Testosterone, cognitive decline and dementia in ageing men

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As men grow older, circulating testosterone concentrations decline, while prevalence of cognitive impairment and dementia increase. Epidemiological studies of middle-aged and older men have demonstrated associations of lower testosterone concentrations with higher prevalence and incidence of cognitive decline and dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. In observational studies, men with prostate cancer treated by androgen deprivation therapy had a higher risk of dementia. Small intervention studies of testosterone using different measures of cognitive function have provided inconsistent results, with some suggesting improvement. A randomised placebo-controlled trial of one year’s testosterone treatment conducted in 788 men aged ≥ 65 years, baseline testosterone < 9.54 nmol/L, showed an improvement in sexual function, but no improvement in cognitive function. There is a known association between diabetes and dementia risk. A randomised placebo-controlled trial of two year’s testosterone treatment in 1,007 men aged 50–74 years, waist circumference ≥ 95 cm, baseline testosterone ≤ 14 nmol/L, showed an effect of testosterone in reducing type 2 diabetes risk. There were no cognitive endpoints in that trial. Additional research is warranted but at this stage lower testosterone concentrations in ageing men should be regarded as a biomarker rather than a proven therapeutic target for risk reduction of cognitive decline and dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1243-1257
Number of pages15
JournalReviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders
Volume23
Issue number6
Early online date28 May 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

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