HEALTH NOTES: Trial for motor neurone drug and why cycling could risk men’s sex life

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UK patients are among those who have taken part in international trials, in conjunction with the University of Sheffield, pictured, and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


HEALTH NOTES: Trial for motor neurone drug and why cycling could risk men’s sex life

A drug to treat motor neurone disease is being trialled in UK patients.

About 5,000 people across the country have the rare muscle-wasting condition – also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – which affects the brain and nerves. 

Symptoms include weakness in the body and slurred speech, which get worse over time, and there is no cure.

UK patients are among those who have taken part in international trials, in conjunction with the University of Sheffield, pictured, and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Some patients are believed to develop it because of a faulty gene called SOD1. In early-stage trials, the new drug, tofersen, has shown the potential to reduce levels of a toxic cell protein in patients with this genetic mutation, and could help slow their deterioration.

UK patients are among those who have taken part in international trials, in conjunction with the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Studies in bigger groups are now planned.

Bike sales have soared during lockdown. But men may want to think twice before donning Lycra and getting in the saddle, as research suggests it could put them at an increased risk of impotence.

Nearly 5,000 cyclists and non-cyclists, from the UK and other countries, were studied by researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. 

The results, published in the journal Sexual Medicine Reviews, found cyclists were twice as likely to have erectile dysfunction.

Men may want to think twice before donning Lycra and getting in the saddle, as research suggests it could put them at an increased risk of impotence

Men may want to think twice before donning Lycra and getting in the saddle, as research suggests it could put them at an increased risk of impotence

Why this is the case is not clear, but some experts suggest that riding can put pressure on the perineum – the area behind the scrotum – and damage nerves, which may lead to problems.

It has also been speculated that sitting in the saddle and leaning forward may compress the nerves responsible for sensation, with some long-distance cyclists reporting genital numbness. 

Previous reports have linked cycling to prostate problems, however experts say there is little evidence for this.

Love is often described as a warm, fuzzy feeling in the stomach. But according to Italian psychologists, those looking for romance should be hoping for a warm nose.

The researchers studied 44 men and women – who all considered themselves to be very much in love – and measured their temperature at six points on their faces, including the upper part and tip of the nose, and around the mouth.

When the participants were asked to think about their partner, the tip of the nose became hotter than when they were asked to think of someone else. The temperature of the upper part of the nose also increased, but by less than the tip, while there was no change around the mouth, the study from the University of Padova reported.

Research has previously shown that the tip of the nose gets colder when people are feeling stressed or frightened.

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