Brain structure altered in men with premature ejaculation
Men suffering from lifelong premature ejaculation (PE) have a greater volume of the caudate nucleus region of the brain, a recent study has found.
Referring to whole-brain T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, researchers used a voxel-based morphometry method to assess cortical and subcortical structures in 42 healthy participants (mean age, 30.4±81 years) and 54 lifelong PE patients (mean age, 30.4±7.5 years). Self-reported questionnaires were administered to evaluate PE severity.
The mean volume of the caudate nucleus was significantly higher in patients who had been suffering from lifelong PE as opposed to their healthy counterparts (6.8±0.8 vs 6.1±1.0 cm3; p=0.048). A similar trend was observed for the mean putamen nucleus volume, though statistical significance was not achieved (7.8±1.4 vs 7.1±1.1 cm3; p=0.057).
Moreover, there was a significant positive correlation between caudate nucleus volume and scores in the Premature Ejaculation Diagnostic Tool (r, 0.621; p=0.0179). On the other hand, the volume of the subcortical structure was negatively and significantly associated with intravaginal ejaculation latency time (r, –0.592; p=0.0101).
None of the other subcortical structures examined, such as the amygdala nucleus, hippocampus, thalamus, nucleus accumbens and globus pallidus, shared a significant correlation with lifelong PE. The same was true for all cortical morphologies: gray and white matter, cerebellum, and cerebrospinal fluid volumes.
“The brain mechanisms controlling human sexual behaviour remain under investigation,” said researchers. “More extensive and possibly longitudinal studies are needed to improve our understanding of the mechanisms of the neurobiology underlying PE.”