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Problem with Lack of Libido
« on: October 26, 2010, 04:26:52 PM »
Scans appear to show differences in brain functioning in women with persistently low sex drives, claim researchers.

The US scientists behind the study suggest it provides solid evidence that the problem can have a physical origin.

They measured brain activity as the women watched erotic videos.

But a spokesman for the charity Relate said the study simply demonstrated low libido at work in the brain, rather than exposing its cause.

Sex drive

In recent years, a diagnosis of "hypoactive sexual desire disorder" (HSDD) in women has become more accepted by science.

However, there remains controversy about whether the term can or should be used to describe a lack of sexual desire, which may be caused by a variety of psychological, emotional and physical factors.

The latest study, carried out at Wayne State University in Detroit and presented to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in Denver, highlights differences in mental processing in women who have low sex drives.

Its author, Dr Michael Diamond, said it suggested that HSDD was a genuine physical problem.

He recruited 19 women who had been diagnosed with the condition, and compared their brain responses with those of seven others using a functional magnetic resonance imaging scanner, which can measure levels of activation in different parts of the brain by detecting increased blood flow.

The women were asked to watch a screen for half an hour, with everyday television programmes interspersed with erotic videos.

In the seven women who did not have the HSDD diagnosis, increased activity in the insular cortices - parts of the brain believed to be involved in the processing of emotion - could be seen. The same did not happen in the women with HSDD. - BBC, source

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