Testosterone supplements may reduce dementia risk in older men, study finds

Jan 22, 2020
The number of dementia cases worldwide is set to triple within 30 years. Source: Getty.

Not only is testosterone effective at increasing a man’s sex drive, taking testosterone supplements can also boost men’s brain health into old age, a new research review has found.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, researchers from Edith Cowan University (ECU) in Western Australia analysed the results of 14 randomised controlled trials that examined if taking testosterone supplements can delay the onset of dementia in older men.

Co-author of the study Professor Hamid Sohrabi said his analysis of previous clinical trials shows that testosterone supplementation may help improve decision-making, judgment and problem-solving skills in older men.

“As we age our brains gradually shrink, leading to a decline in memory, problem-solving and other cognitive functions,” he said. “This evidence shows that testosterone supplementation may help men stay mentally sharp into old age.”

Lead researcher of the review, Professor Ralph Martins added: “Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia cause a progressive deterioration in our cognitive abilities. So we are interested in seeing if it can delay the onset of these terrible diseases.

“If testosterone supplementation, either alone or in combination with other treatments, can delay the onset of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease by a few years, this could make a huge difference to the lives of those with the disease and their families.”

The study follows the release of new guidelines recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) proven to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Dementia is an illness that impacts cognitive function beyond what is normally expected with ageing and impacts not only memory but thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language and judgement, resulting in disability and a loss of independence.

Getting regular exercise, not smoking, avoiding excessive use of alcohol, controlling weight, eating a healthy diet and maintaining healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels were flagged as effective ways of reducing the risk of dementia. The number of dementia cases worldwide is set to triple within 30 years, with 50 million people currently impacted by it globally.

“We need to do everything we can to reduce our risk of dementia,” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general said in a statement. “The scientific evidence gathered for these Guidelines confirm what we have suspected for some time, that what is good for our heart, is also good for our brain.”

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

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