Women with Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) have all measures of testosterone activity comparable to controls but lower levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Although DHEA is a precursor of testosterone it has other actions including involvement in the stress system. It is also linked to mood. This study focuses on measures of childhood stress, current mood and salivary and nail stress hormones, in women with and without HSDD. We hypothesize that low levels of DHEA reflect dysfunction of the neuroendocrine stress response system involving the brain, pituitary and adrenal glands where DHEA is produced.
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