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Central mechanisms of erectile dysfunction: what a clinician may want to know

Abstract

The interplay between peripheral and central mechanisms of erectile function are not fully elucidated although basic science is moving ahead in this area. It is important from a clinical point of view to understand these mechanisms so that we may begin to make further therapeutic advances in the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED). It is now widely understood that central disinhibition plays a crucial role in the induction of erectile responses and this has led to the development of the central initiator, apomorphine SL (Ixense™) [apo SL]. Apo SL acts in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus as a dopamine receptor agonist. It works as a proerectile conditioner at this level to increase the responses of the erectile pathway following appropriate sexual stimulation. This unique central mode of action of apo SL has thus proved efficacious in approximately 70% of ED patients although persistence may be required to produce a robust effect for the maximum number of patients.

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Correspondence to C G Stief.

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Stief, C. Central mechanisms of erectile dysfunction: what a clinician may want to know. Int J Impot Res 15 (Suppl 2), S3–S6 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijir.3900989

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