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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Mar;86(3):1099-103.

Endogenous sex hormone levels in postmenopausal women with Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Mercer's Institute for Research in Aging, St. James' Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland.


A cross-sectional study examined whether there was a difference in endogenous serum sex hormone levels between community-dwelling postmenopausal women with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and healthy controls. Total morning levels of serum estrone, estradiol, androstenedione, testosterone, and cortisol were measured in 52 nondepressed women with AD and 60 postmenopausal women who were neither depressed nor cognitively impaired. Estradiol was undetectable in 35.7% of cases, but detectable hormone was found in 96-100% of cases otherwise. After adjustment for potential confounds, serum levels were significantly higher for estrone (P = 0.0057) and androstenedione (P = 0.02), but not testosterone (P = 0.086) or estradiol (P = 0.59), in subjects with AD. Sex hormone levels did not correlate with cognitive scores in either group. Although the failure to detect estradiol in a third of cases limits the conclusions that can be drawn for this hormone, the possibility that AD is associated with abnormalities in certain serum sex hormone levels should be considered and warrants further research.

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