community

Volunteers wanted for erectile dysfunction clinical trials

In partnership with MAC Clinical Research.

2022-03-23

Pictures: Canva

It may surprise you to know that Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is a condition that, according to some estimates, affects up to a quarter of men in the UK.

If that is surprising, then it’s probably because ED is still seen as something of a taboo subject among men. Sadly, this means many don’t seek help, which means things are likely to get worse as a result.

Low self-esteem and depression are common side effects and given the impact the pandemic and numerous lockdowns have had on all of our mental health, it’s important we have these discussions where possible.

Thankfully a greater awareness of men’s mental health, and mental health more broadly, has meant that more conversations around these types of topics and the issues related to ED are happening.

But there’s always more that can be done.

Now, it’s important to note, that while ED is more common in men over 40 (according to the NHS) occasionally all men can fail to maintain an erection. It’s a normal part of life and could be nothing to worry about.

If there is a persistent problem there may be a few possible causes and it is recommended that you consult with your GP.

According to the NHS, ED can be caused by stress or anxiety or drinking too much alcohol.

If the problems persist, it can be a sign of physical or emotional issues. A persistent problem can also cause further stress and anxiety, and then we’re in a harmful cycle.

But there is a way that you can help.

MAC Clinical Research is one of the UK’s leading clinical trial organisations and plays a vital part in developing new treatments for thousands of conditions impacting people in the UK, including ED.

Currently, they are conducting a clinical study of a new medication, which could offer relief to those experiencing ED.

Dr. Giuseppe Fiore, the Principal Investigator on the study says: “Around 4.3 million men in the UK experience erectile problems, but the current treatments available do not work adequately in around 40% of men, which highlights an unmet need for effective medicines to help treat ED.

"At MAC, we are testing a study drug which is thought to target the dopamine signaling pathway in the brain to help with erectile dysfunction. The development of this new potential treatment is only possible with the dedicated support of men with issues around ED volunteering to help assess the new treatments at MAC’s clinical research centres."

MAC is currently looking for volunteers in the UK to help take part in two clinical trials.

The trials are on a new medication to treat ED which, unlike current treatments, works by enhancing the effects of substances in the body such as serotonin and dopamine to help stimulate an erection.

It’s hoped that the drug could initiate and maintain an erection whereas current treatments only offer a boost to the natural erectile response.

If you are interested in taking part in one of these studies, participants must be:

- Male aged 18-59

- Has erectile dysfunction but are otherwise healthy or erectile dysfunction with low mood/depression but are otherwise healthy.

Volunteers will receive a health screen and their GP will be notified of their involvement in a clinical trial. A volunteer’s eligibility will be in part determined by medical and psychiatric history, medical examination, ECG, and blood tests. Further restrictions may apply depending on your medical history:

Participants who meet the eligibility criteria for the ED and depression/low mood study will attend MAC’s Greater Manchester clinic. Meanwhile, those eligible for the ED study will be required to attend their nearest MAC clinic in either Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, South Staffordshire, Teesside, South Yorkshire, and West Yorkshire.

There will be six or seven outpatient visits for participants to attend and a full description of the study will be given before volunteers decide to take part. Eligible participants will be compensated for their time and commitment with up to £690 plus reasonable travel expenses, or transport will be provided.

If you’d like to find out more information about the clinical trials and how you can get involved visit MAC Clinical Research.