ED May Be Linked to Restless Legs Syndrome
Study Shows Older Men With RLS More Likely to Have Erectile Dysfunction
The Role of Dopamine continued...
Low dopamine levels are also thought to be a contributing factor in erectile
Another potential explanation for the observed association may be lack of
People with RLS commonly experience sleep deprivation due to their
involuntary nighttime limb movements, and sleep deprivation is known to
decrease circulating testosterone levels, which can lead to ED.
"Anything that disrupts sleep can cause ED," says David Schulman, MD, MPH,
who directs the Emory Sleep Disorders Laboratory in Atlanta. "I don't think it
is possible in a study like this one to adjust for that."
Schulman says more study is needed to determine if restless legs syndrome
and erectile dysfunction share a common cause.
"I don't look at this as something that will change the way I or anyone else
practices medicine right now," he says.