Wondering if you should take testosterone when you get older? A study on Chinese men finds a link between low testosterone and onset of Alzheimer's.
ST. LOUIS -- Low levels of the male sex hormone, testosterone, in older men is associated with the onset of Alzheimer's disease, according to research by a team that includes a Saint Louis University scientist.
Of course a study like this one does not prove a direction of cause and effect. It could be that poor circulation and other factors that boost Alzheimer's risk also cause lower blood testosterone.
"Having low testosterone may make you more vulnerable to Alzheimer's disease," said John E. Morley, M.D., director of the division of geriatric medicine at Saint Louis University and a study co-investigator. "The take-home message is we should pay more attention to low testosterone, particularly in people who have memory problems or other signs of cognitive impairment."
The guys who developed Alzheimer's also had high blood pressure. Well, cardiovascular problems can accelerate aging of the brain. So at least part of the cause and effect does not involve testosterone.
Researchers studied 153 Chinese men who were recruited from social centers. They were at least 55 years and older, lived in the community and didn't have dementia. Of those men, 47 had mild cognitive impairment - or problems with clear thinking and memory loss.Within a year, 10 men who all were part of the cognitively impaired group developed probable Alzheimer's disease. These men also had low testosterone in their body tissues; elevated levels of the ApoE 4 (apolipoprotein E) protein, which is correlated with a higher risk of Alzheimer's disease; and high blood pressure.
The press release mentions a previously established connection between low testosterone, impaired thinking, and Alzheimer's Disease in Caucasian men. This report therefore shows the same pattern in a different racial group and culture.
|Share |||Randall Parker, 2010 October 06 11:04 PM Aging Brain Studies|