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Cancer drug dampens intrusive thoughts in men with pedophilic disorder

A prostate cancer drug has been successfully repurposed to help men in treatment for pedophilic disorder. By blocking testosterone, the drug degarelix minimized “intrusive thoughts” and helped participants feel more calm and controlled in as little as 2 weeks, according to a study published this week in JAMA Psychiatry. Researchers recruited 52 volunteers from a hotline for men with self-described “unwanted sexuality,” and who were subsequently diagnosed with pedophilic disorder. Participants received injections of the drug and underwent risk assessment via self-reporting and psychological evaluation over the next 10 weeks. Despite some side effects—including hot flashes and inflammation at the site of the injection—the majority of participants wanted to stay on the medication once the trial ended, The Guardian reports. Researchers say they hope their drug can provide fast-acting and long-lasting treatment to minimize the risk of sexual violence toward children, which is estimated to affect one in five girls and one in 10 boys worldwide.

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