Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Testosterone in Blood Linked to Better Memory
Reuters Health via Yahoo ^ | Alison McCook

Posted on 11/04/2002 11:51:15 AM PST by Pharmboy

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Older men with relatively high levels of testosterone in their blood tend to outperform others in tests of memory and other aspects of mental functioning, according to new study findings.

The investigators noted a link between mental functioning and levels of free-floating testosterone in the blood, a form of the male sex hormone that is not bound to a protein.

Lead author Dr. Susan Resnick of the National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, Maryland, told Reuters Health that she is not sure whether testosterone itself helps men retain some of their mental abilities into old age, or if the hormone becomes converted into estrogen in the brain, and it is the female hormone that boosts the organ's function.

Regardless, she said any treatment based on increasing testosterone levels to improve memory will be long in coming--if it ever appears.

Previous research has suggested that testosterone can increase a man's risk of stroke, Resnick noted, and higher amounts of the male hormone may even up the chance of developing prostate cancer (news - web sites). Recent evidence demonstrating that hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women can cause more harm than good is a lesson to all researchers that investigations into treatment involving hormones should proceed with caution, Resnick added.

Benefits and risks must be clarified, she explained, before hormones could be used for treatment.

This is not the first study to report a link between blood levels of free-floating testosterone and memory in older men. One study demonstrated that men who received a weekly injection of the male sex hormone seemed to experience improvements in their spatial abilities and verbal memory. Another study with rodents found that nerve cells exposed to testosterone tend to produce a benign or beneficial form of a particular protein, which is present in a harmful form in the brains of Alzheimer's disease (news - web sites) patients.

In the present study, reported in the November issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Resnick and her team measured free-floating and protein-bound levels of the male hormone in 417 men aged 50 to 91 years. The researchers continued testing the hormone levels in the men for 10 years, during which time they also administered repeated tests designed to measure different aspects of mental functioning.

Resnick's team found that men with higher than average blood levels of free-floating testosterone outperformed others in certain tests of mental functioning, but not all of them. Specifically, men who showed higher levels of male hormones scored higher in tests of visual and verbal memory, during which they repeated word lists or drew an image they had been shown before. The participants also outperformed their peers during spatial tests where they matched shapes that were rotated in different directions.

In an interview with Reuters Health, Resnick explained that only the free-floating, and not protein-bound, form of testosterone can reach the brain, where it would exert its effects on memory.

Just how hormones influence memory remains unclear, she noted, but previous studies have shown that hormones can affect how much blood circulates to the brain, as well as the activity of nerve cells.

With so much still unclear, Resnick emphasized that people should not turn to testosterone to avert mental declines in old age. "We don't recommend that people go out and buy that," she said.

SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 2002;87:5001-5007.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aging; memory; testosterone
...and there's so much more to remember.
1 posted on 11/04/2002 11:51:16 AM PST by Pharmboy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
This explains my photographic memory.
2 posted on 11/04/2002 12:20:35 PM PST by big bad easter bunny
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PatrickHenry; RadioAstronomer; longshadow
Here's good news just for you, Patrick! :-D
3 posted on 11/04/2002 12:23:33 PM PST by Aracelis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
I hope this leads to new medicines for memory control. I'd sure like to be able to take a pill and forget all about my first wife....
4 posted on 11/04/2002 12:26:11 PM PST by isthisnickcool
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Piltdown_Woman
Here's good news just for you, Patrick!

Testosterone, huh? I wonder if there are any side effects?

5 posted on 11/04/2002 12:28:03 PM PST by PatrickHenry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: PatrickHenry
Here's some additional information on testosterone replacement therapy for men:

Testosterone therapy

6 posted on 11/04/2002 12:41:34 PM PST by Aracelis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
How do you explain the fact that my wife never forgets any mistake I make?

Oh ...

7 posted on 11/04/2002 12:41:58 PM PST by IronJack
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
Lift weights. Do NOT get HRT. If you can remember what weight,reps and sets you lifted a few days before...that's all the memory you need to progress. signed, your FReepersonaltrainer.
8 posted on 11/04/2002 12:50:04 PM PST by larryjohnson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Piltdown_Woman; PatrickHenry
Bold thought for the day: how do we know the testosterone is the CAUSE, and not an effect?

Suppose that good mental function is REQUIRED for the body to produce testosterone; it would produce the same results as found in the study.

I researcher I saw on a TV program recently discovered a drug that acts on the brain, but manifests itself by producing an 8 hour erection (I'm NOT making this up), proving that the BRAIN has a major role in controlling sexual function. It would not surprise me if testosterone levels turn out to be a function of what's going on in the brain.

BTW, the drug the researcher discovered was originally intended as a drug that would produce an instant "tan". It also has a hunger-suppressant effect, in addition to it's ability to produce robust arousal in men. This led the researcher to opine that he has discovered the "All-American" drug: it gives you a healthy tan, helps you lose weight, and allows to to perform sexually like a rabbit.

Nothing more American than that...... and thank you for noticing my tan.

9 posted on 11/04/2002 1:07:31 PM PST by longshadow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
"Older men with relatively high levels of testosterone in their blood tend to outperform others in tests of memory"

Because it is so embarrassing to have a chick walk up to you and say "Remember meeeeee?"

10 posted on 11/04/2002 1:16:40 PM PST by eno_
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: longshadow; PatrickHenry
"...a drug that acts on the brain, but manifests itself by producing an 8 hour erection..."

I realize this may be a goal of many men, but in reality it is a very serious medical condition, and may lead to dreaded and feared priapism! Worst case scenario includes amputation of the offending organ...this cannot be good!

11 posted on 11/04/2002 1:32:01 PM PST by Aracelis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: PatrickHenry
Testosterone, huh? I wonder if there are any side effects?

People think that we are pretty f****** smart.

12 posted on 11/04/2002 1:37:33 PM PST by N. Theknow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Piltdown_Woman
....and may lead to dreaded and feared priapism!

"dreaded" and "feared"? ...... ah, but by whom?

Besides, even the most tenacious priapism can be instantly cured........ by looking at a photo of Hillary Clinton!

13 posted on 11/04/2002 2:20:38 PM PST by longshadow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: longshadow
I am comitting this entire thread to memory, and I find it very exciting.
14 posted on 11/04/2002 2:34:03 PM PST by PatrickHenry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
I heard that testosterone made men less happy. This helps explain why. A better memory....
15 posted on 11/04/2002 2:57:08 PM PST by Arthur Wildfire! March
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: hellinahandcart; KLT; countrydummy
Not ONE word!
16 posted on 11/04/2002 2:59:41 PM PST by sauropod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sauropod
BLTKFL ;-x
17 posted on 11/04/2002 3:04:56 PM PST by hellinahandcart
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: longshadow
"[A] researcher I saw on a TV program recently discovered a drug that acts on the brain, but manifests itself by producing an 8 hour erection (I'm NOT making this up), proving that the BRAIN has a major role in controlling sexual function. It would not surprise me if testosterone levels turn out to be a function of what's going on in the brain."

"The brain is my second-favorite organ."--Woody Allen

18 posted on 11/04/2002 3:05:41 PM PST by boris
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: boris; hellinahandcart
So the question would be "Which head do you think</i with?"
19 posted on 11/04/2002 4:07:46 PM PST by sauropod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: sauropod
</i> ARRGH
20 posted on 11/04/2002 4:08:04 PM PST by sauropod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: sauropod
Which head do you think</i with?"
ARRGH

Thanks for your answer.

Bwaaaaaaahaha!

21 posted on 11/04/2002 4:12:50 PM PST by hellinahandcart
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: hellinahandcart
Too much testosterone. Caused my fingers to slip.

HRP

22 posted on 11/04/2002 4:21:54 PM PST by sauropod
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
What they neglect to mention is that, while testosterone leads to better memory, it also leads to very selective memory. A typical memory log for an average male reveals this limitation...
2002:11:01:18:32:45.001259325 Data: Thinking about sex
2002:11:01:18:32:45.001259330 Data: Thinking about sex
2002:11:01:18:32:45.001259335 Data: Thinking about sex
2002:11:01:18:32:45.001259340 Data: Thinking about sex
2002:11:01:18:32:45.001259345 Data: Thinking about sex
2002:11:01:18:32:45.001259350 Data: Thinking about sex
2002:11:01:18:32:45.001259355 Data: Thinking about sex
2002:11:01:18:32:45.001259360 Data: Thinking about sex
2002:11:01:18:32:45.001259365 Data: Thinking about sex
2002:11:01:18:32:45.001259370 Data: Thinking about sex
2002:11:01:18:32:45.001259375 Data: Thinking about sex
2002:11:01:18:32:45.001259380 Data: Thinking about sex
2002:11:01:18:32:45.001259385 Data: Thinking about sex

23 posted on 11/04/2002 4:28:23 PM PST by Redcloak
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
That explains the...the...what was I going to say?
Oh, piddle. This makes me so mad I could slap someone.
24 posted on 11/04/2002 4:43:48 PM PST by gcruse
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NVAHOSTAGE
Man stuff.
25 posted on 11/04/2002 4:45:59 PM PST by hellinahandcart
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Arthur Wildfire! March
I heard that testosterone made men less happy.

I think you may be wrong about that, testosterone injections are given to combat depression in males.

26 posted on 11/04/2002 5:12:13 PM PST by Wil H
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: PatrickHenry
I am comitting this entire thread to memory, and I find it very exciting.

You pervert.....

27 posted on 11/04/2002 5:24:11 PM PST by longshadow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Piltdown_Woman
Worst case is gangrene which means that losing the offending organ is a "good" outcome!
28 posted on 11/04/2002 6:18:44 PM PST by Righty1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Righty1
I think you just defined the word, "ambivalence". LOL
29 posted on 11/04/2002 7:45:40 PM PST by Aracelis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Wil H
"...testosterone injections are given to combat depression in males."

And brother, do they WORK! :-)

30 posted on 11/04/2002 7:46:53 PM PST by Aracelis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: longshadow
"Suppose that good mental function is REQUIRED for the body to produce testosterone..."

You know, you just may have something there. It could indeed explain the recent shift in the perceived attractiveness of college males. It seems the jocks may be getting the babes at first, but for the long-haul, nerds are preferred.

31 posted on 11/04/2002 7:49:35 PM PST by Aracelis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Redcloak
2002:11:01:18:32:45.001259385 Data: Thinking about sex

You poor guys...you're just hardwired for these thoughts, aren't you?

32 posted on 11/04/2002 7:55:13 PM PST by Aracelis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Piltdown_Woman
but for the long-haul, nerds are preferred.

Just not the ones still living in thier parents basement at 31! LOL!!!

33 posted on 11/04/2002 7:55:14 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: RadioAstronomer
Well, a girl has to have some standards. LOL
34 posted on 11/04/2002 7:55:52 PM PST by Aracelis
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Piltdown_Woman
Especially the ones dressing up in Star Trek uniforms! LMAO!!!!!
35 posted on 11/04/2002 7:56:04 PM PST by RadioAstronomer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
Now the thing I don't like about this article is, um, er... damn... what was I going to say?
36 posted on 11/04/2002 9:39:41 PM PST by john in missouri
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Neil E. Wright
PING
37 posted on 11/05/2002 10:19:58 AM PST by dcwusmc
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: hellinahandcart
Huh, I forgot already. Must have been too much of the stuff running around in me.
38 posted on 11/16/2002 5:56:57 PM PST by NVAHOSTAGE
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
I know that one reason my friends take estrogen after menopause is to improve memory. Maybe part of senility and dementia is just drop in hormone levels as we age. I have already warned my "adult" kids that they will be taking care of me when I get old. That is how I dealt with them when they were little. I knew they thought I always told them what to do, etc. I told them, "This is all just temporary, when you are adults and I am elderly, roles reverse, and YOU will be taking care of ME!" That always made them smile.
39 posted on 12/23/2002 5:40:04 AM PST by buffyt
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pharmboy
I guess it's a really bad sign if you keep forgetting where your car keys are.......uh oh.
40 posted on 12/23/2002 6:17:49 AM PST by xJones
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson