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Testosterone and MS

May 29, 2006

The "male hormone" may hold a key for treating one chronic brain disease.


Treating patients with testosterone. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Testosterone not only gives men hairy chests, deep voices, and an insatiable appetite for… sports, it may also protect them from multiple sclerosis. Men get the autoimmune disease less than women, and, when they do, it’s often after their testosterone levels have dropped with age. So a team from UCLA had 10 men with MS rub a testosterone gel on their skin every day for a year. They then tested their brain processing speed and memory. Neurologist Nancy Sicotte says the result was an improvement on all counts.

NANCY SICOTTE (Neurologist):
And in general people with MS we would’ve expected to see a decline in those abilities because that’s typically what happens.

If they can confirm this effect in larger studies, this treatment could be the first to protect MS patients from brain damage. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.