Brain Activation Deficiency Causes Pedophilia

Sep 24, 2007

Scientists got close to understanding pedophilia, suggesting that it is related to deficit in certain brain area.

Despite all the efforts to treat pedophilia, a sexual attraction of adults towards children, the brain mechanisms that cause this disorder still remained a mystery. A new study published in the September issue of Biological Psychiatry demonstrated how pedophilic patients responded to functional brain imaging.

During the test, the screening showed that brain area hypothalamus responsible for regulating of sexual arousal and hormone release was reduced in pedophilic patients. The activation of this brain region in individuals who are not pedophilic would normally be heightened when they look at sexually arousing pictures of adults.

It means that pedophilic patients have little response in pleasure areas of the brain when they view sexually arousing pictures of adults, thus it may predispose them to change their sexual interest.

John H. Krystal, M.D., Editor of Biological Psychiatry says that understanding the neurobiological peculiarities of this disorder should be taken into account to find a treatment.

Although, Dr. Krystal says that it is still unknown whether deficit in brain activation is the cause or the consequence of pedophilia and further research is necessary.
The findings could greatly contribute to the development of effective therapy of pedophilia that remains a complex public issue as well.

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