17 February 2010

Is your memory getting weaker? Turn on the sex hormone regulator!

Scientists from the Western Australian Centre for Health and Aging (WACHA), led by Zoë Hyde, found that memory impairment and decreased mental abilities in older men are associated with high levels of luteinizing hormone and testosterone.

Luteinizing hormone (luteotropin, prolactin) is synthesized in the pituitary gland and regulates the production of sex hormones – estrogen in women and testosterone in men. Elevated levels of luteotropin in women (but not men) suffering from Alzheimer's disease were known from earlier studies. The connection of the state of mind with sex hormones and their releasing factor in healthy men was discovered for the first time in the framework of the Health in Men Study, the largest project in Australia to study men's health, launched in 1996.

The results of the study are published in the latest issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (Zoë Hyde et al., Higher Luteinizing Hormone is Associated with Poor Memory Recall: The Health in Men Study).

Levels of total and free testosterone, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG, sex hormone-binding globulin) and luteinizing hormone in blood plasma were assessed in 585 healthy, socially adapted men aged 70-87 years. Cognitive functions were assessed using two generally accepted tests for word memorization and sanity of mind – California Verbal Learning Test Second Edition (CVLT-II) and Standardized Mini-Mental State Examination (SMMSE).

Regardless of testosterone levels, the worst state of short-term memory (adjusted for age, education, and the presence of depression) correlated with increased luteotropin levels. SMMSE test scores, on the contrary, depended only on total and free testosterone.

According to the head of the work, a new understanding of how gonadotropins and sex hormones affect memory and mental activity opens up new potential targets for the development of drugs against Alzheimer's disease, although additional research is needed to fully understand the role of these hormones in the brain.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru based on WACHA: Sex Hormone Regulator Associated with Poor Memory17.02.2010

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