Low testosterone linked to Alzheimer's disease

October 5, 2010
A research team that includes John Morley, M.D., a Saint Louis University geriatrician, found that having low testosterone may put older men at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers say the next step is to conduct a large study on testosterone to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Credit: Steve Dolan

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.

"Having low may make you more vulnerable to ," 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 study was published electronically in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and led by Leung-Wing Chu, M.D., who is chief of the division of geriatric medicine at Queen Mary Hospital at the University of Hong Kong.

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 . Of those men, 47 had – 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.

"It's a very exciting study because we've shown that a low level of testosterone is one of the risk factors for Alzheimer's disease," Morley said.

The findings corroborate findings in previous studies of older Caucasian men that show low testosterone is associated with impaired thinking and Alzheimer's disease. They suggest that testosterone may have a protective value against Alzheimer's disease.

The next step, Morley said, is to conduct a large-scale study that investigates the use of testosterone in preventing Alzheimer's disease. Morley and his co-authors advocate studying the effectiveness of testosterone replacement in older men who have both mild and low testosterone in staving off Alzheimer's disease.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New cellular approach found to control progression of chronic kidney disease

December 15, 2017
Researchers have demonstrated for the first time that extracellular vesicles - tiny protein-filled structures - isolated from amniotic fluid stem cells (AFSCs) can be used to effectively slow the progression of kidney damage ...

Screening could catch a quarter of hip fractures before they happen

December 15, 2017
Community screening for osteoporosis could prevent more than a quarter of hip fractures in older women - according to new research led by the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Testing shows differences in efficacy of Zika vaccines after one year

December 15, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A large team of researchers with members from Harvard Medical School, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Bioqual Inc. and MIT has found that the efficacy of the three types of Zika vaccines currently ...

How to regulate fecal microbiota transplants

December 15, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A small team of researchers at the University of Maryland, some with affiliations to the Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System, has written and published a Policy Forum piece in the journal Science ...

Urine test developed to test for tuberculosis

December 14, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—An international team of researchers has developed a urine test that can be used to detect tuberculosis (TB) in human patients. In their paper published in Science Translational Medicine, the group describes ...

40 years after first Ebola outbreak, survivors show signs they can stave off new infection

December 14, 2017
Survivors of the first known Ebola outbreak, which occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976, may be key to development of vaccines and therapeutic drugs to treat future outbreaks, according to a new study ...

3 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

nanotech_republika_pl
not rated yet Oct 05, 2010
Is it free testosterone or total testosterone?
nanotech_republika_pl
not rated yet Oct 05, 2010
It is free testosterone level, called bioavailable testosterone in the article abstract (almost at the end of page
http://www.j-alz....-4.html)
ironjustice
not rated yet Oct 06, 2010
Alzheimers is commonly mistaken for lack of blood flow / vascular dementia. Vascular pathology in the body causes the body to produce more estrogen to lower blood viscosity. Is it mere coincidence then that Alzheimers and lack of testosterone are linked ? Is it the higher viscosity which is being MISTAKEN for Alzheimers when it is actually vascular dementia ?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.