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Med Hypotheses. 2003 Mar;60(3):448-52.

Role of androgens in mild cognitive impairment and possible interventions during andropause.

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University of Texas Medical School, Houston 77030, USA.


Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is becoming fashionable as a diagnosis, representing a state of cognitive decline associated with negligible functional loss. MCI is important as it often precedes Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recognizing MCI may lead to preventive strategies that can delay the onset of AD. Many patients who transition into andropause report problems with their memory. There is strong evidence from basic sciences and epidemiological studies that both estrogens and androgens play a protective role in neurodegeneration. The evidence from small prospective clinical trials lends support to the role of hormones in improving cognitive function. The improvement in cognitive function with hormones is subtle and often not measurable on standard neuropsychological batteries. Patients have reported memory improvements in both declarative and procedural domains after being on hormonal replacement. Functional changes and vascular changes can be detected after hormonal replacement with more sophisticated imaging of the brain like positron emission tomography (PET) scans. We hypothesize androgens and perhaps selective androgen receptor modulators as future treatment options for MCI in aging males.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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