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Scientists discover a gene in the brain that controls sexual desire in men

Scientists have discovered a gene in the brain that controls sexual desire in men.

The gene, called aromatase, regulates men’s sexual behaviour, and could be targeted by drugs to either increase or decrease sexual desire, according to researchers from Northwestern University.

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Aromatase converts testosterone to oestrogen in the brain, which drives male sexual activity, according to the researchers.

Dr Serdar Bulun, senior author of the study, said: “This is the first key finding to explain how testosterone stimulates sexual desire.

“For the first time, we demonstrated conclusively that the conversion of testosterone to oestrogen in the brain is critical to maintain full sexual activity or desire in males. Aromatase drives that.”

Aromatase converts testosterone to oestrogen in the brain, which drives male sexual activity, according to the researchers
(Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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In the study, the researchers knocked out aromatase in the brains of male mice.

They found that doing so decreased the mice’s sexual activity by 50%.

Dr Hong Zhao, corresponding study author, said: “Male mice partially lost interest in sex.

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