A New Link Between Testosterone and the Prevention of Dementia in Women

Recommended by Dr. Michael White, Updated on May 3rd, 2020
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Could a daily dose of testosterone prevent or slow down the onset of dementia in women? Let's find out!

Research conducted by scientists at Monash University in Australia advanced the hypothesis that women may benefit from a daily dose of testosterone, just like men do. The study suggested that testosterone could boost their memory and even prevent dementia.

The women in the study were given testosterone gel to rub on their skin every day for a duration of six months. Their results were compared to a placebo group who were given a fake “testosterone” gel. After six months, the women given the testosterone performed significantly better in several brain function tests as compared to the placebo group, who experienced no change in results.

The total number of women in the testosterone group was 96. They were all presumably healthy and post-menopausal women. The average age was 61. For six months they rubbed testosterone gel on their arms, belly or shoulders every day. The brain function tests were performed before the experiment and after the six month mark.

Some of these tests included verbal learning and short-term memory. In the verbal learning test, the women listened to dozens of various words having to recall as many as possible afterwards. Blood tests were also performed with increased testosterone levels seen in the treatment group. There were also no negative side effects observed, as most of the women's testosterone levels remained in the normal range.

We all know many changes take place in a woman's body when she undergoes menopause, but one that you may not have known is that testosterone levels drop in post-menopausal women. Whole most people consider testosterone to be a “male” hormone, women do produce a smaller amount of testosterone in their ovaries. This amount lessens once menopause hits, however.

A scary statistic for women is that they are twice as likely as men to develop Alzheimer's disease. Could maintaining normal testosterone levels in women help to control development of this scary disease? So far doctors have recommended improving brain function via a nutritious diet, exercise and brain exercises like puzzles, crosswords, Sudoku or even learning a new language. Perhaps a daily dose of testosterone gel will be a recommendation soon.

Already, other research has suggested that low testosterone reduces sex drive in women and testosterone replacement therapy may benefit these women. Testosterone's role in brain function has also been noted before. In 2010, a St. Louis University study found that older men with low hormone levels were more likely to get Alzheimer's. The researchers at Monash wanted to see if women would benefit as well from testosterone replacement therapy in terms of brain functioning.

Dr. Simon Ridley, the head of research at Alzheimer's Research UK, commented on the Australian study looking at women and testosterone: “We will need to wait for these findings to be peer-reviewed and published before we can evaluate what they could mean for people with dementia.”

A representative from the Alzheimer's Society, Jess Smith, stated that we have not proven that enhancing brain function actually renders a lowered risk of developing dementia later in life. She did say though, “This small study indicates a possible future avenue for research into memory loss in women.” Basically, more research needs to be conducted, but the results look promising so far.

In women, unlike the sudden fall in estrogen and progesterone at menopause, testosterone levels fall gradually, similar to how men's fall as they age due to varying factors. If you are a man or woman who feels they may be suffering from low libido or other adverse effects due to low testosterone, or just want your levels checked out, feel free to call our customer service representative who can get you scheduled for an appointment. Another way is to fill out our contact form on this webpage and we will contact you. Free consultation, with no obligation, to discuss the possibilities of testosterone replacement therapy!

References

Daily dose of testosterone wards off dementia in women

Clinical Endocrinology

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