Apomorphine-induced brain modulation during sexual stimulation: A new look at central phenomena related to erectile dysfunction

F. Montorsi, D. Perani, D. Anchisi, A. Salonia, P. Scifo, P. Rigiroli, M. Zanoni, J. P W Heaton, P. Rigatti, F. Fazio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It is well recognized that sexual stimulation leading to penile erection is controlled by different areas in the brain. Animal erection studies have shown that apomorphine (a D2>D1 dopamine receptors nonselective agonist) seems to act on neurons located within the paraventricular nucleus and the medial preoptic area of the hypothalamus. Yet, only recently, was a centrally acting agent, apomorphine sublingual, approved for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging placebo-controlled study presents the first in vivo demonstration of the apomorphine-induced modulation of cortical and subcortical brain structures in patients with psychogenic erectile dysfunction. Noteworthy, patients in comparison with potent controls, showed an increased activity in frontal limbic areas that was downregulated by apomorphine. This suggests that psychogenic impotence may be associated with previously unrecognized underlying functional abnormalities of the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-209
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Impotence Research
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003

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Keywords

  • Apomorphine
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Penile erection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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