Monthly injections of a drug can dramatically cool a man's libido and perhaps provide the first effective treatment for sexually deviant behavior, Israeli researchers report in the Feb. 12 New England Journal of Medicine. In tests on 30 men who have pedophilia and other abnormal compulsions such as exhibitionism and frottage, the act of rubbing against another person to achieve sexual arousal, Dr. Ariel Rosler of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem and Dr. Eliezer Witztum of Ben Gurion University of Negev found that the drug triptorelin dramatically reduced blood levels of the male hormone testosterone and virtually eliminated deviant sexual fantasies.
The drug treatment was combined with psychotherapy. The study's subjects were men who either were released from prison in exchange for their participation or had volunteered to take the drug to avoid prosecution. "All 30 men stated that their sexual desire had decreased considerably and that their sexual behavior had become easily controllable," the researchers reported. An estimated 10% to 20% of children in the United States are sexually molested by the time they turn 18, usually by men.
Researchers Report Proof of Repetitive Strain Injury
Repetitive strain injury, sometimes challenged as a figment of patients' imaginations, is a real medical condition caused by nerve damage, British researchers said Wednesday. Medical and legal experts have often dismissed complaints of chronic pain in fingers and hands, but the new research gives the clearest indication yet that the injuries linked to intensive keyboard use are caused by damage to sensory nerves in the hand.
Physiotherapist Jane Greening of University College London said at a news conference that she and neurophysiologist Bruce Lynn used a device called a vibrometer to measure how well sensory nerves of 17 RSI sufferers and a group of 29 "at risk" office workers functioned during a two-year period.
The people with RSI showed reduced sensitivity to vibration in the hand area and an overreaction to normally innocuous stimulation. The reduced sensitivity became more apparent after keyboard use when another nerve to the hand, the ulnar nerve, was also damaged.
Migraine Sufferers Have New Treatment Option
The Food and Drug Administration has cleared a new drug for the treatment of migraines. Amerge, known generically as naratriptan, is one of a new class of migraine drugs called triptans that act on the brain chemical serotonin. Sumatriptan, also called Imitrex, was the first such drug to be marketed. In many migraine sufferers, the drug can eliminate the headache in as little as a half-hour.
In clinical trials, 60% to 66% of volunteers with moderate to severe headaches said Amerge helped their pain within four hours, and the pain stayed away for a day in 72% to 81%, a longer lasting effect than the earlier drug.
Longer Hours for Women May Hinder Conception
Working long hours may be good for a woman's career but it could make it difficult for her to conceive, Thai researchers say. Dr. Pitchaya Tuntiseranee and colleagues at Prince of Songkla University reported in the February issue of Occupational and Environmental Medicine that women who worked more than 71 hours a week took longer to get pregnant.
They studied 1,496 women in southern Thailand who received prenatal care at two public hospitals, comparing their working hours, age, education, menstrual regularity, medical history, frequency of sexual relations and how long it took them to conceive. If the woman works more than 71 hours a week, the couple was much more likely to take longer than 7.8 months to achieve pregnancy.
Study: HPV Is Prevalent Among Young Women
Sixty percent of women students at Rutgers University caught the papilloma virus by the time they finished three years of college. The sexually transmitted infection usually went away within a few months. The finding, reported in the Feb. 12 New England Journal of Medicine, underscores the high risk of young women catching this virus, as well as its typically passing nature.
Human papilloma virus--HPV--can cause warts but otherwise is almost always harmless. However, it can trigger cervical cancer in a tiny percentage of those infected. It can also cause abnormal cell growth that is picked up by Pap tests. Dr. Robert D. Burk and others from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City tested 608 women students every six months. At the start, 26% were already infected. Over the three years, 60% had the virus at some point. Seventy percent of the infections went away after one year, and 91% after two years.
--Compiled by THOMAS H. MAUGH II