October 06, 2010
Testosterone, Alzheimer's Disease Link Seen

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


Comments
Brian said at October 7, 2010 11:43 AM:

Low testosterone (for men, at least) is part of a more insidious group of disorders, which could be called metabolic derangement syndrome. It's part of the whole deal, whether it be obesity, diabetes, hypertension or even man-boobs. I've written a diatribe on the advent of the sucky man because there are things you can do about it, and it's not what you have been doing. See the post at my blog, here: www.briansekula.com/blog/. It's called, You SUCK as a Man.

MRM said at October 7, 2010 12:26 PM:

Could ZMA be a cheaper alternative for boosting testosterone levels? A study here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2129161/ disputes Conte's (of BALCO fame) study on ZMA boosting testosterone, but I noticed this study only went out to 8 weeks. ZMA supplementation should go for 90 days.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said at October 8, 2010 12:55 PM:

There is an additional factor here: testosterone is somewhat inversely related to prostate health. In fact, castration is a common treatment in men for whom prostatectomy has not completely halted prostate cancer, as reflected in rising levels of PSA.

Anecdotally -- and one mouse might just as well be NO mouse -- it may have an effect on younger men as well. Some 25 years ago a cow turned me into a one-nutter with a single swipe of her hoof. Now comfortably in my 60s I have not a trace of prostate trouble, and after a recent DRE it was described as small and smooth. Then again, my wife encourages me to "use it or lose it."

But I can't remember the original point of this thread ...

Ebbe Lundsgaard said at December 27, 2010 5:13 PM:

The striking point is the ratio between testosterone and its steroidreceptors, which is the case for all sexhormones.
Read Alzheimer's Disease (alzheimers.cc).

kuchiyose said at January 18, 2012 11:20 PM:

here's a solution for low testosterone level's.. http://www.testoforte.com

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