A new study suggests that repurposing glycolysis-enhancing drugs such as terazosin, usually used for the treatment of an enlarged prostate, could decrease the risk of male Parkinson’s disease.
A neurodegenerative condition caused by decreased levels of a brain chemical called dopamine is Parkinson’s disease. The symptoms worsen over time, and from having trouble speaking to difficulty chewing and swallowing, the disease may have a wide variety of complications.
The wide spectrum of symptoms can be addressed by different medications, but currently, no drug can cure Parkinson’s disease.
Most therapies focus on the restoration of levels of dopamine. More research has recently, however, investigated ways of increasing energy levels using a metabolic pathway called glycolysis.
The role of glycolysis in Parkinson’s
To carry out their roles, all cells need energy, and glycolysis is one of the first metabolic pathways in the production of energy.
This multi-stage pathway breaks down glucose into various types of molecules that are used for the further processing of energy.
The results of a 2014 study indicate that elevated oxidative stress contributes to impaired glucose metabolism from the early development of Parkinson’s.
The findings of a 2019 report, meanwhile, suggest that increasing levels of energy production can delay the onset of symptoms of Parkinson’s.
An earlier study concluded that, by increasing the activity of a main enzyme required to break down glucose in glycolysis, a drug used to treat prostate enlargement, called terazosin, could increase cellular energy levels.
For this reason, the researchers from the 2019 study researched the effects of terazosin in animal models and used clinical databases to gather information about people who were taking the drug with Parkinson’s disease. They found that terazosin slowed the progression of the disease, decreased complications, and reduced the number of diagnoses.
Now, the efficacy of glycolysis-enhancing drugs, including terazosin, has been compared with that of tamsulosin, a drug that has similar indications but does not increase glycolysis, by an international team led by researchers from the University of Iowa.
Recently, their findings were published in JAMA Neurology.
Investigations in the US and Denmark
The researchers performed two experiments involving the collection of medical information from people new to the use of terazosin, doxazosin, alfuzosin, or tamsulosin. All are glycolysis-enhancing except tamsulosin.
The team used data from three Danish country-wide health registries from January 1996 to December 2017. They took details from the Truven Health Analytics Marketscan database from January 2001 to December 2017.
Before or within 1 year of taking the drug, the researchers removed patients who had acquired Parkinson’s disease. They did not have any female participants since these medications are usually administered to males.
After the first year of beginning the new drug, data collecting began. It continued until the person was taken out of the database or until December 2017.
Which drugs reduced Parkinson’s risk?
The researchers compared individuals who took glycolysis-enhancing drugs with individuals who had similar characteristics who took tamsulosin.
There were 52,365 paired pairs in the cohort of Denmark and 94,883 in the cohort of Truven. The cohorts’ average age was 67.9 years and 63.8 years, respectively.
People who took glycolysis-enhancing medications were less likely than those who took tamsulosin to develop Parkinson’s disease in both cohorts.
In the Danish cohort, people who took glycolysis-enhancing drugs had a 12 percent lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease and a 37 percent lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease in the Truven cohort than people who took tamsulosin.
The researchers found that there was not only a reduction in the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease for people who took a glycolysis-enhancing drug rather than tamsulosin, but this risk continued to decrease the longer the individual took the medication.
Although the two study experiments were “conceptually similar,” the team admits that the outcomes may have been affected by minor design variations.
“While the designs and outcome definitions used in the analyses were roughly parallel, differences between the health care systems and coding practices of the two countries make it difficult to directly compare the Truven cohort with the Danish cohort,” the authors write.
Some considerations about the drugs
Many risk factors may lead to the development of Parkinson’s disease, and the research did not look at other variables that may further increase disease progression, such as head trauma or pesticide exposure.
Nevertheless, the authors say that it could help to recognise people with impaired glucose metabolism and prescribe glycolysis-enhancing drugs.
It is important to note that the research focused on males only, and it may be premature to conclude that this particular treatment may benefit females.
In the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease, a 2019 study states that men are twice as likely than women to have Parkinson’s disease. However, the disease is more likely to advance rapidly in women, and women have higher mortality rates.
Further testing, including randomized clinical trials, is required to confirm that glycolysis-enhancing drugs will delay Parkinson’s disease in anyone, since the current study was observational.
Penis pain: What are the causes?
Penis pain can be caused by a variety of factors and can range from minor to severe. This discomfort can strike at any time of day or night, during sexual activity, or when peeing. People may also experience discomfort in various locations of the penis or different types of pain, such as intense, dull, throbbing, or shooting pain.
While penile pain can occasionally be relieved at home, some underlying causes may necessitate medical attention. If a person has any concerns, they should seek medical advice.
This article goes through some of the possible reasons of penile pain, as well as the associated symptoms and treatment options.
Peyronie’s disease is a condition in which plaque occurs on the top or bottom of the penis due to scar tissue. Peyronie’s disease has no known origin, but experts believe it is caused by scarring of the penis. This scarring could be caused by an autoimmune disease or a severe or repetitive penis injury.
Peyronie’s disease can cause the
- lumps on the side of the penis
- the penis becoming narrower or shorter than usual
- erectile dysfunction or pain during an erection
- pain during sex
- a curve in the penis
If you detect any of these symptoms, you should consult a doctor. Peyronie’s disease can go away without therapy in certain cases, and if the curvature is not severe, treatment may not be required. Other people with the condition, on the other hand, may require:
- medical injections into the plaque
- oral medication
- ultrasound or radiation therapy to break up the scar tissue and reduce plaqu
If a person’s symptoms are severe and do not improve, surgery may be required.
A prolonged and often painful erection that is not related to sexual activity is referred to as priapism. It happens when blood in the penis becomes stuck and unable to drain, causing tissue injury or destruction. The reason of some occurrences is uncertain. Priapism, on the other hand, can be caused by a variety of diseases or medications. Possible triggers include, for example:
- prescription medication, such as blood thinners or erectile dysfunction treatments
- recreational drugs or alcohol use
- blood conditions, such as sickle cell anemia
- trauma to the genitals or spinal cord
Priapism is a significant medical problem, and patients should seek medical attention if they experience a prolonged, painful erection that lasts more than 4 hours without stimulation. To relieve an erection, a person can attempt peeing, taking a warm bath, drinking water, or doing light exercise. The following medical therapies may be used:
- aspiration, which involves using a surgical needle to drain excess blood
- creating a small hole or passage, called a shunt, to allow for adequate blood flow between the penis and the rest of the body
- pain medications
- injecting medication into the penis to allow for sufficient blood circulation
A penile fracture occurs when the erect penis bends, usually as a result of force, causing a portion of it to tear. There are no bones in the penis, hence it isn’t really a fracture. According to some studies, penile fractures are most likely to develop during sexual activity.
The following are signs and symptoms of a penile fracture:
- bleeding from the penis
- blood in the urine
- difficulty urinating
- a popping sound
- sudden loss of erection
- bruising and swelling of the penis
A penile fracture necessitates immediate medical treatment. They may also require surgery to remove any blood buildup and repair any damage to the penis.
When the head of the penis gets inflamed, it is referred to as balanitis. The glans penis (or glans penis) is a portion of the penis that affects 3–11 percent of men. This irritation can occur in those who have not been circumcised, especially if the area behind the foreskin is not adequately washed and dried.
Balanitis can also be caused by the following factors:
- sexually transmitted infections
- using strong soap or chemicals on the penis
Symptoms of balanitis may include:
- a rash
- tenderness or pain
- phimosis, or tight foreskin
Treatment options for balanitis can include:
- a topical astringent solution
- topical steroids
- topical antibiotic, antifungal, or antiseptic ointment
When the foreskin tightens to the point where it is impossible to pull back, phimosis occurs. Before the foreskin loosens, it is frequent in young children, but it can also cause unpleasant symptoms in teenagers and adults.
Phimosis is commonly treated by putting a steroid cream to the foreskin on a daily basis. Taking pain medicines may also assist, and a doctor may recommend circumcision in some circumstances.
Paraphimosis is a disorder in which persons are unable to move the foreskin forward over the tip of the penis, comparable to phimosis. It’s a critical condition that has to be treated right now.
Additional signs and symptoms include:
- the head of the penis turning a different color, such as blue or red
- swelling in the tip of the penis
- pain in the penis
Paraphimosis is treated by lowering the swelling at the tip of the penis so that the foreskin can return to its proper place. If doctors are unable to achieve this, a tiny incision may be made to minimize swelling. Circumcision may be required in specific instances.
Sexually transmitted infections
Due to a sexually transmitted infection (STI), people may have pain in the penis. This word refers to illnesses that can occur as a result of sexual activity or close physical contact.
- burning or itching sensation, such as when urinating
- pain around the pelvis
- frequent urination
- painful ejaculation
- discharge from the penis
- sores, lumps, or blisters around the genitals
STI treatments differ based on the underlying cause. Antibiotics for bacterial STIs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, or antivirals to treat the symptoms of viral STIs like herpes, for example.
Urinary tract infections
A urinary tract infection (UTI) can occur when bacteria invade the urinary tract. Females are more likely to be affected, however males might still be affected. These infections are fairly prevalent in general, with some evidence indicating that they are the second most common type of infection in the body.
Males may experience the following symptoms in addition to penile pain:
- a frequent urge to urinate
- blood in the urine
- pain or a burning sensation when urinating
- feeling the need to urinate when the bladder is empty
To treat a UTI, a doctor will typically prescribe antibiotics.
- reaction to spermicides or contraceptive lotions
Symptoms may include:
- an itchy, tender, or swollen penis
- a frequent urge to urinate
- burning sensation when urinating
- pain during sex or ejaculation
To treat urethritis, a doctor will usually prescribe antibiotics.
Prostatitis is a frequent prostate disease in which the prostate is inflamed. This might cause discomfort in the penis and pelvis. Prostatitis can be caused by bacterial infections, nerve inflammation, or trauma.
The following are some of the symptoms of the condition:
- pain in the penis, testicles, or bladder
- painful ejaculation
- pain or burning when urinating
- blood in the urine
Treatment will vary depending on a person’s symptoms and the cause of inflammation, however antibiotics are usually prescribed. Medications for pain alleviation, prostate massage, and hot compresses might also assist to alleviate discomfort.
Penile pain can occasionally be a sign of penile cancer, but it’s more likely to be the consequence of something else. If somebody notices any of the following symptoms, they should consult their doctor:
- bleeding or discharge under the foreskin
- swelling at the head of the penis
- lumps under the skin in the groin area
- a rash on the penis
- changes to the color or thickness of the skin of the penis
- a lump or crusty bumps on the penis
- bleeding ulcers
Treatment for penile cancer may include:
- surgery to remove tumors in the penis
- circumcision to remove the foreskin
- radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells
Penis pain can be caused by a variety of factors. By addressing a person’s other symptoms, a doctor can assist in determining the origin of the pain.
People can also reduce their chances of getting a penile health problem by:
- using a condom during sex
- keeping good personal hygiene
- maintaining a healthy lifestyle
If a person has continuous or severe penile pain, he or she should consult a doctor.
What are the signs and symptoms of a high estrogen level?
Estrogen is a sex hormone that is crucial to the body’s functioning. Abnormal levels can have a wide range of consequences for one’s health. High estrogen levels, for example, can lead to weight gain, depression, and severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in women.
Males have estrogen as well, although in much lesser levels. It might be difficult to get an erection if your estrogen levels are higher than they should be.
Estrogen levels increase and fall naturally to some extent, but if they remain continuously high, more significant issues might arise. Estrogen dominance occurs when estrogen levels in females are higher than progesterone levels.
Continue reading to discover more about the signs and symptoms of high estrogen levels, as well as the causes.
Gender and sex exist on a spectrum. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to the sex assigned at birth. To learn more, visit here.
Estrogen is an important hormone for both male and female sexual development and health.
Estrogen is divided into three types:
- Estradiol: This is the most powerful type of estrogen, and it is found in the highest quantity in women of reproductive age. This kind of estrogen is used by doctors to assess the health of the ovaries.
- Estrone: In males, this is the most common kind of estrogen. After menopause, it is also the predominant type of estrogen in females. Estrone is produced by the ovaries, placenta, testicles, and adipose tissue by androstenedione or androgens.
- Estriol: This kind of estrogen is produced by the placenta and increases during pregnancy. As the fetus grows, the quantity of estriol produced rises.
Estrogen levels can impact various parts of the body, including the reproductive system, skin, hair, bones, muscles, brain, and breast tissue, whether they rise or fall. Because everyone has some breast tissue, fluctuations can also have these consequences in men.
Estrogen levels might become too high for a variety of causes. They may rise as a result of the following factors:
- changes in how the body excretes estrogen
- changes in how the body breaks estrogen down
- an overproduction of estrogen
Any of the aforementioned factors might result in a hormonal imbalance. Estrogen dominance occurs in females when estrogen levels are high relative to progesterone levels, which is one of the other important female sex hormones.
Estrogen dominance can be caused by a variety of circumstances, including:
- Stress: Cortisol levels rise as a result of stress. When cortisol levels are regularly high, this hormone can deplete progesterone levels, which can lead to estrogen imbalances.
- Medications: Some drugs might increase estrogen levels while decreasing progesterone levels.
- Health conditions: Estrogen dominance is linked to or caused by a number of health issues. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and certain cancers are among them. Insulin resistance raises estrogen levels as well.
- Alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol use elevates estradiol levels and makes it more difficult for the body to digest estrogen.
- Obesity: Because adipose tissue creates estrone, having a greater body weight can result in increased levels of estrogen.
- Dysbiosis: Intestinal dysbiosis occurs when a person’s large intestine has too many dangerous bacteria species or not enough helpful bacteria species. Some forms of gut bacteria can impair the body’s ability to eliminate excess estrogen, resulting in greater amounts in the body.
- Xenoestrogen exposure: If these compounds enter the body, they act like estrogen. Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates, which are found in certain plastics, are two examples. Some personal care items, such as soaps and shampoos, include phthalates.
If testosterone levels fall below a certain threshold, estrogen levels in guys might become too high in relation to the quantity of testosterone in the body.
Males and females are affected differently by high estrogen levels.
Excess estrogen in females can result in:
- fibroids in the uterus
- fibrocystic lumps in the breasts
- low sex drive
- low mood or anxiety
- weight gain, especially around the hips and waist
- heavy or light periods
- worse PMS than usual
Other signs and symptoms to consider are:
Too much estrogen in males can lead to:
- difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
- enlarged breasts, known as gynecomastia
According to a 2018 study high estrogen levels are also associated with increased rates of depression in males.
A person’s chance of developing breast cancer increases if their estrogen levels are continuously high over a lengthy period of time.
- hypocalcemia, which is low calcium
- breast cancer
- cervical cancer
- high blood pressure
- blood clots
In a 2017 study in South Korea, researchers discovered a link between high levels of free estriol and a higher risk of gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
Diagnostic testing may not be necessary to prove that the estrogen ratio is out of balance in females who display indications of estrogen dominance. This is because many of the estrogen-reduction suggestions that doctors may offer are typically favorable to overall health and unlikely to cause damage.
If high estrogen levels are caused by an underlying medical condition, a doctor may order testing to identify whether there is an imbalance and confirm the main cause. Estriol levels are also monitored in high-risk pregnancies by doctors.
Doctors can test for all three kinds of estrogen in females using blood tests. Only estradiol and estrone are measured in men.
Treatment for high estrogen levels is determined on the underlying cause. Doctors may propose lifestyle adjustments to lessen estrogen dominance that is not caused by a specific medical condition. People can attempt the following:
- reducing stress
- limiting or stopping alcohol consumption
- avoiding xenoestrogens, such as BPA in plastics
- avoiding any natural or herbal remedies that may increase estrogen
- eating an anti-inflammatory or vegetarian diet
- eating more soy, flaxseed, and cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and kale
- getting more omega-3 fatty acids in the diet or taking a supplement
- maintaining a moderate weight
If a drug or supplement causes high estrogen, a person should talk to their doctor about other options. It’s important to never adjust a medication’s dose or stop taking it without first visiting a doctor.
If a person has high estrogen levels and a doctor feels it is important to reduce them — maybe to avert long-term harm to the body — aromatase inhibitors may be prescribed. Aromatase is an enzyme that aids in the conversion of androgens to estrogen in the body.
To inhibit the signal that begins estrogen production in the ovaries, doctors may give a synthetic type of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH). If estrogen is worsening a potentially life-threatening condition, such as metastatic breast cancer, they may suggest LHRH.
In females, high estrogen levels can induce irregular or heavy periods, weight gain, exhaustion, and fibroids. They can induce breast tissue development, infertility, and difficulties achieving or keeping an erection in men.
By collecting a medical history and, in certain situations, doing blood tests, a doctor can detect high estrogen levels. The doctor will be able to propose the best therapy choices after they have determined the problem. The therapy choices will be determined by the reason of the high estrogen levels.
Changes in lifestyle and nutrition may lower the amount of estrogen produced by the body or increase the amount it breaks down and excretes. Anyone with chronic or troubling symptoms, on the other hand, should seek medical advice.
10 interesting facts about the penis
Although many people who have a penis are familiar with its antics, this appendage is more than meets the eye. In this article, we’ll go over ten interesting details about the penis that you probably didn’t know.
When seen as an evolutionary adaptation, the penis has performed admirably.
The penis has a long history. In case you’re curious, the oldest known penis is 425 million years old, and it came from an arthropod called Colymbosathon ecplecticos, which means “amazing swimmer with a large penis” in Greek.
Anyone who is amazed at how quickly the penis can be “activated” should consider its importance to our species’ existence. In terms of reproduction, a false arousal is preferable to a missed opportunity.
“Even the world’s greatest actor cannot fake an erection,” author Mokokoma Mokhonoana famously said. This brings us to the day’s first penile fact.
1. The first erection
Penises are born ready, and it is typical for babies to have an erection when they leave the womb. Ultrasound scans can sometimes reveal a fetus with a fully formed erection even before birth.
Fetal erections are most likely during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, according to a 1991 study. And they can occur several times per hour. Nobody knows why, but it could be the body’s way of ensuring that everything is in working order.
2. A penis is twice as long as you think
Many people may find comfort in the fact that their penises are longer than they appear. In fact, the body contains almost half of the total length.
“Well, it’s no good to me up there,” you might think, but it needs to be connected to the rest of the anatomy, so it’s probably best if it stays place.
The mass of pink erectile tissue — which includes the so-called “corpus cavernosum” and “corpus spongiosum” — reaches well into the pelvic region, generating a boomerang shape, as seen in the diagram above.
3. The shoe size myth
Let’s lay this one to rest, shall we? There is no link between shoe size and penis length, according to a 2002 study published in the journal BJU International.
Although a previous study from 1993 indicated a modest association between penile length and both height and foot length, the authors concluded that “height and foot size would not serve as realistic estimators of penis length.”
Other relationships were investigated in a 2006 study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research. “Penile dimensions are substantially linked with age, height, and index finger length,” the researchers concluded, but not with foot size.
4. ‘Morning wood’
The majority of people with penises get 3–5 erections per night, most of which occur during REM sleep. This is also known as “nocturnal penile tumescence,” and the cause is unknown.
An erection reduces urination, which could help avoid bed wetting, according to one theory.
A full bladder has been shown to stimulate nerves in the same area as those responsible for erections. However, because people with vaginas have a condition called nocturnal clitoral tumescence, bed wetting prevention is unlikely to be the complete solution.
Another possibility is that REM sleep is linked to the switching off of noradrenaline-producing cells in the brainstem’s locus coeruleus. The tone of the penis is inhibited by these cells. As a result of the reduction of inhibition, the penis grows erect.
Nocturnal erections, for whatever reason, can be beneficial as a diagnostic tool. If it’s difficult to get or keep an erection when awake but not while sleeping, it could be due to a psychological issue rather than a physical one.
5. One final erection
So, we’ve shown that erections may occur in the womb and while sleeping, but the death erection is possibly even more startling. It’s also known as “angel lust” or a terminal erection, and it occurs shortly after death.
It is most typically found in people who have died by hanging, and scientists believe it is caused by pressure from the noose on the cerebellum.
It has also been reported in the aftermath of a gunshot wound to the head, significant blood vessel damage, and poisoning.
Another theory is that “brutal destruction of the cervical spinal cord” causes the erection.
6. The penis can break
The absence of a bone in the penis is unusual among mammals. The penis, on the other hand, can still be broken. This is most common during forceful sex, but it has also been reported by doctors in people who have fallen out of bed with an erection.
The rupture of the fibrous covering of the corpora cavernosa, which is the tissue that grows erect when engorged with blood, is known as a penile fracture.
A popping or cracking sound, acute pain, swelling, and — unexpectedly — flaccidity accompany the fracture.
Thankfully, it doesn’t happen very often, and if treated quickly, complete function can be restored. If this happens to you, take care not to let your shame get the best of you. Consult a physician as soon as possible.
The most “dangerous” position, according to the authors of a study that looked at 42 cases of penile fracture, was “woman on top.”
The majority of people with penises have little control over when they ejaculate. This is partly due to the fact that it does not require the utilization of the brain. The spinal ejaculation generator sends the signal to ejaculate. The required functions are coordinated in this region of the spinal cord.
Of course, the brain has some involvement on these matters — thinking about something else, for example, is a well-known strategy to delay an event — but the spine handles the nuts and bolts of the entire procedure.
8. The angle of the dangle
A penile erection can be directed in almost any direction. There is no right or wrong in going straight forward, left or right, up or down.
The information below comes from a study that looked at 1,484 erections.
The measurement was 0 degrees if the penis was oriented directly up, and 90 degrees if it was pointed forward (horizontal) in the figures below:
- 0–30 degrees: 4.9% of participants
- 30–60 degrees: 29.6% of participants
- 60–85 degrees: 30.9% of participants
- 85–95 degrees: 9.9% of participants
- 95–120 degrees: 19.8% of participants
- 120–180 degrees 4.9% of participants
So, if you’re worried that your partner is a little off, don’t be.
While we’re on the subject of “normality,” it’s worth noting that few penises are perfectly straight; they can curve in any way. It is still deemed healthy to have a curvature of up to 30 degrees.
9. Grower or show-er
There is no association between the length of a flaccid penis and its erect size, according to a study with 274 participants. Some are little while flaccid and only grow a little when erect (a grower), while others are enormous when flaccid and only grow a little when erect (a show-er).
Some are little regardless of arousal, while others are large while flaccid and grow to be larger. It’s a mixed bag.
This may or may not be useful outside of the locker room, but it’s always good to know.
10. Cornflakes prevent masturbation
They truly don’t. However, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, the breakfast cereal mastermind, hoped that they would. He created cornflakes and other items in the hopes of luring Americans away from the “sin” of masturbating through plain foods.
Thankfully, food makers no longer spend as much time attempting to persuade teenagers to stop masturbating. It also doesn’t render you blind, just in case there was any doubt.
If this list has piqued your interest, you should consider planning a vacation to Iceland to see the Icelandic Phallological Museum, which is dedicated to all things penile. Sigurur Hjartarson, whose interest in the subject began when he was given a bull’s penis as a child, founded the museum.
According to Hjartarson: “Collecting penises is like collecting anything. You can never stop, you can never catch up, you can always get a new one, a better one.”
If you want to take things a step further, head to Beijing’s Guolizhuang Restaurant, which serves penis and testicle dishes. It’s entirely up to you.