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Maturitas. 2007 May 20;57(1):27-30. Epub 2007 Mar 26.

Androgens and the brain.

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  • 1Department of Reproductive Medicine and Child Development, Section of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.


Steroids arriving from the gonads via the circulation modulate brain function, affecting gender differentiation and sexually differentiated behavioral responses, but also the ability of the brain to process, store and retrieve sensory information. Androgens play a pivotal neuroactive role during the "organizational/developmental" phase, mainly in the fetal-neonatal period, when participated to the formation of neuronal circuits, as well as during the aging process when it has been demonstrated to directly affect hippocampal spine synapse density, suggesting a physiopathological role for androgen in the modulation cognitive function and development of neurodegenerative disease. The present short review will focus on the neuroactive effect of androgen with particular regard to the Delta4 and Delta5 androgen replacement therapy.

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