What is it about?

Parkinson's disease (PD) is one of the most commonly occurring neurodegenerative disorders, with lifetime incidence between 1 and 2% among people older than 65 years. ED is one of the more disabling and poorly addressed aspects of PD. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of sildenafil citrate in Parkinson-emergent ED.

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Why is it important?

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is one of the most common progressive neurodegenerative disorders and is characterized clinically by four main symptoms: resting tremor, bradykinesia, rigidity and postural unsteadiness. The cumulative lifetime incidence of PD is above 1% and the prevalence is over 3%. Symptoms of PD are caused by progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra pars compacta. With disease progression, the neurodegenerative nature of PD extends to affect the mesocortical, mesolimbic regions and autonomic systems. Sexual dysfunction is a common compliant in PD patients. ED (68%) and sexual dissatisfaction (65%) are the most common sexual dysfunctions in men.


The changes in sexual health of patients with Parkinson’s disease must be a concern to the physicians. Although understanding of the central and peripheral physiology of sexual function has grown considerably over the last decade, our knowledge of the neuronal circuits involved in sexual response remains incomplete. The advent of functional brain imaging has, led to the determining of several areas of the brain implicated in sexual arousal. Of note, autopsy based investigations have demonstrated the existence of Parkinson’s disease-related lesions in these areas.

Dr Mohammad Reza Safarinejad
University of Medical Sceices

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Safety and efficacy of sildenafil citrate in the treatment of Parkinson-emergent erectile dysfunction: a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study, International Journal of Impotence Research, September 2010, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1038/ijir.2010.23.
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