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Neuroimage Clin. 2014 Mar 6;4:454-60. doi: 10.1016/j.nicl.2014.03.001. eCollection 2014.

Neuroprotective effects of testosterone treatment in men with multiple sclerosis.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA ; Brain Mapping Center, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
2
Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA ; Department of Neurology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry, Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany ; Department of Neurology, Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany.
4
Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
5
Department of Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Torrance, CA, USA.

Abstract

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory and neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system. While current medication reduces relapses and inflammatory activity, it has only a modest effect on long-term disability and gray matter atrophy. Here, we have characterized the potential neuroprotective effects of testosterone on cerebral gray matter in a pilot clinical trial. Ten men with relapsing-remitting MS were included in this open-label phase II trial. Subjects were observed without treatment for 6 months, followed by testosterone treatment for another 12 months. Focal gray matter loss as a marker for neurodegeneration was assessed using voxel-based morphometry. During the non-treatment phase, significant voxel-wise gray matter decreases were widespread (p≤ 0.05 corrected). However, during testosterone treatment, gray matter loss was no longer evident. In fact, a significant gray matter increase in the right frontal cortex was observed (p≤ 0.05 corrected). These observations support the potential of testosterone treatment to stall (and perhaps even reverse) neurodegeneration associated with MS. Furthermore, they warrant the investigation of testosterone's neuroprotective effects in larger, placebo controlled MS trials as well as in other neurodegenerative diseases. This is the first report of gray matter increase as the result of treatment in MS.

PMID:
24634831
PMCID:
PMC3952353
DOI:
10.1016/j.nicl.2014.03.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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