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It’s no secret that men begin to slowly lose their testosterone after the age of 30, which oftentimes leads to a decrease in muscle mass and libido. Fewer men know, however, that the age-related decline in our testosterone levels is also associated with a decrease in our cognitive abilities and even dementia.
Previous research conducted with animals indicates that testosterone replacement therapy leads to an improvement in cognition and reduces the risk of Alzheimer's disease pathology in the brain. But now, a new placebo-controlled study conducted on older men with low testosterone levels and self-reported memory complaints has confirmed certain positive effects of testosterone supplementation on human cognitive functioning.
For their research, scientists evaluated the baseline cognitive performance of 44 men and divided them in two groups. The first group (A) was administered 24 weeks of testosterone replacement therapy followed by a four-week break (washout), and then another 24 weeks of placebo. The second group (B) received the same treatment, but in reverse order: placebo, break, testosterone treatment.
After re-evaluating the participant’s cognitive functioning after the treatment, researchers identified a small but consistent improvement in Group A’s mental performance, which was sustained throughout the washout and placebo periods. Group B, saw and even greater increase in cognitive functioning following testosterone treatment and “a trend towards an increase when compared to placebo treatment.”
Although larger scale studies with a longer follow-up are needed for a more conclusive determination, this study indicates a clear positive effect of testosterone treatment on cognitive function in older men.
Testosterone plays a major part in the overall functioning of our bodies, and it is very important to track your testosterone levels, especially at an older age. If you suspect that your hormonal health might be out of balance, consult a qualified professional as soon as possible.