The significance of age-related androgen depletion in cognitive impairment: A review

Melanie S. Burkhardt, Jonathan K. Foster, Ralph N. Martins

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The potential role of supplementing sex steroids for the prevention and delay of age-related cognitive decline has received a great deal of recent interest. Although the biological plausibility of hormone treatment has received considerable support, clinical studies of cognitive functioning after hormonal treatment in postmenopausal women with and without dementia have produced mixed results. Much less attention has been given to the corresponding role of androgens in men. In order to establish the relevance of hormonal supplementation for men in delaying or preventing cognitive decline, it is of importance to evaluate both adrenal and gonadal contributions to androgen status. Additionally, consideration must also be given to the potential interactions of androgens with risk and protective factors (e.g., apolipoprotein E genotype and education). Here we review experimental and epidemiological studies of the significance of androgens for cognitive function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-176
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Impairment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2004


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