Testosterone Replacement & Brain Function
Jul 10, 2013 - 2:54:31 PM
"Testosterone has moved out of gyms, where there was no medical need, and into executive suites and retirement communities, where there is," said Dr. David Marks, Chief Medical Officer of InBalance Health. "The clinical evidence that low testosterone has numerous ill effects on brain function and that testosterone replacement improves it is now overwhelming."
Low Testosterone, Memory Loss and Dementia
For men, memory loss tends to be more gradual, consistent with the gradual decline they experience in testosterone. Studies have shown that testosterone replacement improves memory and that hormones may have therapeutic value against Alzheimer's disease in aging males. Patients with Alzheimer's who are treated with testosterone experience greater improvements in their scores on the caregiver version of the quality-of-life scale.
Women experience memory loss in the years around menopause. These changes may be particularly significant in the first year after the final menstrual period. Mild impairment sometimes progresses to dementia, which affects women significantly more than men, and there are currently no effective treatments to prevent the decline. But testosterone holds some promise: a study presented at the 2013 Endocrine Society annual meeting showed testosterone therapy improves verbal learning and memory in women after menopause.
Low Testosterone and Headaches
A recent pilot study found that 92% of women had significant improvements in their migraines up to 3 months after being treated with a testosterone implant just under their skin. And three quarters of them said their headaches were completely gone! This is an extraordinary response for any migraine therapy. More studies need to be done, but this is exciting news that offers hope for headache sufferers.
Low Testosterone and Depression
Aging men who are depressed appear to have the lowest testosterone levels. In several studies of depressed men with low testosterone, replacement therapy as a primary or secondary treatment was effective in alleviating depression.
The prevalence of mood disorders in women is significantly greater than men, possibly because of fluctuating hormone levels in the years around menopause. A recent study showed that postmenopausal women receiving testosterone therapy experienced significant improvement in depressive mood, with higher doses providing greater improvements.
Dr. David Marks, Chief Medical Officer of InBalance Health
Dr. Marks received his M.D. from the Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Marks completed an internship and residency at the Yale University School of Medicine/Greenwich Hospital program in internal medicine, where he also served as Chief Resident. He then served as a fellow in allergy and clinical immunology at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.
He spent years caring for patients of all ages and for those undergoing short-term physical rehabilitation. While doing so, Dr. Marks became interested in the medical, physical, nutritional, and psychological factors that negatively impact patients' health, lifestyle, and sense of well-being. This led him to study and to appreciate the therapeutic and preventive benefits of diet, exercise and, when clinically indicated, hormone replacement, to decrease the risk of age-related diseases. He has dedicated his professional career to helping his patients stay healthier, feel better, and enjoy life more.
Dr. David Marks was the Health & Science Editor and chief medical reporter for CBS News in New York. Prior to that, he was the full time health reporter for NBC News, appearing every morning on "Today in New York" as well as on many of the station's evening newscasts. Dr. Marks has been featured on "Today," "Good Morning America," MSNBC, Court TV and the Fox News Channel. He also frequently hosts shows for WebMD and Medscape.
Dr. Marks has authored numerous articles for magazines, newspapers and scientific journals. His first book, "The Headache Prevention Cookbook: Eating Right To Prevent Migraines and Other Headaches" (Houghton Mifflin) was published in July 2000.
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