Additional testosterone for the prevention of dementia? Physicians advise against
How useful is the use of testosterone for the prevention of dementia?
Unfortunately, dementia is a widespread disease in Germany. It is estimated that about 1.6 million people are affected by the disease. Experts even believe that the number of people affected could double by the year 2050. There have been various discussions among physicians about whether the use of testosterone could lead to a possible prophylaxis. The results of a recent study, however, do not recommend the use of testosterone to prevent dementia.
There has been evidence from researchers for some time that testosterone could be an effective means of preventing dementia. Experts discuss the effectiveness of testosterone in the treatment of dementia for almost 15 years. During this period, the physicians found possible connections between low levels of testosterone in the blood and the risk of dementia. However, a recent review on this topic shows that testosterone is not really an effective remedy for dementia.Dementia is a disease that affects many people in Germany. It has long been suspected among medical professionals if testosterone can be used to treat dementia. Experts advise against such a use now. (Image: highwaystarz / fotolia.com)
Testosterone can delay dementia in mice
In experiments on mice, it was found that additional testosterone in the body of the mice protects the nerve cells of the animals. In addition, testosterone in the animals leads to the delaying of dementia and the onset of symptoms. However, these results were only found on mice and not on humans. In general, results from a cell culture or from animal experiments are not directly transferable to humans, explain the scientists. For this reason, further diverse epidemiological studies were carried out. However, the results of these investigations are extremely contradictory, experts from the German Association of Internal Medicine (DGIM) say..
Which factors influence the risk of dementia??
Testosterone or estrogen are so-called sex hormones, which may possibly protect the mental functions. This has already been deduced from in vitro experiments and animal experiments. At an older age, however, such hormones are released by the body in lesser amounts. However, this lower release is not the only reason for dementia in the elderly. Various risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, metabolic disorders, smoking and diabetes also affect the risk of dementia. In addition, low levels of education or genetic predisposition influence the likelihood of developing dementia, the authors explain.
Testosterone can cause unwanted side effects
The experts explain that taking testosterone in dementia is currently not recommended. It must also be taken into account in the treatment of dementia that most older people are already taking various other medications. For this reason, the intake of other agents should be carefully thought out in order to avoid unnecessary and unwanted side effects, explain the doctors. Another problem with the treatment with testosterone is that the intake of testosterone itself can cause unwanted side effects.
Every third case of dementia can be avoided
So far, there are no reliable therapies for dementia, so the prevention of dementia is particularly important, say the experts. For example, a recent study found that about every third case of dementia could be avoided. To prevent dementia, for example, obesity should be reduced, a healthy diet should be respected, physical and mental activity should be maintained, and people should not smoke, the authors say. Doctors should also treat metabolic disorders or depression at an early age, advise the doctors on.
How can dementia be treated and what should people care about??
If neurologists still detect dementia in humans, depending on the stage of the disease, various drugs should be used for treatment. For this purpose, for example, a so-called pharmacotherapy with cholinesterase inhibitors or memantine can be used, advise the scientists. In addition, strategies for managing neuropsychiatric symptoms (such as anxiety and depression) are important in treating the condition. Apart from treating the symptoms, affected patients should make important decisions about their own future in good time, the experts add. (As)