Male sexual function in presymptomatic gene carriers and patients with Huntington's disease

To report sexual dysfunction in a systematically studied cohort of men with Huntington's disease (HD), and compare them with control men of a similar age.

In men with HD and asymptomatic HD gene carriers, the male sexual dysfunction questionnaire (International Index of Erectile Function - IIEF, covering erectile and orgasmic function, sexual desire, intercourse satisfaction and overall satisfaction), neurologic assessment using the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) and the Total Functional Capacity (TFC) Score were utilized.

Responses were obtained from 23 HD patients and 2 HD gene carriers. HD patients reported more problems with erection, intercourse satisfaction and overall satisfaction (p<0. 05) compared to 41 controls. HD patients generally reported reduced sexual desire and performance. Sexual dysfunction progressed in parallel with patients' decline in motor (UHDRS) and TFC, but was not related to patients' age and duration of disease.

Our study demonstrated a significant impact of HD on male sexual function that progressed in parallel with motor and total patient (TFC) dysfunction. Physicians helping HD patients should also consider this largely neglected aspect of the disease.

Journal of the neurological sciences. 2015 Nov 10 [Epub]

Matej Kolenc, Jan Kobal, Simon Podnar

Department of Neurology, General Hospital Novo mesto, Slovenia. Clinical Department for Vascular Neurology and Intensive Neurologic Therapy, Division of Neurology, University Medical Center Ljubljana, Slovenia. , Institute of Clinical Neurophysiology, Division of Neurology, University Medical Center Ljubljana, Slovenia.