Impaired Sexual Function

  • Cheryl Waters
  • Janice Smolowitz
Part of the Current Clinical Neurology book series (CCNEU)


The incidence of impaired sexual function in adults with Parkinson’s disease (PD) is greater than in the general population. Studies have examined different aspects of sexual function among adults with PD and their partners. Comparison groups have included healthy adults matched for age and gender, as well as age-matched controls with chronic, non-neurological disease with motor impairment. Impaired sexual function in PD is most likely multifactorial. Depression, physical disability, and autonomic dysfunction may contribute to the increased prevalence of erectile dysfunction (ED) in PD. Given this multifactorial basis, clinicians should routinely assess patient needs. In studies of men with PD, treatment with sildenafil significantly improved sexual satisfaction. Also, erection has been reported as a side effect of subcutaneous apomorphine treatment of resistant motor fluctuations. As a treatment for ED, sublingual apomorphine is available in Europe. For women with PD, therapeutic interventions and impaired sexual function have not been described. Further research is required to develop treatment for adults with PD and sexual dysfunction.

Key Words

Erectile dysfunction hyposexuality sexual dysfunction reduced libido sexual dissatisfaction decreased sexual activity impaired sexual function 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cheryl Waters
    • 1
  • Janice Smolowitz
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyColumbia UniversityNew York
  2. 2.Department of Clinical NursingColumbia UniversityNew York

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