A study at the South Australia Health and Medical Research Institute hopes to find how to help restore sexual function to people with spinal cord injury.
The project is called Project SCIN (Spinal Cord Injury Neurosexuality) and involves people being shown adult movies while in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine so researches can assess brain and spinal cord activity.
The study will recruit 16 men and 16 women with spinal cord injuries over two years, as well as eight uninjured men and eight women who will undergo the same tests to act as a benchmark.
Dr Ryan O’Hare Doig of the Neil Sachse Centre for Spinal Cord Research (SAHMRI) told the Adelaide Now there are still undiscovered communication routes between the brain and the sexual organs.
“It could be remapping or chemical reshaping in these alternative signalling pathways that we can hijack,” he said.