Brain activation patterns in women with acquired hypoactive sexual desire disorder and women with normal sexual function a cross sectional pilot study

Capsule:
Women with hypoactive sexual desire disorder may have alterations in activation of brain structures involved with memory acquisition, processing and memory of emotional reactions, and heightened attention to own physical state.

Authors:
Terri L. Woodard, M.D., Nicole T. Nowak, Ph.D., Richard Balon, M.D., Manuel Tancer, M.D., Ph.D., Michael P. Diamond, M.D.

Volume 100, Issue 4, Pages 1068-1076.e5, October 2013

Abstract:

Objective:
To examine and compare brain activation patterns of premenopausal women with normal sexual function and those with hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) during viewing of validated sexually explicit film clips.

Design:
Cross-sectional pilot study.

Setting:
University-based clinical research center.

Patient(s):
Premenopausal women.

Intervention(s):
None.

Main Outcome Measure(s):
Areas of brain activation during viewing of sexually explicit film clips.

Result(s):
Women with normal sexual function showed significantly greater activation of the right thalamus, left insula, left precentral gyrus, and left parahippocampal gyrus in comparison with women with HSDD, who exhibited greater activation of the right medial frontal gyrus and left precuneus regions.

Conclusion(s):
Women with HSDD may have alterations in activation of limbic and cortical structures responsible for acquiring, encoding, and retrieving memory, the processing and memory of emotional reactions, and areas responsible for heightened attention to one’s own physical state.

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