Posts Tagged ‘research’

Exercise May Enhance Sexual Function in Men

Exercise Men's Sexual Health Erectile DysfunctionMen under the age of 40 now have one more reason to hit the gym. According to a recent Emory University study, increased physical activity is associated with better sexual function in men under 40.

The study, published online in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, assessed the association between physical activity and erectile function in young, healthy men ages 18 to 40. Previous studies have suggested that erectile dysfunction in men under 40 is correlated with increased cardiovascular risks.

“The men in our study who exercised more seemed to experience a protective benefit against erectile dysfunction,” says Wayland Hsiao, MD, co-author of the study and assistant professor of urology, Emory University School of Medicine. “We hope that early screening for ED may be a gateway issue to help motivate young men to live healthily on a consistent basis so that they can possibly avoid health issues associated with a sedentary lifestyle, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. We see this as just the beginning.”

For the study, a group of men ages 18 to 40 kept a record of their exercise and sexual function. Researchers found improved erectile function in men under 40 with increased exercise, as well as higher rates of sexual dysfunction in sedentary men under 40. The study also noted that men can start experiencing issues with erectile dysfunction as early as their 30s.

“Several studies have evaluated the relationship between exercise and erectile function in older or obese men,” says study co-author Chad W.M. Ritenour, MD, director of the Emory’s Men’s Health Center and associate professor of urology, Emory University School of Medicine. “Our goal with this particular study was to determine if there is a connection between increased exercise and better erectile function in younger men.”

Drs. Ritenour and Hsiao recommend that men follow the recommendations of the CDC and get at least two and a half hours of physical activity a week, ideally spread throughout the week. Also, men should eat a diet that includes variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat and alcohol.

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Mice Stem Cell Study Shows Promise for Hypopituitarism Treatment

Pituitary Gland

Hypopituitarism, also known as an underactive pituitary gland,  is a condition that affects the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland, in which the pituitary gland does not produce normal amounts of some or all of its hormones. Symptoms of hypopituitarism vary depending on which hormone is no longer being produced by the pituitary gland.

Treatments for hypopituitarism also vary. If the condition is caused as the result of a pituitary tumor, surgery may be needed for treatment. In some cases, hormone therapy is what’s needed to effectively treat hypopituitarism.

However, in the November 2011 issue of Nature, a new report shows promise for the future of hypopituitarism treatment. Japanese scientists successfully treated hypopituitary mice by transplanting pituitary gland tissue they grew from embryonic mice stem cells. After the hypopitiutary mice received the transplanted cells, they began to produce hormones they were previously missing.

Researchers used the mouse stem cells arranged in a three dimensional culture and grew pituitary tissue over the course of three weeks from that culture. The resulting tissue contained all five cell types found in a normal pituitary gland.

Using such technology as a possible treatment for humans suffering from hypopituitarism is not an immediately viable option. Scientists caution that is it unlikely that pituitary tissue grown in labs will behave like functioning pituitary glands. The hope is that someday, treatment for patients with pituitary disorders will be feasible via growing pituitary tissues from the patient’s own tissue.

“If and when the technology becomes developed for humans, it will require the skills of an experienced team of a pituitary endocrinologist and neurosurgeon working together with other specialists in a dedicated pituitary center to fully realize the potential opportunity for patients with pituitary hormonal deficiency,” says Dr. Nelson M. Oyesiku, Co-Director Emory Pituitary Center.

For more information on hypopituitarism, or the endocrinology & neurosurgery treatment teams at Emory, visit the Emory Pituitary website.

Emory – 4th Largest Contributor to New Drug Discovery in U.S.

First announced in the February 10th issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, a new study has found that Emory is the fourth largest contributor to the discovery of new drugs and vaccines in the U.S. The contributors evaluated included federally funded universities, research hospitals, and federal laboratories.

The study found that public-sector research was involved in the discovery of as many as 20% of therapies approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 1990-2007. Through studying the FDA review process, the researchers also found that public sector research institutes “tend to discover drugs that are expected to have a disproportionately important clinical effect.”

To determine impact of various research organizations, researchers for the study identified 153 FDA-approved drugs and vaccines that were discovered at least in part by public-sector research institutions during the past 40 years. The top five contributors were:

  • The National Institute of Health (NIH) (22)
  • The University of California System (11)
  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering (8)
  • Emory University (7)
  • Yale University (6)

The seven Emory products included HIV/AIDS drugs lamivudine (3TC) and emtricitabine (FTC), discovered by Emory scientists Dennis Liotta, PhD, and Raymond Schinazi, PhD, and their former colleague Woo-Baeg Choi, PhD. These two drugs are among the most commonly used and most successful HIV/AIDS drugs in the world, taken in some form by more than 94 percent of U.S. patients on therapy and by thousands more globally.

Emory University President, James Wagner, is extremely proud of the accomplishments of Emory researchers and scientists, commenting, “this study illustrates once again that our nation’s long-standing and world-leading policy of investment in research through universities and other public institutions, along with the responsible use of technology transfer, delivers a tremendous return through improved health for millions, innovative technologies, economic development and training for the next generation of innovators.”

We thank our Emory scientists making new discoveries that allow Emory Healthcare to continue to advance the possibilities in patient-centered health care and improve health in our communities.