Hypersexuality as a neuropsychiatric disorder: The neurobiology and treatment options

Muna Asiff, Hatta Sidi*, Ruziana Masiran, Jaya Kumar, Srijit Das, Nurul Hazwani Hatta, Cesar Alfonso

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hypersexuality refers to abnormally increased or extreme involvement in any sexual activity. It is clinically challenging, presents trans-diagnostically and there is extensive medical literature addressing the nosology, pathogenesis and neuropsychiatric aspects in this clinical syndrome. Classification includes deviant behaviours, diagnosable entities related to impulsivity, and obsessional phenomena. Some clinicians view an increase in sexual desire as ‘normal’ i.e. psychodynamic theorists consider it as ego-defensive at times alleviating unconscious anxiety rooted in intrapsychic conflicts. We highlight hypersexuality as multi-dimensional involving an increase in sexual activity that is associated with distress and functional impairment. The aetiology of hypersexuality is multi-factorial with differential diagnoses that include major psychiatric disorders (e.g. bipolar disorder), adverse effects of treatments (e.g. levodopa-treatment), substance-induced disorders (e.g. amphetamine substance use), neuropathological disorders (e.g. frontal lobe syndrome), among others. Numerous neurotransmitters are implicated in its pathogenesis, with dopamine and noradrenaline playing a crucial role in the neural reward pathways and emotion-ally-regulated limbic system neural circuits. The management of hypersexuality is determined by the principle of de causa effectu evanescent, if the causes are treated, the effect may disappear. We aim to review the role of pharmacological agents causing hypersexuality and centrally acting agents treating the associated underlying medical conditions. Bio-psycho-social determinants are pivotal in embracing the understanding and guiding management of this complex and multi-determined clinical syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1391-1401
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Drug Targets
Volume19
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bio psychological treatment
  • Hypersexuality
  • Libido
  • Neurobiology
  • Neuropsychiatry
  • Normality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Hypersexuality as a neuropsychiatric disorder: The neurobiology and treatment options'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this