific part of the brain.
These nerve cells are used to help send messages between the brain and the nervous system.
Parkinson’s disease symptoms tend to develop gradually, and only appear as mild at first.
One of the key warning signs of Parkinson’s in men is erectile dysfunction, it’s been revealed.
Impotence may be a direct result of Parkinson’s, and its impact on the nervous system.
That means that patients may find it difficult to maintain an erection.
Women, meanwhile, may develop vaginal dryness, as a result of inadequate lubrication.
The symptom may lead to painful sex, and persistent bladder infections.
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“As if you don’t have enough to deal with. When it comes to Parkinson’s disease, diminished sexual function is practically inevitable,” said the American Parkinson Disease Association.
“From lack of sexual desire to low libido to difficulties with orgasmic functioning, this chronic, progressive, neurological disease can impair your sexuality in one way or the other.
“Parkinson’s affects one’s autonomic nervous system, which controls sexual response and functioning. Parkinson’s acts upon neurons in the brain’s substantia nigra, causing dopamine-producing nerve cells to die.
“Since dopamine is a chemical that transmits signals between parts of the brain that usually coordinate smooth muscle movement, this is critical to sexual function.”
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Meanwhile, some Parkinson’s patients may also struggle to climax, it added.
It may be caused by a reduced sexual function, and both sexes could be affected.
But, just because you develop any of these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have Parkinson’s.
Speak to a doctor if you’re worried about your libido, erectile dysfunction, or vaginal dryness.
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Other common signs of Parkinson’s disease include tremors, slow movement, and muscle stiffness.
The muscle stiffness makes facial expressions more difficult, said the charity.
Tremors usually start in the hand or the arm, and are more likely to occur when the arm is relaxed.
There are about 127,000 people in the UK with Parkinson’s disease – the equivalent to about one in 500 people.
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