Testosterone Improves Cognitive Function in Women and May Protect Against Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Posted by Dr. Michael White, Updated on January 10th, 2024
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The benefits of testosterone for men have been highly vetted for decades, but researchers are just beginning to explore potential uses for women. While women produce significantly less testosterone than men, it is still critically important to both health and wellness.

For example, while not available for prescription as of now, there is overwhelming evidence from studies that testosterone treatments can improve sexual desire and function in women.

The potential of testosterone for women goes far beyond sexual health, however. A recent study provides evidence that low-dose testosterone therapy can improve memory in older women and may also potentially delay the onset of dementia!

Women at Higher Risk of Alzheimer's and Dementia Than Men

As men and women live longer, the looming threat of cognitive decline increases with every added year.

Women are particularly prone to these conditions as compared to men. While men are more prone to cardiovascular diseases, women are about twice as likely as men to experience Alzheimer's in their lifetime.

Growing evidence suggests that testosterone has a protective effect on brain function. Since women produce less testosterone, they are more vulnerable to the neurological impact of that decline than men.

The Australian researchers that conducted this Women's Testosterone Dementia Study worked from a hypothesis that was inferred from a similar study conducted at St. Louis University, which revealed that men with low-T are at higher risk of diseases associated with cognitive impairment.

National Institute on Aging (NIA) Testosterone Study

A governmental study unveiled some incredible results when looking at the protective effect of testosterone on cognitive function in men.

The researchers found that as early as a decade before Alzheimer's onset, they could link these low levels of testosterone with an increased risk for the disease. Imagine knowing you're at increased risk an entire decade beforehand and being able to put preventative measures in place!

In the long-term aging study, 574 men and their testosterone levels were evaluated. The average timeframe was 20 years for each man using stored blood samples. Fifty-four of the men, unfortunately, developed Alzheimer's disease.

Even though the testosterone levels of all men in the study gradually declined with age, there was a significant difference in the rate of decline seen in the men who developed Alzheimer's — an obvious precipitous decline. Most of the men who developed Alzheimer's had about half the testosterone as their healthier counterparts at the end of the study!

Australian Testosterone Study on Women and Dementia

In the female study at Monash University, women applied topical testosterone daily for six months.

Testosterone was applied to the stomach, arms, and shoulders, as is also recommended for men. Researchers discovered that the women who used the testosterone gel scored higher on cognitive tests than their counterparts that were offered a placebo. Ninety-six women participated in the study, all of which were post-menopausal.

In particular, women experienced an improvement in verbal memory, recalling more words presented to them than their placebo counterparts. Women taking testosterone also performed better on tests designed to evaluate short-term memory.

Medical Advice on How to Safeguard Cognitive Health

One day, it is very likely that testosterone will be used as a powerful tool to protect women's health and wellness. For now, there are several active measures that you can take to improve your mental health and preserve your cognitive capacity.

Current research suggests that improving mental acuity is one of the most reliable tools to mitigate the risk and progression of dementia and Alzheimer's. Stronger connections among brain cells take longer to break down.

Alzheimer's and dementia are also linked to physical wellness and diet, so any effort that is made to improve wellness in these areas will likely provide psychological benefits as well.

Could Pancreatic Function Impact Brain Activity and Dementia Risk?

Both exercise and diet are essential because there is mounting evidence that Alzheimer's disease is associated with pancreatic response. Currently, a type-2 diabetes medication known as Exenatide is being evaluated as a potential tool to combat Alzheimer's. Exenatide treats diabetes by boosting insulin production and controlling blood glucose levels.

Looking to Prevent, Rather Than Treat, Alzheimer's Disease?

Look no further than our testosterone clinic! Not only can we get you started on a low-dose testosterone therapy program, but our website is full of articles discussing the latest research on testosterone and how to naturally boost your testosterone levels.

Feel free to give us a call to discuss these natural methods and/or the basics of a testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) program. It doesn't hurt to learn more — it may save your health someday!


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