Breaking News
March 22, 2018 - Changes in the intestines may be responsible for reversal of diabetes after bariatric surgery
March 22, 2018 - iPads and Cancer; Clot Retrieval and Stroke: It’s PodMed Double T!
March 22, 2018 - Premature births linked to changes in mother’s bacteria
March 22, 2018 - Brain SPECT scans predict treatment outcomes in patients with depression
March 21, 2018 - Researchers succeed in integrating artificial organelles into cells of living organism
March 21, 2018 - Researchers discover ‘missing mutation’ in severe infant epilepsy
March 21, 2018 - Researchers develop statistics-based computational scheme to zoom in on brain function
March 21, 2018 - Verge joins Genomics England’s Discovery Forum industry partnership
March 21, 2018 - Trovagene Announces First Patient Successfully Completes Cycle 1 of Treatment with PCM-075 in Combination with Low Dose Cytarabine (LDAC) in AML Trial
March 21, 2018 - Congenital Cardiac Cath Tx Often Strays from Guidelines
March 21, 2018 - Marked increase in cardiovascular risk factors in women after preeclampsia
March 21, 2018 - New app may help predict, track manic and depressive episodes in bipolar patients
March 21, 2018 - Discovery of genes could lead to development of novel therapies for EBV-related cancers
March 21, 2018 - High-fat, high-cholesterol diet depletes ranks of artery-protecting immune cells
March 21, 2018 - Research misconduct allegations shadow likely CDC appointee
March 21, 2018 - Most Breast Ca Patients Fail to Get Genetic Counseling
March 21, 2018 - Lopsided ear function can lead to lopsided brain development
March 21, 2018 - Acupuncture helps manage menopausal symptoms, review finds
March 21, 2018 - Motor skill training may contribute to reading skills in obese children
March 21, 2018 - Poor dental health may be related to increased diabetes risk
March 21, 2018 - Chronic opioid users at increased risk of complications after spinal fusion surgery
March 21, 2018 - NSAID use linked to increased risk of atrial fibrillation
March 21, 2018 - Scientists develop brain “stethoscope” that can detect silent seizures
March 21, 2018 - New method predicts effects of global warming on disease
March 21, 2018 - Insurance Company Hurdles Burden Doctors, May Harm Patients
March 21, 2018 - Renal Transplant from HCV-Positive Donors Feasible
March 21, 2018 - Myelodysplastic syndrome: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia
March 21, 2018 - Research reveals brain mechanism involved in language learning
March 21, 2018 - Many parents still hesitate to try early peanut introduction, survey finds
March 21, 2018 - Audiologist urges tinnitus sufferers facing ‘revolving door healthcare’ to seek support
March 21, 2018 - Study reveals impact of prostate cancer on wives and partners of sufferers
March 21, 2018 - ‘Almost a Miracle Drug’: What We Heard This Week
March 21, 2018 - Study shows NIH spent >$100 billion on basic science for new medicines
March 21, 2018 - Columbia researchers identify nerve cells that drive fruit fly’s escape behavior
March 21, 2018 - Sartorius Stedim Biotech selected by ABL Europe to supply single-use process technologies
March 21, 2018 - Increase in coffee consumption may help battle against colon cancer
March 21, 2018 - Hydrogel may accelerate healing of diabetic ulcers
March 21, 2018 - Dermira’s Two Phase 3 Trials Evaluating Olumacostat Glasaretil in Patients with Acne Vulgaris Did Not Meet Co-Primary Endpoints
March 21, 2018 - DePuy Synthes introduces ACTIS Total Hip System for improving initial implant stability
March 21, 2018 - ‘Oh, It Was Nothing’
March 21, 2018 - Herbal drug kratom linked to salmonella illnesses, CDC says
March 21, 2018 - New optical point-of-care device could enhance screening for thyroid nodules
March 21, 2018 - FDA Expands Approval of Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) for First-Line Treatment of Stage III or IV Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma in Combination with Chemotherapy
March 21, 2018 - Eosinophilic Esophagitis: Late Manifestation of Allergic March
March 21, 2018 - Signaling pathway involving the Golgi apparatus identified in cells with Huntington’s disease
March 21, 2018 - Quintupling inhaled steroid doses may not benefit children with asthma
March 21, 2018 - Study shows clear connection between cardiovascular fitness in middle age and dementia risk
March 21, 2018 - Premature babies have higher risks of health complications in Bangladesh
March 21, 2018 - Child’s temperament and parenting influence weight gain in babies
March 21, 2018 - Researchers find the heart to be capable of arrhythmia termination after local gene therapy
March 21, 2018 - Inhealthcare to provide digital infrastructure for NHS to help protect people from falls
March 21, 2018 - Flu Season Finally Slowing Down
March 21, 2018 - Mixed Results for Shorter DAPT in ACS Patients
March 21, 2018 - Scientists discover fish scale-derived collagen effective for healing wounds
March 21, 2018 - Genomics England announces new partnership to improve efficiency of next-generation sequencing analysis
March 21, 2018 - Adjuvant AC chemotherapy found to be effective in treating HRD-positive breast cancer patients
March 21, 2018 - Researchers identify new treatment targets for lung diseases using big data
March 21, 2018 - Kids see more women in science than five decades ago
March 21, 2018 - Research shows link between chronic fatigue syndrome and lower thyroid hormone levels
March 21, 2018 - Alzheimer’s disease on the rise
March 21, 2018 - Two Agents Equal as Pretreatment for Adrenal Tumor Surgery
March 21, 2018 - ‘Icebreaker’ protein opens genome for T cell development, researchers find
March 21, 2018 - Women in medicine shout #Metoo about sexual harassment at work
March 21, 2018 - Mother’s pre-pregnancy waist size may be linked to child’s autism risk
March 21, 2018 - Second hand marijuana smoke can cause serious damage
March 21, 2018 - International study shows benefits of using MRI at the start of prostate cancer diagnosis
March 20, 2018 - Santhera Reports Outcome of Exploratory Trial with Idebenone in PPMS Conducted at the NIH
March 20, 2018 - ECG Patch Ups At-Home Afib Diagnosis in mSToPS Trial
March 20, 2018 - ROS-scavenging nanozymes for anti-inflammation therapeutics
March 20, 2018 - Genomics England announces appointment of global genomics pioneer as first CEO
March 20, 2018 - Test flight at German Aerospace Center in Cologne demonstrates functionality of deficopter
March 20, 2018 - Music therapy helps treat combat-related psychological injuries in military personnel
March 20, 2018 - Innovative psychotherapeutic treatment protocol for obsessive-compulsive disorders
March 20, 2018 - Weight loss after lap-band surgery alleviates arthritic knee pain
March 20, 2018 - New diabetes drug may help obese people shed body weight
March 20, 2018 - Novel Peanut OIT a Winner in Phase III Trial
March 20, 2018 - Can gene therapy be harnessed to fight the AIDS virus?
March 20, 2018 - Education and academic achievement can lessen effects of child abuse, neglect
March 20, 2018 - Researchers develop new algorithm to make CPR more effective
March 20, 2018 - Diabetes medication reduces chance of late miscarriage, premature birth among women with PCOS
Neurosexuality needs to be better addressed in patients with neurodisabilities

Neurosexuality needs to be better addressed in patients with neurodisabilities

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

For people with brain disorders, whether from injury or disease, rehabilitation is a complex process. Neurosexuality is an emerging area of study and practice that focuses on the relationships between brain and sexual function in individuals with and without neurological disorders. Experts on the subject, reporting in NeuroRehabilitation, discuss how sexuality can affect neurorehabilitation in patients suffering from a range of conditions, from stroke and spinal cord injuries to sexual behavior in patients with dementia.

Research addressing the relationship between sexuality and the brain has a long history in neurological and behavioral sciences. This increased awareness has led to a better understanding within the scientific community regarding the importance of sexuality as a health outcome to promote the quality of life of individuals with neurodisabilities.

“This thematic issue of NeuroRehabilitation emphasizes that neurosexuality care should be driven by a transdisciplinary approach to appraise the evidence base of the potential negative consequences of different neurodisabilities on sexuality and to build upon sound treatment strategies to address these complexities,” explained guest editors Alexander Moreno, PhD, Caron Gan, RN, MScN, RP, AAMFT, and Nathan D. Zasler, MD.

An important contribution to this issue advocates for changing the culture of neurodisability through language and sensitivity of providers in order to create a safe place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and people with other sexual orientations and forms of gender expression (LGBTQIA+). “The particular needs of LGBTQIA+ individuals living with a neurological disorder are neglected in clinical practice and research. The invisibility of LGBTQIA+ individuals with neurological disorders reflects the historical exclusion of marginalized identities and creates disparities of access to healthcare,” explained Alexander Moreno, PhD, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Sexology, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) and the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal, Ari Laoch, MS, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Nathan D. Zasler, MD, Concussion Care Centre of Virginia, Ltd. and Tree of Life Services, Inc. (VA).

The invisibility of LGBTQIA+ individuals with neurological disorders translates into diminished quality of care or inappropriate care, lack of recognition of all family configurations, exclusion of family caregivers, and violations of human rights (e.g., the right to be treated with dignity). Shedding light on the diversity of individuals with neurological disorders has the potential to improve healthcare by helping rehabilitation professionals to be sensitive to the particular needs of LGBTQIA+ individuals. In addition, the results of this study help promote the inclusion of sexual and gender diversity in the curricula of future practitioners and delineate future directions for research. Most importantly, the current study provides concrete clinical recommendations aiming to orient healthcare professionals wanting to improve their practice.

The authors surveyed the literature concerning neurological disorders affecting LGBTQIA+ individuals. They found that the relative neglect of LGBTQIA+ individuals with neurological disorders in clinical practice and research is striking. Healthcare professionals working with individuals with neurological disorders have the responsibility to create safer spaces in their clinical practice, including the use of inclusive language, the modification of admission forms to reflect diverse realities, the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in their institutional policies, and participate in continuing education to challenge misconceptions, stereotypes, and negative attitudes. The authors provide 20 recommendations to guide clinicians, researchers, and policy professionals about the care of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Moreno, Laoch, and Zasler emphasized that “being part of a positive change in the rehabilitation of LGBTQIA+ people with neurodisabilities is part of our obligation as healthcare providers who are self-reflective, critical, and willing to improve the quality of the services provided in an ethical framework.”

Additional contributions to the issue cover a variety of important topics.

Sexual health after pediatric acquired brain injury (ABI)

The authors reviewed over 2000 studies and found that literature about sexuality in children and adolescents with ABI has mainly addressed physical issues (e.g., precocious puberty), with positive sexual health needing further development in topics such as body image, sexual orientation, and social competence including flirting, dating, and romance.

Sexual health after traumatic brain injury (TBI) in younger and older adultsSexual problems were more likely for older (average mid-40s) patients with TBI than for younger (average 30s) patients. Older patients showed lower sexual desire and suffered more from anxiety and depression. Younger patients did not exhibit these symptoms to the same degree, suggesting that clinicians should be aware of age differences when treating their patients.

Stroke and sexual functioning

A literature review of post-stroke sexual functioning describes how various dysfunctions are related to stroke location, laterality, and physical and psychological changes. Three programs are presented to address post-stroke rehabilitation.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) and sexual dysfunction

For patients with MS, assessment and treatment of sexual dysfunctions are described, including sexual assessment tools especially for MS. The authors also explore related topics including relationships, fertility, pregnancy, and parenting issues. They emphasize that, like other neurological disorders, there is a need for more collaboration among providers in addressing sexual concerns in MS.

How perceptions of sexuality in individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) can affect care

Surveys of both patients with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and ALS care providers revealed uncomfortable feelings when the subject of sexuality was raised. The authors call for more education among ALS specialists in sexuality and a policy change that guarantees the inclusion of sexuality in their guidelines.

Sexual concerns after spinal cord injury (SCI)

SCI can impact sexual response, male infertility and its treatments, as well as pregnancy issues. The authors emphasize the importance of providing education and specific sexual recommendations based on the individual’s remaining sexual potential, and to include their partners, when available. They also present basic and advanced treatments for sexual dysfunctions and discuss other challenges in the management of sexual dysfunction of individuals with SCI.

Studying intimacy and sexuality in clients with dementia

Obtaining consent to study individuals with cognitive impairment is a controversial topic. In the environment of a residential care facility, the authors propose a multi-step approach involving authorized representatives (e.g., family caregivers), professional caregivers working in the facility, a pre-consent phase, a consent presentation phase, and a final consent before data collection. Their reflections and suggestions illuminate the ethical challenges involved in the study of sexuality and intimacy in individuals with severe cognitive impairment.

In summary, the guest editors write, “We hope that this thematic issue provides an impetus for rehabilitation and other health professionals, students in the health sciences, and researchers to develop their competence and awareness of the importance of sexual neurorehabilitation in persons with neurodisabilities.”

Explore further:
Once a lesbian always a lesbian, right? Or not?

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles