Alzheimer’s Linked to Low Testosterone

Alzheimer’s disease may be linked to low levels of the male sex hormone testosterone in older men, U.S. and Chinese researchers say … according to a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Study Finds Link Between Low Testosterone and Alzheimer’s Disease

A recent AOL article says, “A new study that followed Chinese men has established that low testosterone may cause the disease in some men.” I think that’s a stretch.

All the observational study establishes is a link – a correlation – not a cause. That can only be proven by well designed human experiments – and this research is an important step toward creating those experiments.

This study may be the basis for testosterone replacement therapy experiments that can determine if there if theis any benefit to cognitive functions.

To be clear … this study does not prove or suggest that lower levels of testosterone causes Alzheimer’s …  just that there seems to be a connection. In animal studies testosterone does seem to improve memory, so it isn’t a far-fetched idea.

It’s just hard to know if one causes the other. It could mean men with poor lifestyles (bad diets, lack of exercise, high stress) or bad genes suffer from both low levels of the hormone and Alzheimer’s … or something completely unexpected.

We expect this important research to be fully distorted in the media and exploited by the purveyors of specious herbal remedies and nutritional supplements.

It seems that the big news about this study was that men with cognitive impairments who quickly developed Alzheimer’s witnesses a big drop in testosterone.  What that means to people at risk is yet to be seen.

The research was led by Leung-Wing Chu, MD, of Queen Mary Hospital at the University of Hong Kong.Leung-Wing Chu, Sidney Tam, Rachel LC Wong, Ping-Yiu Yik, Youqiang Song, Bernard MY Cheung, John E Morley, Karen SL Lam

See also:

Low free testosterone is an independent risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease

Free testosterone and risk for Alzheimer disease in older men.

“Calculated free testosterone concentrations were lower in men who developed Alzheimer disease, and this difference occurred before diagnosis. Future research may determine whether higher endogenous free testosterone levels offer protection against a diagnosis of Alzheimer disease in older men.”

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