Testosterone Could Help Combat Dementia In Women

A new study by Australian researchers shows that testosterone therapy can help combat dementia in post-menopausal women.

AsianScientist (Jun. 25, 2013) – Researchers in Australia have found that post-menopausal women on testosterone therapy showed a significant improvement in verbal learning and memory.

The research, presented at The Endocrine Society’s Annual Meeting (ENDO 2013) last week, is the first large, randomised, placebo-controlled investigation into the effects of testosterone on cognitive function in postmenopausal women.

Testosterone is known to be important for brain function in men and these results indicate that it can enhance learning and memory in women.

This may help in treating women with dementia, as the condition is more common in women than men. There are currently no effective treatments to prevent memory decline.

In the study, 96 postmenopausal women recruited from the community were randomly allocated to receive a testosterone gel or a visually identical placebo gel to be applied to the skin. Participants underwent a comprehensive series of cognitive tests at the beginning of the study and 26 weeks later.

All women performed in the normal range for their age at the beginning of the trial. After 26 weeks, the researchers found a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in verbal learning and memory amongst the women using the testosterone gel.

“Much of the research on testosterone in women to date has focused on sexual function. But testosterone has widespread effects in women, including, it appears, significant favourable effects on verbal learning and memory,” said Professor Susan Davis, who led the study.

“Our findings provide compelling evidence for the conduct of larger clinical studies to further investigate the role of testosterone in cognitive function in women.

Androgen levels did increase in the cohort on testosterone therapy, but on average, remained in the normal female range. No negative side-effects of the therapy were observed.


Source: Monash University.
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